This is a summary of North Dakota Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the North Dakota Century Code and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about North Dakota landlord-tenant laws, North Dakota eviction laws, and North Dakota renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws

North Dakota Lease Terms Provisions

Security Deposits

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
    The security deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent, except if the tenant is a felon or has a prior judgment for violating terms of a rental agreement. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(1))
  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

Yes, if the tenancy is for more than nine months. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(1))

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

No. There is no North Dakota law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. However, security deposits and prepaid rent must be deposited into a federally insured savings or checking account. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(1))

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. A North Dakota landlord can charge a pet security deposit up to the greater of $2,500 or 2 months’ rent. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(2))

  • How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

30 days. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(3))

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover unpaid rent, damage caused by the tenant, or reasonable cleaning costs. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(3))

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. An itemized list, detailing the amount withheld must be sent to the address last provided by the tenant. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(3))

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

No. There is no North Dakota law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no North Dakota law specifying record-keeping requirements.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

The tenant may recover up to triple the amount of the original security deposit if the security deposit refund is withheld without reasonable justification. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.1(4))

Rent

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. Rent control is prohibited in North Dakota. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-02.1)

  • When is rent due?

Rent is due according to the lease, or at the end of the regular term. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07)

  • Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. There is no North Dakota law requiring a certain payment method for rent.

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. There is no North Dakota law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge, so long as the fee and its execution are specified in the lease.

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

No. There is no North Dakota law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no North Dakota law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Can landlords charge returned check fees?

Yes. Landlords can charge a returned check fee of $40. (N.D.C.C. § 6-08-16(2)(a))

North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?

No. There is no North Dakota law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms.

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no North Dakota law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

  • What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-14)

  • What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic tenancy?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 7 days’ written notice.  (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-15)

  • What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic tenancy?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the tenancy with 30 days’ written notice. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-15)

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in North Dakota law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
    • Inspecting the premises
    • For making necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements
    • for supplying necessary or agreed services
    • For exhibiting the residential dwelling unit to actual or potential purchasers, insurers, mortgagees, real estate agents, tenants, workmen, or contractors. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.3)
  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit? 

Unless it is impractical to do so the landlord shall first notify and receive the consent of the tenant which shall not be unreasonably withheld, which consent shall identify a time certain. A landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass or intimidate the tenant. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.3)

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants? 
    • At any time in case of emergency.
    • If the landlord reasonably believes the tenant has abandoned the premises.
    • If the landlord reasonably believes the tenant is in substantial violation of the provisions of the lease or rental agreement. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.3)

Landlord’s Duties (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-13.1)

  • Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.
  • Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
  • Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord.
  • Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal.
  • Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except if the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or if the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection or if the water or heat is unavailable due to supply failure by a public utility.

Tenant’s Duties (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-13.2)

  • Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
  • Periodically remove all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste from the tenant’s dwelling unit, and dispose of them in a clean and safe manner.
  • Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits.
  • Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises.
  • Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so.
  • Conduct oneself and require other persons on the premises with the tenant’s consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the tenant’s neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Landlords are required to provide a Move-In statement listing the condition of the premises. Both parties must sign this Move-In statement. (N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.2)
  • Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

North Dakota Renters’ Rights

  • What are North Dakota renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)

A renter in North Dakota must allow a reasonable time for any breaches to be remedied. All further actions must be made through a court and reasonable attorney’s fees may be awarded. (N.D.C.C. § 47-13.6)

  • Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

Yes. After a reasonable time after notice is provided to the landlord regarding necessary repairs, the tenant may repair the premises and deduct the cost of repairs from the rent. (N.D.C.C. § 47-13.13.1)

  • What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their North Dakota renter’s rights?

North Dakota has no law regarding retaliation against tenants. 

North Dakota Eviction Laws

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under North Dakota eviction laws? 
  • Failure to pay rent.
  • Holdover tenancy.
  • Disturbing other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Violation of a material term of the lease. (N.D.C.C. § 47-32.01)
  • What notice do North Dakota eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?

North Dakota requires 3 days’ written notice for all evictions. (N.D.C.C. § 47-32.02)

  • Do North Dakota eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the tenant can recover treble damages for any loss suffered by the tenant. (N.D.C.C. § 32-03-29)

  • Are landlords permitted to recover damages from an evicted tenant?

Yes.  In North Dakota, landlords can receive double the rent that ought to be owed by a tenant’s failure to surrender the premises or wilful holding over. (N.D.C.C. § 32-03-27-28)

COVID-19 Changes to North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Laws

  • The CDC has passed a national eviction ban through December 31, 2020, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants  who meet the following criteria for nonpayment:
    • Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent.
    • Expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
    • Are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income or employment, or extraordinary medical bills.
    • If evicted, will have no other housing options.
  • The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires landlords to provide a 30-day notice to tenants before eviction. However, the CARES Act only applies to properties that are supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the United States Treasury (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), and properties with federally-backed mortgages, such as FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

Related Links

Government 

Legal Aid

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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