This article is intended to be an online resource for North Dakota landlords. We summarize key North Dakota Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.
This article is not qualified for legal advice. Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction. North Dakota Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state-level laws and statutes.
Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated. We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.
Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in North Dakota.
Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering North Dakota
North Dakota landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord-friendly.
There are 762,062 residents in North Dakota. Major metropolitan markets in North Dakota are:
- Fargo: Estimated population of 246,155, which 42% of residents are renter occupied. The average rent is $793.
- Bismark: Estimated population of 128.949, which 33% of residents are renter occupied. The average rent is $864.
- Grand Forks: Estimated population of 100,815, which 48% of residents are renter occupied. The average rent is $728.
SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN NORTH DAKOTA
Does North Dakota require security deposits?
North Dakota does not require security deposits, however, if accepted then there are laws and regulations.
Is a security deposit receipt required in North Dakota?
No statute. Landlords do not need to inform the tenant of the bank institution.
How much security deposit can a landlord charge in North Dakota?
North Dakota states landlords cannot demand or receive a security deposit greater than 1 month’s rent. Landlords can accept up to 2 month’s rent for an individual convicted of a felony offense or had a judgment entered against them for violating the terms of a previous rental agreement. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(1))
Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in North Dakota:
Landlord must deposit the money in federally insured interest-bearing savings or checking account for the benefit of the tenant. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(1))
Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in North Dakota?
Landlords can commingle deposits with their personal funds. However, since the tenant is owed interest accrued it is often a good practice to keep deposits in a separate account from personal use. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(1))
Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in North Dakota?
Landlords must share the interest earned for deposits. North Dakota does not state any requirements for the interest rates. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(1))
When must a landlord return the deposit by in North Dakota?
Landlords must return the security deposits within 30 days after the termination of the lease and delivery of possession by tenant. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(3))
When can a landlord in North Dakota withhold a security deposit?
At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit. However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit for (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(3)):
- Unpaid rent and/or fees
- Cost of cleaning or other repairs back to original condition
- Damages beyond normal wear-and-tear
Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:
Landlords cannot exceed $2,500 or the equivalent of 2 month’s rent for pet security deposits. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(2))
Require a written description / itemized list of damages and charges?
Landlords are required to provide a written and itemized list of damages that is delivered or mailed to the tenant’s last known address. The notice must contain a statement of any amount still due to the landlord or the refund due to the tenant. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(3))
What happens to North Dakota landlords that fail to comply with returning the security deposit?
The landlord is liable to the tenant to (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.1(4)):
- Liable for treble damages; triple the actual damage
RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN NORTH DAKOTA
Rental agreements required in North Dakota:
Rental agreements are required for leases 12 months or longer. We always recommend having a legal lease agreement to prevent future complications.
If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online North Dakota rental lease agreement.
What are the required lease provisions in North Dakota?
North Dakota requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement. Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list:
- Conditions of occupancy
- Description of the rental unit
- Provision defining automatic renewal
- Must: Late Fees and Penalties
- Landlords name, address, and phone number
- Rent Amount and Due Date.
- Length of the lease agreement
- Tenants name, address, and phone number
- Landlord’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
- Tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
- Occupancy by children or pets
- Required deposits and the conditions for their refund
- Inspection rights by the landlord
- Other fees
- Address of rental property
- Security deposit amount and terms
- Process for requesting maintenance and repairs
- Subleasing policy
- Pet policies
- Cleaning Fees
LANDLORDS ARE PROHIBITED FROM:
- Tenant waives or agrees to forego a claim or right under sections 47-16-13.1 through 47-16-13-.6 (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13.3)
- Penalty: If a landlord has included an unconscionability provision, tenants shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to the setting, purpose, and effect of the rental agreement to aid the court in making the determination. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13.3(2))
What are the rental agreement notice requirements in North Dakota:
Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: No statute as leases expire. A lease is presumed renewed if the tenant remains in possession after the lease expiration to be on the same terms. Landlords that accept rent after the lease has expired, the lease is presumed to have renewed as month-to-month. Yearly leases with no end date require 1 month’s notice. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-06)
Month-to-Month: Must provide at least 1 month’s written notice at any time. The lease may state otherwise with different a longer notice period or a different notice time. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-15(2)) Read our guide on Month-to-Month rent.
Week-to-Week: Must provide at least 7 day’s written notice with the termination date specified in the notice. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-15(1))
Rent Increase Notice:
Landlords must provide a 30 day written notice to increase the rent amount. This only applies to tenancies that are month-to-month. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07)
Rent Grace Period for Residential:
North Dakota does not require grace periods. Landlords may charge late fees as soon as rent is deemed late.
Landlords are allowed to collect prepaid rent, no statute defining the limits.
LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN NORTH DAKOTA
Late Fees for Residential:
North Dakota only allows landlords to charge a late fee if the amount and when it is charged are both defined in the lease agreement. No specific limits are stated by North Dakota. (Tenant Rights)
NORTH DAKOTA LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT
In North Dakota, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated. Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations. Here are the cause and effects:
What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in North Dakota?
North Dakota allows the landlord to immediately begin the eviction process once rent is past due by providing a 3 day written notice. Tenants can remedy by paying the full amount due prior to the expiration of the 3 days. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-32-01)
How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?
