South Dakota Residential
Lease Agreement for
Rental Properties


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Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.

In South Dakota, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by South Dakota landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.

This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a South Dakota lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free South Dakota lease template for download!

A South Dakota lease or rental agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This written lease must adhere to South Dakota’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.

The following components should be included in every South Dakota lease agreement. Keep in mind that these components are primarily associated with residential leases; a South Dakota commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.

Lease Term

This section specifies the rental period, the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.


Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In South Dakota, rent control is banned—no cities or counties in the state can pass a law that regulates or restricts the price of rent (SDC § 6-1-13). This means South Dakota landlords can set their own rental rates based on the current market.

Late Fees

The penalties for failing to pay rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. There is no statutory limit on late fees in South Dakota, nor is there a mandatory grace period. This means landlords can once again choose their own fee amounts and enforce them as soon as a tenant fails to pay rent. However, most landlords provide a reasonable grace period and limit late fees to around 5-10% of the amount due.

Be sure your late fee policy is clearly explained in every South Dakota lease agreement so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they don’t pay rent.

Security Deposit

This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.

According to South Dakota law, the maximum security deposit is one month’s rent for default, but larger security deposits are allowed if the landlord and tenant agree that special conditions pose additional risk of damage to the premises (SDC § 43-32-6.1). Additionally, security deposits in South Dakota must be returned to tenants (minus any deductions) within two weeks after the lease ends (SDC § 43-32-24).

All South Dakota rental agreements should include a thorough description of the landlord’s security deposit policy, including the amount of the security deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.

Required Disclosures

This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in South Dakota, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property.

According to South Dakota law, the required disclosures are:

  • Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
  • Methamphetamine contamination – South Dakota landlords are required to disclose information about possible hazards if they know that a rental unit was previously used to manufacture methamphetamines.

Landlord Right to Entry

In South Dakota, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords in this state must provide at least 24 hours’ notice before entering an occupied unit for a non-emergency reason (SDC § 43-32-32). However, if the landlord and tenant mutually agree to a different notice period in the lease, that period may be enforced.

The written notice of entry provided should include the date of entry, a range of times that entry will occur within, the purpose of entry, and instructions for the tenant if they want to reschedule the entry.

Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in every South Dakota rental agreement.

Repairs & Maintenance

The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every South Dakota residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.

Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures

This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.

A South Dakota residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in South Dakota, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A three-day notice to quit and vacate (for nonpayment, holding over, or sale of the property) or an immediate notice to quit (for committing waste on the property or falsely claiming to require a service animal). These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.

Community Rules

Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a South Dakota sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.

Joint and Severability Clause

This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.


Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.

South Dakota Rental Agreement Download

To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable South Dakota lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of South Dakota state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.


Understanding the nuances of a South Dakota residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a South Dakota lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free South Dakota lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.