State Rules and Regulations for North Dakota Rental Properties and Landlords

In North Dakota, if rent is exchanged for inhabiting a property then a lease agreement exists, regardless of whether the agreement is written or oral. Under North Dakota law (ND Century Code Ch. 47) tenants have certain housing rights, including the right to a habitable dwelling, exercise some forms of alternative action, and more.

Landlords also have rights under North Dakota law, such as the right to collect rent and the right to deduct for costs from damages that exceed normal wear and tear.


North Dakota Official Rules and Regulations


North Dakota Security Deposit Limit and Return

  • Maximum Security Deposit: Yes. A landlord is permitted to charge a tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent. Should the tenant own a pet, the security deposit may not exceed the greater of $2,500 or the amount equal to two months’ rent. NDCC § 47-16-07.1.
  • Return of Security Deposit: A landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has relinquished control of the rental unit to the landlord. This occurs when the tenant returns all keys and has vacated the premises. NDCC § 47-16-07.1.
  • Interest on Security Deposit: Yes. A landlord is required to pay interest on a tenant’s security deposit if the tenant’s period of occupancy is at least nine months. The landlord must pay the accumulated interest to the tenant at the end of the lease agreement. NDCC § 47-16-07.1.
  • Landlord’s Rights: A landlord is permitted to use the security deposit to repair any damages the tenant or the tenant’s guests may have caused to the rental property, to pay the reasonable costs of cleaning the rental property after the tenant vacates the unit, or for any unpaid rent. A landlord is not permitted to withhold security deposit money for normal wear and tear to the rental property. NDCC § 47-16-07.1.
  • Additional Requirements: Not at the state level. But, we recommend that you check your local municipality for any further laws and regulations concerning security deposits.

Lease, Rent & Fees Under North Dakota Law

  • Rent Is Due: As agreed in the lease, or at the end of the regular term (§ 47-16-20).
  • Rent Increase Notice: Landlords must provide 30days’ written notice (§ 47-16-07).
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute.
  • Late Fees: A landlord may impose a late fee only if it is a provision in the lease. The lease must state the amount of the late fee and when it can be charged (Attorney General’s Guide to Tenant Rights & Responsibilities).
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute.
  • Returned Check Fees: $40 (§ 6-08-16(2)(a)).
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No statute.
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes. Tenant must give notice requesting the repair and if within a reasonable amount of time the landlord doesn’t make the repair, the tenant can do so and deduct the cost of the repair from the rent (§ 47-16-13).
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: Yes (§ 47-16-13.6).
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (§ 47-16-13.5 and 47-16-13.7).
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute.

Evictions in North Dakota

Evictions in North Dakota are generally pursued for 3 major reasons:

  1. Nonpayment of rent – If a North Dakota tenant does not pay rent on the required date, then after any applicable grace period, the landlord can issue a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the rent is still not paid then the landlord can pursue eviction.
  2. Lease violation – If a lease violation occurs then the landlord may issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit. the landlord may add guidance on how to remedy the issue but they are not required to. Either way, if the behavior is not fixed if the tenant does not move out, the landlord can file for eviction.
  3. Illegal acts – North Dakota landlords have broad authority to determine which illegal activities warrant eviction. If there is documentation of illegal activity on the premises, the landlord can issue a 3-Day Notice to Quit before filing for eviction.

At-will tenants are entitled to at least 30 days advance notice before terminating the lease. Also, it is illegal for landlords to evict tenants in retaliation or as a form of discrimination or for disclosing status as a domestic abuse victim.

Notices and Entry Under North Dakota Law

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: Notice is not required, as the lease ends on the date agreed to in the lease (§ 47-16-14).
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: One month written notice (§ 47-16-15(1)).
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: One month written notice, unless the parties agree in writing to a longer notice period (§ 47-16-15(2)).
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: One week written notice (§ 47-16-15(1)).
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute for 24 hours notice, but landlords may give three days’ written notice for lease violations or other offenses (§ 47-32-01).
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute.
  • Notice of Termination of Week-to-Week Leases for Nonpayment: Three days’ notice (§ 47-32-01).
  • Notice of Termination of All Other Leases for Nonpayment: Three days’ notice (§ 47-32-01).
  • Termination for Lease Violation: Three days’ notice required to terminate a lease if the tenant uses the property in a manner contrary to the lease, or fails to make repairs for which the tenant is responsible for within a reasonable time after a request is made. (§ 47-32-01 and § 47-32-02 and § 47-16-16)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No specific required amount of notice is required by statute. However, landlords must give notice of intent to enter at a certain time, and receive the tenant’s consent to enter. Then tenant can’t unreasonably withhold consent, and the tenant’s failure to object to the notice would constitute presumed consent. Entry is allowed only at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner (§ 47-16-07.3(2)).
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes (§ 47-16-07.3(2)).
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: Yes (§ 47-16-07.3(2)).
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Landlords may enter at any time in case of an emergency, or if the landlord reasonably believes the tenant has substantially violated the lease. (47-16-07.3(1))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute.
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute.
  • Lockouts Allowed: No, and if the landlord locks the tenant out of the premises in an unlawful attempt to evict, the tenant may sue the landlord for triple damages. (§ 32-03-29)
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No, and if the landlord diminishes services in an unlawful attempt to evict, the tenant may sue the landlord for triple the damages. (§ 32-03-29)

Mandatory Disclosures in North Dakota

North Dakota landlords must make 1 mandatory disclosure:

  1. Lead-based paint. Landlords that own homes built before 1978 must provide information about lead-paint concentrations used in the building.

Business Licenses

  • Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.

Helpful Links

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Realtor and Landlord/Tenant Organizations


These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.


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