What You Need To Know About Eviction in South Dakota

As a tenant in South Dakota, you should know your rights if faced with an eviction.
Written by Elaine Yang
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
South Dakota
requires landlords to provide tenants with at least a three to 30-day notice if they plan to file for their eviction, depending on the reason for eviction. Additionally, eviction is a legal process with established channels that your landlord must follow. 
Whether it be during a pandemic, recession, or even an economic boom, being evicted can be a scary thought. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of your rights as a tenant in South Dakota and recognize an attempt at a wrongful eviction. 
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South Dakota eviction 101: the four ways you can be evicted

South Dakota requires landlords to provide tenants with notice before proceeding with the eviction process. Since different reasons require different notice periods, you’ll need to ensure your landlord follows the law. In South Dakota, the notice period can be anywhere from three to 30 days
These are the four reasons you could be evicted:
  • Failure to pay rent: In South Dakota, rent is late if a tenant has not paid a day after it is due. However, check your lease as it may contain a grace period. If your landlord has not received rent past its due date or grace period, they must give you a three-day Notice to Quit before filing for a Forcible Entry and Detainer action, AKA eviction. To avoid eviction, pay the rent you owe before the notice period ends. 
  • Violation of a lease term: Since your lease contains conditions you and your landlord agreed upon, violating them can lead to eviction. South Dakota doesn’t specify how long the notice period must be but does mention landlords must provide a Notice to Quit before filing for eviction. To stop an eviction, you can fix the issue (i.e., stop subletting if your landlord prohibits it). 
  • Falsely claiming to require a service animal: If you’ve lied about needing a service animal, your landlord can evict you. They need to provide a Notice to Quit, but like with violations of lease terms, the law doesn’t specify how long the notice must be. 
  • Sale of rental property: Maybe your landlord is looking to sell the building you are renting from them. If the buyer doesn’t want a tenant, your landlord must provide you with at least a three-day Notice to Quit before filing for eviction. 
If you’ve been served with an eviction notice, remember that your landlord cannot evict you  without a reason. However, if they want you gone, they may choose not to renew your lease once your term is over. Here are the notice requirements for these types of situations: 
  • Week-to-week: If you pay rent weekly, your landlord must give you a seven-day Notice to Quit before filing for eviction. 
  • Month-to-month: If you pay rent monthly, your landlord must give you a 30-day Notice to Quit before filing for eviction. 
If you’d like to stay in your home, use the notice period to address your landlord’s issues and prevent the eviction from going to court. By fixing the problem, you’ll avoid a lot of hassle and money. However, if you don’t fix the problem by the end of the notice period, your landlord is likely to file for a formal eviction with the court. If they win that lawsuit, you must vacate the premises. 
Key Takeaway South Dakota landlords must provide tenants with anywhere from three to 30 days' notice before filing for eviction. 

A timeline of eviction in South Dakota

Facing an eviction can be scary and stressful, especially if you don’t know what’s going on or where you’ll stay. That’s why having a timeline of South Dakota’s eviction process can be helpful:
How long it typically takes
What to expect
Notice from landlord
3-30 days
Once this notice period is over, your landlord can file for eviction with the court.
Serve the tenant
Within 30 days of the date it was issued
After the court date has been set, your landlord must notify you that you’ve been summoned to appear.
Tenant response
Must be submitted 4 days after receiving the summons
This is where you can answer the eviction request and provide your own evidence supporting your position.
Could be as little as 2 days after the tenant files their answer
The court will look at the evidence presented from both sides and determine if you’re to be evicted.
Execution for possession
No specific timeline—tenants must move out immediately after a judgment in favor of the landlord
This is an official notice of eviction, and you must vacate the premises. If you refuse to leave, your landlord can call a sheriff to remove your belongings.
Return of property
A few hours to a few days
If a sheriff removes your personal property, it will be returned to you as soon as possible.
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Since the eviction process depends solely on your landlord’s priorities if they want to speed the process along they can. Similarly, if they are not in a rush to involve the court, this can be a long and drawn-out process. 

How to resist eviction in South Dakota

Here are a couple of ways to respond to an eviction—or avoid one altogether:
  • Address the issue: Simply taking care of the problem can stop the eviction process. Often, your landlord is not trying to be malicious, but if you’ve been late with rent several times or have damaged the unit, they may get fed up. Consider fixing the damage or borrowing money for rent to stop an eviction suit before it goes to court. 
  • Procedural mistake: If your landlord has skipped a couple of steps (ex., locking you out before a court judgment), you can get the suit thrown out. 
  • Failure to maintain the property: If you’ve made repair requests that your landlord has ignored and you’re withholding rent due to unsafe living conditions, an eviction suit may be dismissed. 
  • Discrimination: Housing discrimination is illegal, and if it’s proven, your case will be dismissed. 
Beyond a dismissal of an eviction case, the court might even award you damages to compensate your losses if it’s caused significant harm. 

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