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South Dakota Tenant Rights Laws

Renting a home can relieve you of many of the responsibilities of home ownership, such as property taxes and major repairs. However, there are many frustrating issues that can come up throughout the landlord-tenant relationship. To address these issues, South Dakota has a number of laws governing the parties' rights and responsibilities, in addition to federal and local laws. Read on to learn more about South Dakota tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights: From Discrimination to Termination

Like other states, South Dakota law protects you against discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, disability, and familial status. Prohibited conduct includes refusing to rent to someone and discriminating in the lease terms or conditions based on a protected trait.

Your landlord is also required to maintain the premises in reasonable repair, fit for human habitation. This includes maintaining services such as plumbing, heating, and electrical. However, the landlord is not responsible for repairing damage caused by your negligent, willful, or malicious conduct.

If you do cause damage beyond normal wear and tear, your landlord may retain all or part of your security deposit to cover the repairs. Deductions can also be made for unpaid rent and charges agreed to in the lease. Within two weeks of the termination of your tenancy, your landlord must return your security deposit or provide a written statement of deposit withholdings. You must then request an itemized accounting of any deposit withheld, and your landlord has 45 days from the termination of the tenancy to provide that to you.

While these laws are designed to protect you from unfair practices, asserting your rights can be a daunting endeavor. Therefore, it's good to know that your landlord may not retaliate against you by raising the rent or evicting you simply because you requested repairs or complained about housing code violations.

South Dakota Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of South Dakota laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to important code sections.


Security Deposits

  • Limit: One month's rent (more allowed under certain conditions)
  • Must return security deposit or written statement of deductions within two weeks after termination of tenancy
  • Part or all may be used for:
    • Unpaid rent
    • Restoring premises to condition at commencement of tenancy, except for ordinary wear and tear
    • Charges agreed to in rental agreement

Paying Rent

  • May raise rent or change other terms with 30 days' notice

Living Conditions

  • To enter unit, landlord must give at least 24 hours' advance notice, state purpose for entry, and may only enter during reasonable times, unless otherwise agreed to in lease (no notice required for emergencies)
  • Landlord must keep premises fit for human habitation and in good, safe working order:
    • Make reasonable repairs
    • Maintain electrical, plumbing, and heating
    • Does not include repairs necessitated by tenant's negligent, willful, or malicious conduct
  • Parties can agree that tenant will perform repairs or maintenance in lieu of rent


  • No discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, disability, familial status, or national origin

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give notice to terminate a tenancy with no fixed end date:
    • Month-to-month tenancies: one month
    • Week-to-week tenancies: one week
    • Lease: according to terms of lease
  • Eviction: 3 days for nonpayment of rent; no advance notice required for violating lease or tenant duties
  • Eviction: court order required


  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

South Dakota Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

Receive a Free Review of Your Tenancy Issues

While many rental issues can be resolved through polite communication with your landlord, some problems may be more complicated or require more persuasion. Whether you're dealing with a new issue or your conflict has been ongoing, receive a free case review to get help asserting your rights under South Dakota's tenant rights laws.

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