South Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws


South Dakota rental laws are unique to the state, so if you’re a new investor or hoping to read up on any updates in state law, it’s imperative that you do your research. Below are some of the most important South Dakota landlord-tenant laws.

Rent and Fees

Unless landlords specify an alternative date in the lease agreement, rent is due at the end of each month. If you as the landlord decide that the beginning of each month is a better due date for you, you have the freedom to make that policy as long as it is written in your lease. 

Is there a grace period for paying rent? No, there is not a mandatory grace period in South Dakota. This means landlords in this state may charge fees for late rent immediately after the day it was due. Application fees and late fee amounts are also unregulated in South Dakota.

Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct

If a rental unit in South Dakota falls into an uninhabitable condition and the landlord does not act to remedy it, the tenant can give notice to the landlord and wait a reasonable amount of time before choosing to either withhold rent or “repair and deduct.” 

When withholding rent, keep in mind that the repairs cannot exceed one months’ rent, and the tenant must deposit rent into a separate bank account, where it’s held until the necessary repairs are made. When the landlord completes the repairs, the tenant must release the amount back to the landlord or withhold the money and let it accumulate to use to pay for repairs. 

For the repair and deduct option, tenants may arrange for the repair and then deduct that cost from the rent. 


South Dakota eviction laws dictate that when rent is late, landlords can post a rent demand notice and wait three days before starting evictions proceedings. Those three days allow the tenant to begin to move out. The landlord does not need to give the tenant an opportunity to pay their unpaid rent.

If a lease violation occurs, the landlord can file for eviction using their discretion. If they choose, they can file for eviction immediately and without notice, since there is no specific notice period in South Dakota.

Also, there is not a specific law designating a notice period for illegal activity taking place in the property and landlords can file for eviction immediately. 

You have the option to extend the notice period since South Dakota state law is relatively nonspecific. Whatever policies you choose, be sure to notify tenants and put them in writing in your lease agreement.

Required Disclosures

Besides the lead-based paint disclosure required by all 50 states, South-Dakota landlord tenant laws requires that landlords disclose whether the property was contaminated by methamphetamines. If a tenant who previously lived in the unit used it for manufacturing methamphetamines, the property can become dangerous, so landlords must disclose whether this is the case to all current and prospective tenants.

Security Deposits

Keeping your tenants’ security deposits safe should be one of your top priorities as a landlord, since that money belongs to your tenant until there are damages or unpaid fees warranting deductions. 

In South Dakota, the deposit is capped at one month’s rent. If the landlord and tenant agree that there is an additional danger to the maintenance of the premises, only then can the landlord exceed the security deposit limit. 

Landlords are not required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account and are not required to pay interest on that amount either. However, it’s best practice to keep deposits and personal finances separate to encourage organization, reduce legal liability, and to ensure your finances don’t intermingle. 

If landlords do withhold funds from the security deposit, they must provide a written statement itemizing each deduction. The amount of each deduction and the specific reason for it should be provided within 45 days of the end of the tenancy. Also, state law dictates that landlords must return the remainder of the deposit within two weeks.


South Dakota rental laws exist to protect the rights of both landlords and tenants. They also provide guidelines for new landlords to establish good habits and routines for treating their tenants the best they can. South Dakota allows landlords some leeway when deciding their own rental policies, so this state may be attractive to invest in. However, be sure that whatever policies you choose are reasonable, so they will hold up in court in case a tenant files a lawsuit against you.

Read more..