Mount Rushmore is certainly not the only reason people come to South Dakota. Although, it certainly helps it to bring in almost two billion dollars annually in tourism revenue. Plus, South Dakota has a strong agricultural base and plenty of natural resources. South Dakota is comprised of a renter population of about 32%. As far as their landlord-tenant laws, South Dakota is considered fairly balanced.  

South Dakota Rental Law Summary at a Glance:

Late Fees: South Dakota does not restrict the amount you can charge for late fees. Security Deposit: Generally, a security deposit may not be more than the amount of one-month rent. Returned Payment Fee Limit: There is a maximum of $30 allowed to be charged for a returned payment or check. Notice to Enter: Unless there is an emergency, the landlord must provide the renter with a 24-hour advance notice to enter the rental premises.  

Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:

Even though South Dakota does not specifically regulate the amount of a late charge you may assess, be careful. Some judges in various jurisdictions in the U. S. have overturned late fees when they were considered too high or punitive in nature. The best way to avoid a late rent, is using a service such as  Spark Rental’s rent automation service. What is better than rent that is paid every month, automatically? If a tenant’s rent payment bounces, you can charge no more than $40. However, this must be stated in the lease agreement or somewhere on the premises in a conspicuous nature.  

Security Deposits:

Security deposit in South Dakota is defined as money that has the main function of safeguarding compliance by a tenant. And it can not be more than one month’s rent. There are some conditions where you may collect more, but it must be agreed upon by both landlord and tenant where there are special conditions regarding dangers to the maintenance of the premises. (Cite: SL 1976, ch 267, § 2) You must return the entire sum or the balance of the security deposit in accordance with South Dakota security deposit regulations. This must be done within two weeks. The only deductions that may be subtracted are any rent that is due, or other fees as per the lease, or any physical damage beyond ordinary wear. *Please note: An itemized accounting of all costs must be provided to the tenant within forty-five days should any deductions be taken.
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South Dakota, like many other states require that the rental unit is fit to live in. This means that all the main systems such as the plumbing, electrical, and heating are in good working order. The only exception would be if both the tenant and the landlord agree that the tenant will be responsible for some repairs in substitution of paying rent. SO, in summary, for the most part, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the premises.  

Landlord Right of Entry:

Landlord must provide at least 24-hours’ notice in writing including why entrance is needed. Tenant must also be offered the choice to reschedule.  

Notice to End Lease Agreement:

The lease will dictate the ending date if it is a fixed term lease. This is where there is a definitive beginning and ending date. However, if the lease runs month to month, then, thirty-day written notice would be needed.  

Eviction Laws:

Using a strong landlord-protective lease with wording that keeps you in compliance with the South Dakota statutes is a huge step in preventing evictions. However, stuff happens, right? So, if you find yourself with a tenant in arrears, in South Dakota, you wait 3 days after the due date. If you don’t receive the rent, grounds have been met to start action.   Are you looking for a South Dakota lease agreement? SparkRental’s state-specific lease agreements are designed to be incredibly protective of the landlord, and our South Dakota lease contract is fully compliant with South Dakota rental laws.  

Questions? Ask a South Dakota Attorney!

Have questions about South Dakota landlord-tenant laws? We have you covered. Ask in the box below, to have your questions answered by living, flesh-and-blood attorneys who actually practice law in SD!
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