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South Dakota Rental Application: What Is It?

In South Dakota, landlords and property managers use rental application forms to screen potential tenants to see if they are financially fit and responsible enough to be an ideal renter for the residential rental property.

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The South Dakota Rental Application Process

Typically, rental applications request information such as the prospective tenant's social security number, employment history, income sources, and other things like previous addresses, and criminal history.

Although the information may seem intrusive, the same information is collected from every applicant to ensure fairness. The form must also comply with federal fair housing laws as well as South Dakota landlord-tenant laws. A rental application can be very beneficial in helping property owners to avoid issues such as unpaid rent because a prospective tenant cannot afford the monthly rent.

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A Sample South Dakota Rental Application with Examples for Each Step

Before you write a South Dakota rental application form, determine whether you'll allow married couples or couples in a civil union to apply using the same application or if each applicant needs to complete a separate application. If you plan to allow couples to complete only one rental application, be cognizant about leaving enough room on the form so that both parties can provide you with the necessary information for each section.

Your South Dakota rental application form should include the following sections:

  • A section to gather the applicant's personal data. Include their full legal name, date of birth, social security number, cell phone number, work phone number, email address, and emergency contact information.
  • A section to gather the applicant's rental history. The rental history section should start with their current full address, how long they've lived in the rental property, the monthly rent amount, and the landlord’s name and phone number. Then, include spaces to gather previous rental history: addresses, length of time living on the property, monthly rent payment, and contact information for the previous landlord.
  • A section to gather the applicant's employment history. The employment history section should start with the name of their current employer, the employer's full address, the applicant's job title, how long the applicant has worked for their employer, the supervisor’s, and the phone number for their supervisor or human resources. Then, include spaces to gather previous employment history.
  • Collect information about all of the applicant’s income sources, the type of income sources received, how often each income source is received, and the amount of each income source. Then, request information about each checking and savings account the applicant has and ask which financial institution manages the account.
  • A section where the applicant lists how many vehicles they own and a description of each vehicle. Each vehicle should be described using the year, make, model, color, and license plate number.
  • A section where the applicant will list the name and age of each person who will live with them in the rental unit.
  • Ask the applicant if they have pets, how many, the type, and their size.
  • An authorization to run a background check and credit check on the applicant. It should include language that explains to the applicant that by signing the rental application form that they consent to these checks. You can use this section to remind the applicant that the application fee is non-refundable.
  • A signature line and space for the applicant to place the date.

Rental Application Resources for Tenants in South Dakota

When a renter enters into a lease agreement or a rental agreement in South Dakota, they enter into a legal contract. Many renters feel as if the property owner holds all of the power. However, renters do have rights. Here are some helpful links:

  • The Office of the Attorney General provides an informative web page that explains your rights as a renter.
  • The official website for Pennington County, South Dakota offers a plain English explanation of landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities. It covers topics such as how both written and oral leases work, when a landlord can enter the rental property, what you can do if your landlord doesn’t make repairs, evictions, and more.
  • The State Bar of South Dakota offers an Access to Justice Program that helps low-income individuals and families with certain issues. They also provide access for qualified individuals to get free legal advice.
  • East River Legal Services offers legal assistance to qualified low-income individuals and families involved in evictions and other housing matters.

South Dakota Rental Application Laws

According to state law, S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 43.32-6.1, § 43-32-24, unless a tenant or special conditions pose a risk to the property, the security deposit is to be capped at the equivalent of one month’s rent.

If a landlord takes no deductions from the security deposit, it must be returned to the tenant within 14 days of them vacating the premises. If there are deductions taken out, possibly for fees or damages, then the landlord has 45 days. Also, the tenant may request a detailed accounting of the charges.

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