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Gregory Boop
Gregory Boop, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
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Experience:  A trial attorney with a decade of experience representing people and small businesses.
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When working as a hired hand and having the house and ...

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When working as a hired hand and having the house and utilities paid for does the owner/farmer and family have the right to come into the house when ever they want and envade my family and mine privacy? Also do I have the same rights as a renter would, they do take money out of my check to cover the bills for the house my family and I live in they also said to our social worker that they take out money for rent from my check. Please help me.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Gregory Boop replied 9 years ago.

I'll assume you do not have a written lease. Nevertheless, you have the same rights as a tenant. Look at this pamphlet from the state of South Dakota, starting on about pg. 44 is an excellent description of those rights.

Your tenancy is probably month to month. The owner can give you thirty days notice to leave. A landlord cannot cut off services to you by shutting off utilities in retaliation. South Dakota does not allow a clause in a written lease allowing entry at anytime by the landlord so, since it is not allowed in a written lease it cannot be a part of your agreement. Also, South Dakota gives a right of quiet enjoyment to tenants. The landlord has the right to inspect, but cannot enter at any time and you have the right to refuse entry.

The South Dakota Bar Association has a referral service. The law in SD allows for extra damages and possibly attorney fees in cases where tenant rights are abused. If you believe this is occuring, do not be afraid to call and ask for a referral to a landlord-tenant attorney. The initial consultation is typically free or at low cost.
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