South Dakota Real Estate Lawyers
In South Dakota, real estate law is a very broad area of law governing anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many various facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
South Dakota real estate law can be very complicated, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good general knowledge of South Dakota real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as purchasing a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in South Dakota
Financing: Most people in South Dakota probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Thus, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, normally a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other structure is for sale, the seller has to tell prospective buyers about all physical defects of which the seller is aware, and which the buyer couldn't be reasonably expected to discover. However, if you are selling a house, you should probably just disclose every defect you're aware of. This will save you a great deal of potential liability. Even if your disclosure of a particular defect wasn't required (because the buyer could have easily discovered it), the buyer might still sue, and the cost of defending this lawsuit, even if you win, will be very high.
Warranty of Habitability: All residential property which is being rented must be fit for human habitation. This is normally not a difficult standard for a reasonably well-maintained unit to meet (or one would think), but violations of this rule still happen. When renting an apartment, the landlord is implicitly promising that the unit will be habitable, whether or not such a promise is actually written in the lease, or even if the lease disclaims it. There are many requirements for a dwelling to be habitable, and most of them are fairly obvious- they include heating, running water, electricity, and basic protection from the elements. There are many other requirements, however.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws regulate what type of structures can be built in particular parts of a town or city. Their general purpose is to ensure that a city is as livable as possible by ensuring that residential areas are not too close to the noise and pollution of industrial areas. It is very important that, before you make any improvements to a piece of property, you make sure that the proposed improvements comply with South Dakota's zoning regulations.
Do I Need a South Dakota Real Estate Lawyer?
These issues, and the others that can affect real estate transactions, can be pretty difficult. Therefore, it's a good idea to contact a South Dakota real estate lawyer to advise you on the laws affecting your real estate transaction, or any other projects you may be planning.
South Dakota is the 40th U.S. state and has a population of over 800,000 people. Most of South Dakota is rural in character and has retained much of its agricultural foundation. The region is popular for its national parks and monuments. In particular, the iconic monument Mount Rushmore draws many visitors to South Dakota annually. Over time the state has incorporated other industries in its economy like financing and defense spending.
The judicial branch of South Dakota is composed of the state Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, and Magistrate Courts. Most lawyers in South Dakota assist clients through the Circuit Courts, as the Magistrate Court does not hear jury trials. The Circuit Courts have jurisdiction over both criminal and civil claims, and serve as the general trial courts for the state.
South Dakota has a complex body of case law. An influential South Dakota ruling can be found in South Dakota v. Opperman (1976), which defined the "community caretaking" functions of police forces. Under the Opperman ruling, police authorities must engage in "community caretaking", which includes duties like ensuring the safe flow of traffic. The case also discussed search and seizure provisions.
Lawyers in South Dakota represent clients in order to help them defend their interests and help them obtain legal relief. South Dakota lawyers can assist you with legal questions, represent you in a court of law, and help you with legal documents and many other tasks. Attorneys in South Dakota are well-known for their expertise in many areas.