Anyone who rents a house, apartment, or mobile home is a tenant. Renting, also called leasing, is an arrangement by which a landlord gives a tenant temporary possession and use of property for rent, and the tenant agrees to pay rent and to return the property to the landlord at a future time. If a person rents a sleeping, motel or hotel room for four (4) weeks in a row or more, you are a “tenant” under law. The information provided here applies to private, as well as public housing (such as Lakota Homes, Section 8, and HUD housing) landlord/tenant relationships. Public Housing tenants also need to look to their lease, as they have added rights and duties under Federal law.

What about discrimination by a landlord?

Persons leasing a dwelling should also be aware that Federal law prohibits, with few exceptions, a landlord from discriminating against any person in the rental of a dwelling, or the terms, conditions or services of the rental on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin of the tenant.  There are also added legal rights for disabled tenants. If you believe you have been discriminated against, see an attorney or contact Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

What should I do to protect myself?

  • Save all documentation and letters you receive or write about the apartment. Save copies of everything.
  • Put in writing all “side deals” or agreements outside the original contract.
  • Know the terms of the lease.
  • Attend all hearings to defend your rights.





Additional Resources

South Dakota Consumer Protection - Landlord/Tenant Information

Minnehaha County Sheriff's office - Eviction Process

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