Real Estate in South Dakota

When purchasing real estate in South Dakota it is important to note that aliens who are not a citizen of the United States may at no time hold more than one hundred and sixty acres of land.  The only exceptions to this rule is if the land is left in an inheritance, and even then it could be held as a secure means of paying off any debts before being distributed.  Also, a foreign government who has the right to own such land through a treaty may purchase more than the acreage limit.  This means that if you are a foreign citizen you are not allowed to own more than the limit of land prescribed.  This applies even if it is a cumulative total that spans several different properties.

Improper Acquiring of Lands by Aliens

If you are found to be a nonresident alien who purchases agricultural real estate in South Dakota through a means of deceit or a scheme, then the government of the state of South Dakota gives a time frame of three years from the point of acquisition of the title before they must legally separate from the land and release their claim to it.  This means that if the land is purchased through some form of fraud in which more than the prescribed one hundred and sixty acres is owned by an alien and it is not discovered for ten years, then the time frame for self-imposed removal from the property has already passed and it becomes a state matter.

Lands held in Violation

If you are found to have violated either of these alien restrictions on agricultural ownership of real estate in South Dakota then those lands must automatically be forfeited to the state.  This does enforcement not apply to those who may have unknowingly purchased the land from such an offending seller.  However, if you are a nonresident alien and you have bought the land wrongfully or exceeded the prescribed acreage limits and have owned the land for more than three years then the forfeiture will be conducted by the Attorney General.  In forfeiting land you will give up all rights and monetary claims arising from the purchase of these lands.  So, if you are an alien considering buying a large acreage, make sure you are well within the lawful limits.