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State Landlord Tenant Law

South Dakota Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

by Editor | ezLandlordForms
South Dakota Landlord tenant law

How much may I charge for rent?
South Dakota does not restrict the amount of rent a Landlord is permitted to charge. Additionally, the state of South Dakota has not established rent control or stabilization.

May I charge an application fee?
Reasonable cost should always be kept in mind when instituting any charges. Although there are no limits placed on the amount a landlord may charge for an application fee.

May I charge a late fee?
There is no limit placed on the amount that may be charged for a late fee, however, assessed fees should be reasonably related to the expenses the landlord incurs as a result of a late payment.

Please Note: The late charge should be specified in the lease.

May I charge a returned payment fee?
57A-3-421. Collection costs and expenses–Liability of issuer of dishonored check.
If a landlord conspicuously places in the lease that a fee will be assessed against returned checks, any person who issues a check or other draft to the merchant or place of business which is not honored for any of the following reasons upon presentment is liable for all reasonable costs and expenses of collection:

  • (1) The drawer’s account is closed;
  • (2) The drawer’s account does not have sufficient funds; or
  • (3) The drawer does not have sufficient credit with the drawee.

The costs and expenses provided for must be reasonable and may not exceed $40.

Is there a limit on the amount I may collect for a security deposit?
Landlords may not require a sum in excess of 1 months’ rent for a security deposit.

However, a larger deposit may be agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant where special conditions pose a danger to the maintenance of the leased premises. For example, when a lease allows the tenant to have a pet, an additional amount may be negotiated and agreed upon.

After my tenant has moved, how long do I have to send the security deposit back?
43-32-24. Every landlord of residential premises shall, within two weeks after the termination of tenancy and receipt of the tenant’s mailing address or delivery instructions, return the security deposit to the tenant, or furnish to the tenant a written statement showing the specific reason for the withholding of the deposit or any portion thereof. The landlord may withhold only such amounts as are reasonably necessary to remedy tenant defaults in the payment of rent or of other funds due to the landlord pursuant to an agreement or to restore the premises to their condition. At the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear is excepted. Within 45 days after termination of the tenancy, upon request of the tenant, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized accounting of any deposit withheld.

Important: Any landlord of residential premises who fails to comply with this section shall forfeit all rights to withhold any portion of such deposit. The bad faith retention of a deposit or any portion of a deposit by a landlord will be in violation, including failure to provide the written statement and itemized accounting required, shall subject the landlord to punitive damages not to exceed $200.

What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures. Another error landlords make is not returning the security deposit according to law and in a timely fashion.

What are the rules for ending a Lease Agreement?
If the written lease does not give a specific time period for renewal or expiration of the lease, then advance notice must be given at least one full rental period before the tenancy’s last day.

My tenant has not paid rent, what can I do?
If the tenant violates a provision of the lease including non-payment of rent, after giving a 3-day notice, a landlord can secure a court order to have a tenant removed via a Forcible Entry and Detainer.

How long does it usually take for an eviction?
It depends and varies, but could take approximately 4-6 weeks to obtain possession.

What must I do to inspect my property? Do I have to notify the tenant?
There is no statute that defines a landlord’s right of entry. However, the landlord should attempt to contact a tenant prior to entering. It is a good practice to specify this within the lease agreement.

Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.

Can I require my tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?
Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance.

Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.

Disclosure to the tenant of any existence of prior manufacturing of methamphetamines is required if a landlord has actual knowledge of the existence of any prior manufacturing of methamphetamines on the premises. If the residential property consists of two or more housing units, the disclosure requirements only apply to the unit where there is knowledge of the existence of any prior manufacturing of methamphetamines.

Disclosure: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.

Please feel free to review our other South Dakota rental resources, and you can ask SD law questions in our landlord law forum.

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