Warranty of Habitability in South Dakota

Last Updated: July 6, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In South Dakota, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by SD Codified Laws § 43-32-6. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Hot/Cold Water, Electrical, Gas, Sewer Services
Time Limit for Repairs “Reasonable” Deadline
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: Yes, if habitability issues exceed one month’s rent
  • Repair & Deduct: Yes

Applicable Dwelling Types in South Dakota

The implied warranty of habitability in South Dakota does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Only if person in mobile home is renter, not owner
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels Not specifically addressed

Landlord Responsibilities in South Dakota

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in South Dakota, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Heat only
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Yes
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Pertaining to Sewer Services
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Not addressed
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Not addressed
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

Landlords must keep the dwelling unit and all common areas in a good and safe condition. In some instances, tenants and landlords may agree, in writing, that the tenant can make certain repairs and do various maintenance tasks.

Read more

Meth Production

Landlords are required to notify potential tenants if a rental unit was used in the production of methamphetamines.

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in South Dakota

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in South Dakota, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in South Dakota

South Dakota tenants must request repairs by providing the landlord notice about the issue that needs repair. Courts prefer written notice since this clarifies the timing and details of the repair request, but South Dakota doesn’t require written notice for a valid repair request.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in South Dakota

South Dakota renters have the right to repairs for a variety of potential issues, including things that impact health and safety. To exercise their right, renters have to give the landlord notice about the issue that needs fixing and wait a “reasonable time” (determined case by case) for the landlord to do repairs.

If the issue isn’t fixed by the landlord in a timely way, the renter could end the rental agreement or contract for repairs personally and either deduct the cost from rent or sue the landlord for the related costs. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in South Dakota

It’s illegal for South Dakota landlords to retaliate by raising rent above fair market value, reducing electric, gas, water, or sewer services, or giving notice to vacate outside the terms of the lease, against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions in the past 180 days:

  • Complaining in good faith to the government about substantial health and safety code violations, such that a government agency contacts the landlord.
  • Complaining to the landlord about repairs required by the landlord-tenant laws.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.