South Dakota has many rules and statutes regulating its housing market. These must be fully considered when preparing an application for rental properties in the state.
There is no limit in terms of what application fee can be charged by South Dakota landlords. Furthermore, the application fee is non-refundable regardless of its amount.
Landlords cannot charge more than 1 months’ rent if they are leasing an apartment under South Dakota law (§ 43-32-6.1). However, landlords that can prove the tenant may pose a danger to the premises can charge a higher amount.
Housing Discrimination Law
SD has no specific statutes policing housing discrimination. Nevertheless, the Fair Housing Act (FHA), is enshrined in federal law meaning that landlords may not refuse a tenant for discriminatory reasons.
Under the FHA you may not reject a tenant application for reasons such as their race, religion, sex, family status, or because they have any disabilities. You may also not discriminate against their criminal history (whether or not a background check is carried out) or nationality.
Housing for older persons: it is allowed to ask for an applicant’s age for age-restricted communities (such as senior housing).
Familial status: landlords may ask whether children will occupy the premises for two-family owner-occupied buildings.
Private clubs: clubs that do not operate publicly and do not rent for commercial purposes can give preference to certain applicants.
Religious organizations: religion can be used as a basis for giving priority to certain applicants for properties that are owned or managed by a religious organization that does not rent with commercial intent.
Mrs. Murphy exemption: dwellings with four units or fewer, in which one unit is occupied by the owner, and where the landlord is not represented by a real estate agent, are exempt from fair housing requirements.
Notice of Eligibility
You must disclose the screening criteria used during the application process, as well as anything that could lead to a refusal. To make sure individuals understand this in advance of the application, they must provide a signature of acknowledgment on the application.
Consent Credit Check
The Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) stipulates that potential tenants must agree to any credit checks you require. To show they consent, they must provide written acknowledgment on the application form.