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North Dakota Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

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North Dakota Landlord Tenant Law: FAQs

North Dakota Landlord Tenant Laws: Read the below-mentioned questions & answers to know each & everything about the law.

What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
A security deposit may not exceed an amount equal to 1 month’s rent and the landlord is obligated to deposit the money in a federally insured interest-bearing savings or checking account.

Please Note: The landlord may require a “pet deposit” which may not exceed an amount of $2,500 or 2 month’s rent, whichever is greater.

Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.

Can I require my tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?
Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance.

May I charge late and returned payment fees?
The landlord may charge a late fee, however, it must be a provision of the lease (verbal or written) or it is not legal. In addition, the lease must state how much the late fee will be and on what date it will be effective. The maker of a dishonored check may be liable for collection fees or costs not to exceed $30. N.D. Cent. Code § 6-08-16 and N.D. Cent. Code § 6-08-16.2

What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.

How can I end a North Dakota lease agreement?
If the tenancy is:

  • Month-to-Month: If there is no provision in the month-to-month periodic lease stating how much advance notice must be given to end the lease (written or verbal), either party may terminate the lease by giving at least 30 days written notice at any time.
  • Fixed Term: Terminates automatically at the end of the lease period without the need of any notice from either landlord or tenant unless otherwise specified within the lease.

Please Note: NOTICE TO TERMINATE LEASE- 60 DAY NOTICE Requirement
Where an advance 60 day notice to end or renew the tenancy is specified in the lease, the landlord must provide a space for the resident to initial next to the notice requirement. If that notice requirement is not initialed by the resident, the lease can be terminated by either party with at least one calendar months notice to take effect on the last day of the month.

  • If a Month-to-Month lease from the inception requires a 60 day notice to terminate, that termination clause must be also initialed by the resident.
  • After August 1, 2007, if the term lease is going to convert on a Month-to-Month basis, the landlord will no longer be allowed to require 60 days notice to terminate from the resident, even if the resident initialed such language.

My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
Within 30 days of tenancy termination, the landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit (plus interest if the leased premises was occupied for 9 months or longer), or give the tenant a written explanation as to why the deposit (or any part of the deposit) will not be returned.

Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations. You may not deny a tenant release from a contract if they are part of domestic abuse, are threatened or in harms way do to domestic abuse.  NOTE:  The tenant must provide advance written notice to the landlord stating:  The tenant fears imminent domestic violence from a person named in court or restraining order.

How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.

How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
Often times it’s best to look for the obvious, such as removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It’s extremely important to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.

Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
Unless it is an emergency or impractical to do so, the landlord must attempt to obtain the tenant’s consent for an agreed time of entry. Consent may be presumed from the tenant’s failure to object to access after reasonable notice is given.

Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.

Can a landlord enter without notice North Dakota?

In North Dakota, a landlord is generally required to give the tenant reasonable notice before entering the rental property, except in certain emergency situations or if the tenant has given consent. The specific notice requirements are outlined in the North Dakota’s landlord-tenant laws.

Can the tenant withhold rent for repairs in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, a tenant may be able to withhold rent if the landlord fails to make necessary repairs to the rental property. However, the tenant must follow specific procedures outlined in the North Dakota’s landlord-tenant laws in order to do so legally. Generally, the tenant must first give written notice to the landlord of the needed repairs and give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to make the repairs. If the landlord fails to make the repairs, the tenant may be able to withhold a portion of the rent to cover the cost of making the repairs themselves or to pay for alternative housing. 

How much notice does a landlord legally have to give in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the specific notice requirements for a landlord to enter a rental property or terminate a tenancy depend on the type of notice being given.

For entry: A landlord must give reasonable notice before entering the rental property, except in case of emergency or if the tenant has given consent.

For termination of the tenancy:

  • For a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days’ notice before the date the tenant is required to vacate the property.
  • For a week-to-week tenancy, the landlord must give the tenant at least 7 days’ notice before the date the tenant is required to vacate the property.
  • For a lease with a fixed term, the landlord may not terminate the tenancy prior to the end of the lease term, unless the tenant has breached the lease in some way.

What are the tenant’s rights if the landlord enters without permission in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, if a landlord enters a rental property without the tenant’s permission, the tenant may have several legal rights. Specifically, the tenant may be able to:

  • File a complaint with the local housing authority or a court if the landlord has violated the North Dakota’s landlord-tenant laws.
  • Terminate the lease or rental agreement if the landlord’s actions constitute a material breach of the lease or rental agreement.
  • Sue the landlord for damages if the tenant can prove that the landlord’s actions caused harm to the tenant or the tenant’s property.

What are the laws regarding repairs and maintenance in North Dakota?

Landlords are responsible for maintaining their rental properties in a safe and habitable condition, and tenants are responsible for keeping their rental units clean and safe. Additionally, landlords may be required to make repairs in a timely manner if they are aware of any issues that affect the safety or habitability of the property. 

What are the laws regarding security deposits in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, there are specific laws that govern the collection and return of security deposits for rental properties. Some of these laws include:

  • Maximum deposit amount: Landlords in North Dakota can charge up to one month’s rent as a security deposit.
  • Holding deposit: Landlords must hold the deposit in a separate bank account and must provide tenants with the name and address of the bank where the deposit is being held.
  • Return of deposit: Within 14 days after the tenant vacates the property, the landlord must either return the deposit to the tenant or provide a written statement itemizing any deductions from the deposit.
  • Damages: A landlord can only deduct damages from a security deposit if the damages are the result of the tenant’s noncompliance with the lease or rental agreement, or if the damages are a result of normal wear and tear.

