North Dakota Rental Lease Agreements
The North Dakota Rental Lease Agreements define an arrangement whereby a landlord leases a property to an individual who wishes to reside in it. In order for this legally-binding relationship to be established, each party must agree to act within the parameters set by the contract regarding matters like:
- Lease Term;
- Rent Amount;
- Rent Due Date;
- Utility Responsibilities; and
Both parties should take the time to educate themselves about landlord-tenant provisions that are unique to North Dakota. For example, unlike most states, a landlord is within their rights to charge a tenant a pet deposit.
What is a North Dakota Lease Agreement?
A North Dakota Lease Agreement conveys to both a landlord and tenant how they should respond to certain matters concerning the rental of a residential dwelling. As a means of screening tenants prior to entering into this contract with them, landlords are strongly advised to ask prospective tenants to complete a rental application if they are to be considered for the tenancy.
State Definition (§ 47-16-01) – “a contract by which one gives to another the temporary possession and use of real property for reward and the latter agrees to return such possession to the former at a future time.”
Types of Agreements
College Roommate Agreement – A written agreement that each individual sharing a college dorm room won’t break the shared living rules they mutually agreed to follow.
Commercial Lease Agreement – Once a landlord has agreed to rent their property to a business, they should jointly draft this contract with the business.
Lease to Own Agreement – Landlords in search of a buyer for their rental property may provide their tenants with the option to purchase it using this agreement.
Month-to-Month Lease – This document uniquely limits a lease term to span one month at a time, with the lease auto-renewing after this time if neither party chooses to terminate it.
Roommate Agreement – Roommates who are mindful of minimizing household disagreements should encourage their roommates to work together to make this document.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – This lease agreement should only be used by landlords and tenants based in North Dakota who want to make the lease of a residential property legally-sound.
Sublease Agreement – A legal acknowledgement that a tenant will lease part or all of the property they have leased from a landlord to another party.
When is Rent Due?
As outlined by § 47-16-20, rent is due in accordance to the rental contract. By implication, it is important that the lease agreement precisely states when rent must be paid. There is no statute regarding a grace period for the late payment of rent.
Emergency (§ 47-16-07.3(1)): A landlords may access the rental dwelling without providing notice to the tenant at any time in case of emergency.
Non-Emergency (§ 47-16-07.3(2)): In non-emergency cases, the landlord must first notify and receive the tenant’s consent (including a time they may enter) before accessing the rental dwelling. Landlords may only enter “during reasonable hours, and in a reasonable manner.” Non-emergency cases include inspecting the premises and making necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: Federal law necessitates landlord disclosure of any known lead based hazards in rental dwellings constructed prior to 1978. Landlords are moreover required to give tenants a pamphlet discussing lead-based hazards in houses.
- Statement Regarding the Property’s Condition (§ 47-16-07.2): The landlord must provide the tenant with a statement describing “the condition of the facilities in and about the premises to be rented at the time of entering a rental agreement.” Both parties must agree to and sign the statement.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum (§ 47-16-07.1(1)): A landlord may only demand a security deposit amount that does not exceed an amount equivalent to one (1) month’s rent. However, if the tenant has been convicted of a felony offense, the landlord may demand up to two (2) month’s rent as an incentive to rent the property to the individual.
In accordance with § 47-16-07.1(2), a landlord may also charge a tenant a pet security deposit if they have a pet that is not a service animal or companion animal required by a tenant with a disability as a reasonable accommodation under fair housing laws. The pet security deposit may not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2500) or an amount equivalent to two months’ rent, whichever is greater.
Returning to Tenant (§ 47-16-07.1(3)): A landlords must return a security deposits to a tenant within thirty (30) days after termination of the lease and delivery of possession by the tenant. A landlord who intends to retain any portion of the security deposit must itemize this and deliver or mail the itemization in addition to a written notice to the tenant at their last known address.