North Dakota Residential
Lease Agreement for
Rental Properties


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Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.

In North Dakota, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by North Dakota landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.

This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a North Dakota lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free North Dakota lease template for download!

A North Dakota landlord tenant lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease must adhere to North Dakota’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.

The following components should be included in every North Dakota rental agreement, as per North Dakota landlord tenant law. Keep in mind that these components apply primarily to residential leases; a North Dakota commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.

Lease Term

This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.


Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In North Dakota, rent control is banned—no city or county can pass a law that regulates or restricts the price of rent (NDC § 47-16-02.1). This means landlords can choose their own rental rates based on the current market.

Late Fees

The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In North Dakota, there is no statutory limit on late fees, nor is there a mandatory grace period. This means landlords can once again choose their own amounts for late fees, as long as they are reasonable (5% of the amount due is a common reasonable fee). Be sure that your North Dakota residential lease agreement clearly describes the late fee policy so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late on rent.

Security Deposit

This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.

According to North Dakota law, the maximum or limit for security deposits in North Dakota is one month’s rent. However, this limit increases to two months’ rent if the tenant has a felony conviction or has previously violated a rental agreement and received a court judgment against them (NDC § 47-16-07.1(1-2)). Separate pet deposits are also allowed up to $2,500 or two months’ rent, whichever is greater.

North Dakota also has additional laws regarding security deposits. For instance, Landlords in North Dakota must keep deposits in a federally insured interest-bearing savings or checking account, and the interest that accrues on it must be paid back to the tenant for all tenancies longer than nine months (NDC § 47-16-07.1(1), NDC § 47-16-07.1(1, 3)).

Lastly, security deposits in North Dakota must be returned to the tenant (minus any deductions) within 30 days after the lease ends (NDC § 47-16-07.1(3)).

Every North Dakota rental agreement should include a thorough description of the landlord’s security deposit policy, including the amount of the deposit, when/how it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.

Required Disclosures

This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in North Dakota, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. In North Dakota, the required disclosures are:

  • Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
  • Property condition — North Dakota landlords are required by North Dakota law to disclose the property condition to the tenant before the tenancy begins.

Landlord Right to Entry

In North Dakota, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords in this state may only enter at reasonable times, and they must provide advanced notice before entering an occupied unit. However, there is no statute specifying an exact notice period (NDC § 47-16-07.3). Most landlords provide tenants with at least 24 hours’ notice before entering a rental property for a non-emergency reason.

Repairs & Maintenance

The lease outlines how and when North Dakota tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every North Dakota residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.

Renewal Procedures & Breaking a Lease in North Dakota

This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking a lease in North Dakota, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.

A North Dakota residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in North Dakota, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A three-day pay-or-quit notice for nonpayment or a three-day quit notice for lease violations. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.

Community Rules

Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets in the rental property, are listed in this section. You may also include a North Dakota sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.

Joint and Severability Clause

This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.


Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.

North Dakota Rental Agreement Download

To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable North Dakota lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of North Dakota state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.


Understanding the nuances of a North Dakota residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a North Dakota lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free North Dakota lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.