What are the laws regarding eviction in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, landlords can evict tenants for several reasons, including non-payment of rent, violation of the lease or rental agreement, and illegal activities on the property. The specific laws and procedures for eviction in North Dakota are as follows:

  • Notice to Quit: A landlord must give the tenant a written notice to quit the property before starting an eviction action. The notice must specify the reason for the eviction, and the tenant must be given a certain amount of time to correct the issue or vacate the property. The time frame can vary depending on the reason for the eviction.
  • Unlawful Detainer Action: If the tenant fails to vacate the property or correct the issue, the landlord can file an unlawful detainer action in court.
  • Eviction Order: If the court finds in favor of the landlord, an eviction order will be issued, giving the tenant a certain amount of time to vacate the property. If the tenant still fails to vacate, the landlord can ask the sheriff to physically remove the tenant from the property.
  • Retaliation is prohibited: Landlords cannot evict tenants in retaliation for the tenant complaining about the condition of the rental unit, or for the tenant joining or organizing a tenant’s union.

What are the regulations regarding the termination of a lease in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the regulations regarding the termination of a lease depend on the type of lease and the reason for termination. Some general rules and regulations that apply to most leases include:

  • Lease Agreement: The terms and conditions of the lease, including the notice required for termination, should be clearly outlined in the lease agreement.
  • Notice to Terminate: If a tenant wants to terminate a lease before it expires, they must give the landlord written notice, in accordance with the terms of the lease. Generally, this notice period is 30 days.
  • Early Termination: Some leases include an early termination clause, allowing the tenant to end the lease before the agreed-upon end date, usually with some sort of penalty fee or charge.
  • Military Service: If a tenant is called to active military duty, they can terminate the lease with written notice, and no penalty fee, in accordance with the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
  • Landlord’s Right to Terminate: A landlord can terminate a lease if the tenant violates the terms of the lease, such as non-payment of rent, or for illegal activities on the property. The landlord must give the tenant written notice of the violation, and a certain amount of time to correct the issue or vacate the property.

What are the laws regarding discrimination against tenants based on certain protected classes in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on certain protected classes, as outlined in federal and state fair housing laws. Protected classes under these laws include:

  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. National origin
  4. Religion
  5. Sex
  6. Familial status
  7. Disability
  8. Sexual orientation
  9. Gender identity
  10. Age
  11. Marital status

This means that landlords cannot refuse to rent to a tenant, or treat a tenant differently, based on their membership in one of these protected classes. This applies to all aspects of the rental process, including advertising, showing the property, setting rent and deposit amounts, and terminating a lease.

Additionally, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, such as allowing service animals or making structural changes to the property.

It’s important to note that these laws apply to all types of housing including single-family homes, apartments, condos, and mobile homes.

Landlord’s Responsibilities in North Dakota

In North Dakota, it is the responsibility of the landlords to maintain the rental unit in a habitable and safe condition, making repairs as necessary, and ensuring that common areas are kept clean and safe. 

They are also required to comply with all building and housing codes. Landlords must also provide working smoke detectors in the rental unit and ensure that the rental unit is free of lead-based paint hazards. 

It is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants on the basis of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, family status, or disability.

Landlord’s Rights in North Dakota

As per the North Dakota landlord tenant law, landlords have the right to receive rent payments from tenants on the agreed upon date, as well as the right to terminate a tenancy for non-payment of rent. 

Tenants can be evicted by landlords for breaking the terms of the lease or rental agreement, like causing damage to the property or engaging in illegal activities on the property. They also have the right to enter the rental unit for certain reasons, such as to make repairs, show the unit to prospective tenants, or to conduct an inspection, with proper notice to the tenant. 

Additionally, landlords have the right to set and enforce rules and regulations for tenants to follow, such as quiet hours or rules regarding pets.

Tenant’s Responsibilities in North Dakota

According to North Dakota landlord tenant law, tenants have an obligation to pay rent on time, maintain the rental unit in a clean and good condition, and not cause any damage to the property.

Tenants are also responsible for complying with all building and housing codes. 

They must also not engage in illegal activities on the rental property, and must comply with all rules and regulations set by the landlord.

Additionally, tenants must not disturb other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the property and must comply with all reasonable requests from the landlord regarding the property.

It is the responsibility of tenants to notify their landlord of any necessary repairs or maintenance. Tenants should also leave the property in a clean condition when vacating the property.

Tenant’s Rights in North Dakota

According to North Dakota landlord tenant law, tenants have the right to a safe and habitable rental unit, as well as the right to quiet enjoyment of the property. The landlord is accountable for keeping the property in good condition and making repairs when needed. Tenants also have the right to privacy and the landlord must give sufficient notice before entering the rental property.

Tenants have the right to contact the authorities and report any code violations and health hazards.

Renters are entitled to fair treatment by their landlord and should not be subjected to discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, family status, or disability.

Renters are entitled to proper notice prior to their landlord increasing the rent or ending a lease agreement. Additionally, tenants have the right to participate in the legal process if they are facing eviction.

In case of disputes, tenants have the right to take legal action.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.

Questions about North Dakota landlord-tenant laws can be asked in our Landlord Q&A Forum, and additional North Dakota rental resources are also available.

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