The renting process in South Dakota often sees disputes arise between landlords and tenants.
For that reason, the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act was passed to provide clarity when these disputes occur. Here are some of the key points that are taken directly from the law.
1. Security deposits are limited to the equivalent of one month's rent.
The only exception to this rule is if there are special circumstances which would pose a danger to the maintenance of the rental property.
An authorized pet would be one example of a special circumstance which could lead to an added security deposit requirement.
2. Some repair costs can be passed along to tenants.
A tenant is permitted to have a quiet enjoyment of their home.
Landlords may lawfully enter with a reasonable amount of notice at a reasonable hour. Unless there is an emergency repair, a tenant can request having night or weekend work done so they can be present at the property.
If this request requires an additional cost, it can be passed along to the tenant.
3. Landlords must provide a structure that is safe and habitable.
The structure of the rental home must be maintained.
A fence, outbuilding, or other structure that is not the permanent residence may not qualify for habitability protections. Tenants may have a legal right to pursue rent compensation for usage reduction, but may not be able to break a lease because of a downed fence. Written notice for all repairs must be given.
4. Tenants have the right to withhold and deduct.
If repairs for habitability are required and landlords do not respond to a written notice, then a tenant may repair it themselves and deduct the amount from rent owed. If the repair costs more than one month of rent, then the amounts due to the landlord can be held in a separate bank account as long as written evidence has been provided.
5. A 3 day notice is required for lease violations.
Landlords must give tenants the opportunity to rectify a lease violation before securing a court order for an eviction. Called a forcible entry and detainer, unpaid rent, tenant intimidation, or illegal conduct on the property [as well as additional lease violations] may all qualify for this notice.
These key points of the South Dakota Residential Landlord and Tenant Act are not intended to be a complete guide or serve as legal advice. For further answers, seek professional legal assistance or consult the specific state statutes which govern your situation.
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