A South Dakota eviction notice is a written document that begins the legal eviction process. Before a landlord can file a forcible entry and detainer with the court, they must first create and legally serve an eviction notice (also known as a notice to quit) on the tenant. All South Dakota eviction notices must comply with the state’s landlord-tenant laws.
Since a South Dakota eviction notice is the very first thing that must be done in the eviction process, it’s important that it contains certain information for both the tenant and the landlord. It’s also important that the document is legally served. The components required for a South Dakota eviction notice are:
You’ll also need to create and complete a Certificate of Service that documents the service process. This page should include the date of service, on whom was service was perfected, how the notice was served, and the signature of the person who served the eviction notice. In South Dakota, service must be done by the sheriff or a professional process server. The first attempt at service must be done on the tenant. If unsuccessful, the server must wait six hours and make a second attempt. If the tenant is not personally served on the second attempt, the server may post the notice to a conspicuous location, such as the front door. A copy of the eviction notice must also be sent via first-class mail. The server should also try to serve the document to someone else who lives in the household.
The number of days that the tenant has to comply begin the day after service is perfected. Also, weekends and holidays are not included in the notice period.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
A 3-day notice for non-payment of rent is a South Dakota eviction notice that, according to § 21-16-1(4) and § 21-16-2, is used when the tenant does not pay their rent on time. It gives the tenant three days to pay the past due amount or vacate the property. The landlord or the agent drafting the eviction notice should make sure to include the full amount of rent that is past due, how it should be paid (i.e., money order), and where it may be paid. It should also include the date by which the tenant should comply or vacate the property.
Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
According to § 21-16-1(7) and § 43-32-18, there isn’t a certain amount of notice that a landlord must give a tenant for non-compliance. This notice is used to inform tenants that they’ve violated the lease in some way outside of not paying the rent. Make sure that you read the law carefully to ensure that you follow it in regards to how this specific form of notice must be drafted.
3-Day Notice to Quit for Hold Over
Under § 21-16-1(4) and § 21-16-2, a landlord may issue a 3-day notice to quit for hold over. A hold over occurs when a lease expires and the tenant does not vacate the property as expected. This notice gives the tenant three days to vacate the property. The landlord may find it helpful to refer to the date the original lease began as well as the date that the lease expired in this notice.
Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancy
A notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy isn’t the same as evicting someone for non-payment of rent, non-compliance, or for holding over. A month-to-month tenancy means that the landlord and the tenant have an agreement that the lease is good on a month-to-month basis as opposed to an annual lease. The tenant doesn’t have to violate the lease in some way for the landlord to use this notice. In fact, the tenant would also use this notice if they want to end the tenancy. It gives the recipient 30 days of notice that the property should (or will) be vacated at the end of that time period. This notice is governed by § 43-8-8.
Eviction notices must be drafted and legally served on the tenant. If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, the landlord may then file a forcible entry and detainer lawsuit against them in court. Until the landlord receives a court order, they may not remove the tenant’s belongings, lock out the tenant, or shut off the utilities. Doing so without a court order is referred to as “self-help” and is illegal.
Tenants may not be evicted by the landlord because they report code violations or that the property is uninhabitable to the housing authorities. Tenants have a right to habitable living conditions. Attempting to evict a tenant for this is known as retaliatory eviction. It is illegal.
Landlords must abide by The Fair Housing Act. They may not evict a tenant because of the tenant’s actual or perceived nationality, skin color, race, disability, gender, family status, or religion. This is discrimination. Discrimination is illegal.
If a landlord engages in illegal eviction practices of any kind, they open themselves up to a potential lawsuit. The tenant may have a legal claim for financial damages. The landlord may also be fined for breaking state and federal law.
South Dakota tenants have rights and obligations when they enter into a lease. If you’re a tenant and you’d like to learn more about your rights, the Office of the Attorney General has a guide that you can read online or print. Eviction is a scary experience. It’s important that you read the notice and understand why you received it, what you need to do, and by when you need to do it if you wish to remain on the property. You also have the option of vacating the property. If you do not comply with the notice, the landlord can then file a lawsuit against you. Call the landlord or their authorized agent if you have questions about the notice.
In the last section, we discussed illegal evictions. Go back and read that section if you haven’t done so. If you believe that the eviction against you is illegal, you should contact a landlord-tenant lawyer to discuss your circumstances. They can let you know whether you have a valid legal claim and what your next steps should be. You can also contact the University of South Dakota Law School to ask if they have an active legal clinic. Sometimes, legal clinics provide help to tenants. You can also reach out to legal aid in your area. In addition to the possibility of receiving affordable legal help, they also have many resources that you could use to help yourself.
Landlords may not file a forcible entry and detainer against a tenant until they first legally serve the tenant with an eviction notice. Additionally, the tenant must refuse to comply with the notice. You can learn more about the various eviction notices and legal service by scrolling up to read about the components of a South Dakota eviction notice.
Landlords must comply with both state and federal law when it comes to housing. Landlords may not practice “self-help” evictions by changing the locks, throwing out the tenant’s belongings, or shutting off the utilities. Those actions are illegal without a court order. Landlords also may not violate The Fair Housing Act and evict a tenant based on any of the seven protected classes. They also may not participate in retaliatory eviction because the tenant reported code violations on the property to the housing authorities.
Illegal eviction practices can cause big problems for landlords. They can be sued by the tenant. The court may order the landlord to pay the tenant and the landlord may also be ordered to pay fines for breaking both state and federal law.
If you’re a landlord and you want to learn more about your rights and obligations, contact an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer in the county where the rental property is located.