South Dakota Security Deposit Returns and Deductions

South Dakota Security Deposit Returns and Deductions

Last Updated: January 30, 2024 by Phil Ahn

Quick Facts Answer
Acceptable Deductions Unpaid rent, utilities, late fees

Costs of damage

Charges outlined in lease

Return Deadline 14 Days
Itemized Deductions Required (upon request)
Penalty for Late Return Deposit + $200 + Court Costs

For laws on security deposit collections and holdings in South Dakota, click here.

Security Deposit Deductions in South Dakota

In South Dakota, the following can be deducted from security deposits:

  • Unpaid rent, utilities, and late fees
  • Costs of damage excluding normal wear and tear
  • Other charges as outlined in the lease

Most states, such as South Dakota, do not have a legal limit on how much a landlord can charge for damages except that the charges must be reasonable.

If the cost of the damages exceeds the amount of the security deposit, landlords are entitled to seek additional damages from the former tenant.

What is Considered Normal Wear and Tear in South Dakota?

“Normal wear and tear” is deterioration that occurs naturally as a result of the tenant using the property as it was designed to be used.

Examples include:

  • Gently worn carpets
  • Lightly scratched glass
  • Faded paint and flooring
  • Lightly dirtied grout
  • Loose door handles
  • Stained bath fixtures

Damage” means destruction to the rental unit that occurs because of abuse or negligence by a tenant during the course of the tenancy.

Examples include:

  • Heavily stained, burned, or torn carpets
  • Broken tiles or windows
  • Holes in the wall
  • Missing fixtures

Can the Landlord Charge for Replacing the Carpet in South Dakota?

Landlords can chargefor replacing the carpet if it is damaged beyond normal wear and tear.


A carpet that is slightly discolored or gently worn will be considered normal wear and tear. A carpet with visible stains, major discoloration and rips will be considered excessively damaged.

Can the Landlord Charge for Nail Holes in South Dakota?

Landlords in South Dakota can charge a tenant for nail holes if they damage the walls in a way that is not a result of ordinary enjoyment of the rental unit.

Tenants have the right to use the walls within their unit in a reasonable way. This includes inserting small nails or thumbtacks to hang posters or pictures.

However, large holes from drilling, multiple nail holes, large nail holes, and holes made for hanging heavier things may be considered damage and thus, chargeable to the tenant.

Can the Landlord Charge a Cleaning Fee in South Dakota?

South Dakota law allows landlords to charge for reasonable cleaning costs limited to bringing the unit back to its original condition at the start of the lease, excluding normal wear and tear.

Can the Landlord Charge for Painting in South Dakota?

Landlords in South Dakota can charge for painting, except for normal wear and tear. For example, if the tenant:

  • Causes damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • Repaints the wall but is not permitted to do so under the lease agreement
  • Repaints the wall in an unprofessional way

Normal wear includes:

  • Minor scrapes from daily use
  • Fading due to sunlight
  • Minor cracks in the original paint

Landlords can charge for repainting if the damage is not the result of normal use. This includes stains, large or deep scratches, and water damage.

Can a Security Deposit Be Used for Last Month’s Rent in South Dakota?

South Dakota law does not forbid the security deposit from being used for any outstanding rent.

Landlords can include a provision in the lease agreement that the security deposit cannot be used for the last month’s rent until the tenant vacates the rental unit.

Security Deposit Returns in South Dakota

Landlords must return a security deposit with a written notice no later than 14 days after the lease term ends and the tenant provides a forwarding address or delivery instructions.

How Long Do Landlords Have to Return Security Deposits in South Dakota?

South Dakota landlords have 14 days  after the lease term ends and the tenant provides a forwarding address or delivery instructions to return any unused portion of the security deposit.

Do Landlords Owe Interest on Security Deposits in South Dakota?

Unlike in some states, such as New Jersey, landlords in South Dakota do not owe interest on security deposits.

How Do Landlords Give Notice in South Dakota?

Within 14 days after the lease term ends and the tenant provides a forwarding address, written notice must be provided to the tenant. The notice must include the amount of the security deposit due, if any, to the tenant, plus a written statement of the reason for the deductions.

If requested by the tenant, the landlord must provide a more detailed, itemized accounting of the deductions within 45 days after the lease term ends.

Security Deposit Disputes in South Dakota

If landlords do not return the security deposit within the 14-day period, tenants can file for the return of the full security deposit in court plus damages up to $200 plus court costs.

Tenants can also take legal action against a landlord for:

  • Failure to provide a written statement when deductions are made
  • Failure to provide an itemized accounting (if requested)
  • Unreasonable deductions

How Can Tenants File a Dispute for a Security Deposit in South Dakota?

If a landlord fails to return the security deposit, the tenant can file a dispute in Small Claims Court if the amount of damages is less than $12,000. If the amount is greater, the tenant must file a regular civil case.

A small claims case for a security deposit must be filed within 6 years. An attorney is not required but permitted. Cases are filed in the Small Claims Court for the county where the property is located or where the defendant lives. Filing fees are $20.76 to $38.76 depending on the amount of the claim.