Most residential leases and rental agreements in South Dakota require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here’s a summary of South Dakota landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.
Does South Dakota law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?
Yes. Under South Dakota landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one month's rent for the security deposit. But, in South Dakota, a higher deposit may be charged if special conditions pose a danger to the maintenance of the premises.
To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.
What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in South Dakota for returning a security deposit?
Under South Dakota law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within two weeks after the tenant has moved out. The landlord must return all or a portion of the deposit in that time and give the tenant reasons for any deductions. If the tenant requests a written and itemized accounting, the landlord has 45 days to provide it.
Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.
Is there additional information that South Dakota landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in South Dakota?
Not at the state level in South Dakota. But be sure to check your local (county, city, or town) laws to see if your municipality requires landlords to take additional steps when it comes to tenants' security deposits.
Where can I look up South Dakota law on security deposits?
If you want to go right to the source and look up South Dakota law on security deposits -- or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law -- the relevant statute(s) can be found at South Dakota Codified Laws Annotated §§ 43.32-6.1 and 43-32-24. Your city or county might have different landlord-tenant and security deposit laws than those at the state level in South Dakota. For tips on looking up South Dakota state and local laws, check out Nolo's State Laws & Legal Research section.
You may also find useful information on tenant rights in South Dakota at http://atg.sd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=dScRCy1J6AQ%3d&tabid=407 (beginning on page 46).