Landlords: Victims’ rights law hinders efforts to keep apartments crime-free

By Dana Ferguson

A voter-approved effort to improve the rights of crime victims in South Dakota has made it harder for landlords to evict criminals from their buildings.

Eight months after South Dakota voters approved Constitutional Amendment S, or Marsy’s Law, landlords say it is preventing them from accessing information about criminal activity on their properties.

The effort to shield victims’ privacy has barred some landlords from accessing details necessary to determine whether tenants have violated a key provision of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Agreement.

“That lack of information is what causes the real headache,” said Ashley Lipp, a regional manager for Lloyd Cos. “Now we have to ask, ‘Is this something that could be a violation of our Crime Free addendum?’ And it’s very difficult to know.”

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