A North Dakota Rental Lease Agreement is an document that allows a landlord give temporary use and possession of a property over to a tenant. Both tenant and landlord are legally bound by this agreement and it cannot be altered without explicit permission from both landlord and tenant. A lease agreement can cover both commercial and residential property, although giving the different laws governing those kinds of property, different kinds of leases are required based on the kind of property. Selling or leasing property in North Dakota requires a Real Estate Broker License.
Each lease is unique and as such should be carefully read and understood, as once it has been signed it often cannot be altered until the lease period is up, or if a clause in the lease itself allows for it. In addition the amount of agriculture and farming in North Dakota imposes many unique laws and statutes on the state, all of which both landlord and tenant should be aware of when drafting the lease.
Form Description Types
North Dakota Rental Laws
- North Dakota > Chapter 47-16 Leasing of Real Property
Before signing a lease or putting consideration down, the landlord is legally required to provide a prospective tenant with a statement describing the current condition of the property. After the tenant does a walkthrough of the property, both the landlord and tenant should sign the form. This will reduce disputes after the lease is terminated.
The landlord may take a security deposit equal to one months rent. If the tenant has a pet, then the landlord may take an amount equal to two months rent or 2500 dollars, whichever is smaller. If the lease is greater than nine (9) months, then the landlord is required to pay interest on the security deposit at the end of the lease.
The landlord is required to return the security deposit within 30 days of the tenant vacating the property. If the landlord wishes to subtract from it to pay for damages or cleaning, then the tenant is entitled to an itemized list of what has been subtracted from the deposit and why.
All leases will specify the amount required for rent and when the rent is due, usually the first (1st) of the month. If rent is late, then the tenant may be risking a late fee. There are no laws in North Dakota governing late fees, so they are determined entirely by the landlord’s discretion. However the late fee must be included in the lease. If it is not, then no late fee can be charged.
In a short term, IE Month to Month lease, the landlord is required to give at least thirty (30) days written notice before increasing rent or altering any other part of the lease. The tenant then can give a 25-day notice to terminate the lease at the end of the month. In a One Year or longer lease, the rent may not be increased until the lease is up and renewed, unless there is a provision for it in the lease itself.
There is no law requiring that the landlord give a rent receipt unrequested. However a landlord must be willing and able to provide rent receipt on request.
The process of eviction is dependent on the type of lease that has been signed. In a Month to Month lease, the landlord may terminate the lease at their discretion, by giving the tenant 30 days written notice. In a One Year or longer lease, the tenant cannot usually be evicted until the lease has terminated and both parties have failed to renew.
However, if rent has gone unpaid or if the lease has been otherwise violated, the landlord can file an Unconditional Quit Notice. This Notice gives the tenant three (3) days to move out before the landlord can file for eviction. In this case, the tenant cannot be evicted until the three days have expired and a court order has been obtained. The landlord may not install padlocks, disable utilities, remove the tenants possessions or otherwise try to force them to move until a court order has been obtained.
In North Dakota it is illegal to deny housing or otherwise discriminate against a person based on the following reasons:
- Age, color, race, national origin, sex, marital status, family status, religion, disability (physical or mental) or receipt of public assistance.
- Note that sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered
Landlord Access to Property
A landlord cannot enter the property with non-emergency reasons without giving at least 24 hours written notice. They must also enter at a reasonable time and for a reasonable reason.