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State Laws

North Dakota Landlord Tenant Laws

March 2, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures   

Lead-based paint 
Property condition 
  
Rent and Fees   

Application Fees: Permitted 
Rent Control: Banned 
Late Fee Limit: N/A 
Grace Period Minimum: N/A 
   
Security Deposits   

Amount Limit: 1 month’s rent 
Interest: Yes, if occupancy was greater than 9 months 
Return Within: 30 days 
  
Entry   

Notice: Reasonable 
Permitted Times of Entry: Reasonable
Fair Housing Protections   

Race  
Color   
National origin   
Religion   
Sex   
Familial status 
Disability 
Age 
Marital status 
Status with respect to public assistance 
  
Eviction Notices   

Rent Demand Notice: 3-day pay-or-quit notice 
Notice for Lease Violation: 3-day quit notice

North Dakota Landlord-Tenant Law 

Understand the essential North Dakota state landlord tenant laws before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the North Dakota state law code. 

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. 

Property Condition 

(NDC § 47-16-07.2

A North Dakota lease agreement must include a statement describing the condition of the property before the tenancy begins. The statement should be signed by both the landlord and the tenant and serves as proof of the condition of the premises at the beginning of the tenancy.  

Rent and Fees 

  • Rent Due Date: If not otherwise specified in the lease agreement, rent is due at the end of each month (NDC § 47-16-20). 
  • Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in North Dakota.  
  • Rent Increases: Rent control is banned in North Dakota (NDC § 47-16-02.1). 
  • Late Fees: There is no statutory limit on late fees in North Dakota. 
  • Grace Period: There is no mandatory grace period in North Dakota. 
  • NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge any collection fees or costs less than or equal to $40 (NDC § 6-08-16). 
  • Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to make a necessary repair, the tenant may, after giving reasonable notice to the landlord, arrange for the repair themselves and deduct the cost from the rent. The tenant may also choose to vacate the premises and terminate the lease agreement (NDC § 47-16-13). 

Security Deposits 

  • Deposit Limit: 1 month’s rent. The limit is increased to 2 months’ rent if the lessee has a felony conviction or has had a judgment against them for violating a previous rental agreement. Additionally, landlords may charge a separate pet deposit up to $2,500 or 2 months’ rent, whichever is greater (NDC § 47-16-07.1(1-2)). 
  • Interest: Landlords in North Dakota are required to pay interest on security deposits, except if the period of occupancy was less than nine months (NDC § 47-16-07.1(1, 3)). 
  • Return Within: 30 days (NDC § 47-16-07.1(3)). 
  • Deposit Location: Landlords are required to keep security deposits in a federally insured interest-bearing savings or checking account (NDC § 47-16-07.1(1)). 
  • Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for damages, unpaid rent, the costs of cleaning, or other repairs beyond reasonable wear and tear. The landlord must deliver a written notice itemizing any deductions from the security deposit with the remainder of the funds (NDC § 47-16-07.1(3)). 

Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections 

Protected Classes 

  • Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). North Dakota state law adds age, marital status, and status with respect to public assistance (NDC § 14-02.5-02). 

Credit Reports 

  • North Dakota landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial. 

Criminal Histories 

  • Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in North Dakota. Landlords may discriminate against rental applicants based on federal or state convictions of the illegal manufacture or distribution of drugs (NDC § 14-02.5-02(4)). 
  • North Dakota landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property. 

Entry 

  • Advanced Notice: Advanced notice before entry is required in North Dakota, but there is no statute specifying an exact notice time period (NDC § 47-16-07.3). 
  • Permitted Times: Landlords in North Dakota may only enter at reasonable times. Acceptable reasons for entry include repairs, decorations, alterations, improvements, services, or showings (NDC § 47-16-07.3(2)). 
  • Emergency Entry: In case of an emergency, the landlord may enter without prior notice or consent (NDC § 47-16-07.3(1)). 

Eviction Notices 

Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in North Dakota, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the North Dakota eviction process in more detail.

  • Rent Demand Notice: 3 days to pay or quit (NDC § 47-32-01(4)). 
  • Notice for Lease Violation: 3 days to quit. According to North Dakota eviction laws, the landlord is not required to provide an opportunity to fix the violation (NDC § 47-32-02). 

Other Laws and Facts About North Dakota 

  • The median rent rate in North Dakota is $828, a relatively low rate compared to the rest of the US. 
  • The median rent rate in Bismarck is $1,144. 
  • Any tenant who is a victim of domestic violence (or fears imminent domestic violence) has the right to terminate the rental agreement immediately, without penalty or liability. The tenant must, however, provide advance written notice stating the threat of domestic violence and the date that the tenancy will terminate (NDC § 47-16-17.1). 

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