What happens if tenant holdovers past the expiration of the lease?
Landlords can provide a 3 day notice requiring the tenant to leave the premises.
NORTH DAKOTA LAWS ON REPAIRS
North Dakota requires landlords to provide a habitable property for tenants to live and enjoy. There are specific provisions defining how tenants can remedy repairs if the landlord fails to do so.
How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs?
North Dakota state landlords must be given ‘reasonable time’ to remedy the repairs after receiving notice. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13.1(2))
Can tenants withhold rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?
North Dakota allows the tenant the following remedies to handle repairs if the landlord fails (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13):
- Repair and deduct the expense from rent
- Recover it in any other lawful manner from the landlord
- Vacate the premises
NORTH DAKOTA LANDLORD LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Landlords have an obligation to the tenants, which include:
- Remain in compliance with all applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
- Make repairs to keep premises in a safe condition
- Keep all common areas of the property in a clean and safe condition
- Maintain in good and safe working order and condition electrical, plumbing, sanitary, HVAC, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.
- Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for removal ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste
- Supply running water and a reasonable amount of hot water at all times and reasonable heat
According to (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13.1)
NORTH DAKOTA TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Generally, tenants must dispose of all rubbish and garbage, refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures, meet all obligations lawfully by the code enforcement agency, refrain from willfully destroying or damaging the structure, take in additional occupants, rent or sublease without the owner’s consent. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13.2)
NORTH DAKOTA EVICTION LAWS
Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?
In North Dakota, it is illegal for landlords to cause the tenant to quit the rental unit involuntarily. Landlords that use forcible exclusion for an evictiion are liable for a penalty of three times the damages. (N.D. Cent. Code § 32-03-29)
Are landlords allowed to lockout tenants by changing locks?
The landlord cannot change or remove the doors or locks. (N.D. Cent. Code § 32-03-29)
Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?
Landlords cannot turn off utilities. (N.D. Cent. Code § 32-03-29)
Do landlords have to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages when re-renting the rental unit?
Yes. Landlords must attempt to minimize damages. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-13.5)
NORTH DAKOTA LAWS ON RETALIATION
North Dakota laws do not include any retaliation. Burbz encourages landlords to never retaliate for tenants who have submitted a compliant for a lease violation or the failure of landlord to remedy a situation. North Dakota does protect the victims of domestic violence from retaliation.
LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
Tenants that are victims of domestic or fear imminent domestic violence against them or their minor children may terminate a lease agreement, without penalty or liability. Tenants must provide written notice, provide proof of a court order or protection order, and state the specific date the tenancy will terminate. The tenant is responsible for the remainder of that month plus next month’s full rent.
If you are a victim, please search The North Dakota Alliance to End Partner Abuse site for a helpline:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
NORTH DAKOTA LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS
North Dakota does not have any statewide laws regarding locks for landlords. The tenant cannot remove, replace or add a lock without the written permission from the landlord. If the tenant does with permission, they must provide the landlord with a key.
NORTH DAKOTA PET LAWS & PET POLICIES
North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws does not have any specific pet laws. Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements. Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more. Read our guide to pet policies.
DO LANDLORDS IN NORTH DAKOTA NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?
According to North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords do not need a rental license in North Dakota.
Landlords and owners of residential rental property do not need to register the property. Local cities may have different requirements, we recommend you research the local city-specific laws.
NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN NORTH DAKOTA
Do landlords in North Dakota have to provide notice of entry?
North Dakota requires the landlord to provide reasonable notice, except in the case of emergency or reasonably believes the tenant has abandoned the property. The majority of landlords provide at least a 24 hour notice.
- Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
- Improvements to property
- Showing prospective tenants, contractors, mortgagees, or buyers.
When can a landlord enter without notice:
Landlords may enter due to an emergency, reasonably believe the tenant has substantially violated the lease, or when they reasonably believe the tenant has abandoned the property. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.3(1))
Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?
Yes, with proper notice and performed at reasonable hours. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.3(2))
Can landlords enter for showings?
Yes, with proper notice and performed at reasonable hours. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.3(2))
Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?
Yes, when there is an immediate threat to the safety or health of persons using or near the premises.(N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.3(1))
Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?
Yes, when they reasonably believe the tenant has abandoned the property. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-07.3(1))
Can landlords enter for pesticides?
NORTH DAKOTA SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS
Landlords should include a clause in the lease agreement to prevent subleasing. Otherwise, the tenant may sublet the rental unit.
TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws state a landlord must store personal property if the total estimated value is over $2,500. Tenants have 28 days after the written request was mailed. Landlord and tenant may agree to a different procedure in the lease agreement. Landlords can deduct the cost for removing and storage from the tenant’s security deposit or sold property. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16-30.1)
REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR NORTH DAKOTA LEASES
North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:
Lead Paint Disclosure: Yes. Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards. Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.
N.D. Cent. Code § 47-16:– Leasing of Real Property
N.D. Cent. Code § 47-32: – Eviction
N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01: – Limitation of Actions
NORTH DAKOTA RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS
North Dakota Small Claims Court Limits:
$15,000 is the limit for small claims court. (N.D. Cent. Code § 27-08.1-01(1))
North Dakota Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:
No. All eviction cases are heard at the district courts. (N.D. Cent. Code § 47-32-01)
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