North Dakota Apartment Lease Agreement

When leasing an apartment, having a written lease is a good idea. This document will help detail the relationship between the landlord and tenant and solve disagreements more easily. That’s why, even though written agreements aren’t required for leases shorter than a year, we recommend you always use a North Dakota apartment lease agreement.

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North Dakota Apartment Lease Agreement

Oral agreements are acceptable for shorter leases, but it’s sometimes challenging to ensure you state all of the required terms and legal disclosures. A contract can remove that uncertainty and deliver a comprehensive agreement outlining all the essential information.

Security Deposit

  • Security deposits usually can’t be more than one (1) month’s rent.
  • Exceptions to this limit are if the lessee has a felony offense regarding security deposits or is known for lease violations. In this case, the landlord can charge up to two (2) month’s rent for the deposit.
  • Lessors must store the security deposit in a checking or interest-accruing account that’s federally insured. It can’t co-mingle with the lessor’s other funds.
  • Should the tenant lease the apartment for more than nine (9) months, the lessor must pay annual interest on the deposit amount.
  • Landlords have 30 days after the lease ends to provide an itemized statement of deductions and return the remaining security deposit balance.

Entry and Access 

  • North Dakota laws state that the landlord can enter the property at any time if they believe it’s abandoned, there’s an emergency, or they have reasonable cause to believe the tenant’s violating lease terms.
  • Should it not be one of the above instances, the landlord must send reasonable written notice, typically 24 to 48 hours. They must receive the lessee’s consent before entering the property.
  • Lessors can only enter the property during specific hours, generally business hours. They cannot abuse their entry rights or harass the tenant. They should only use their access for repairs, inspections, and maintenance.
  • If the tenant doesn’t respond to a notice of entry, lessors can assume they have no objections and view it as consent.

Pets Policy 

  • Should landlords allow pets, they can ask for a pet deposit. However, it shouldn’t exceed $2,500 or two months’ rent, whichever is greater.
  • A landlord can’t charge a pet deposit for service animals. However, they can require documentation to confirm the disability or need of a service animal. The only time the landlord can’t ask for this documentation is if the disability is readily apparent or they already know about it.
  • Landlords that don’t own the apartment building their apartment is in must follow the building’s overall pet policy.
  • Lessors can decide whether to allow pets otherwise. However, they can’t refuse service animals in the same manner and must make reasonable accommodations for them thanks to federal acts.


Landlords have two (2) disclosures they must include:

  • Lead-Based Paint: Buildings older than 1978 used lead-based paint. If this paint is present, the landlord must notify the lessee.
  • Move-in Checklist: Lessors must provide a move-in checklist at the start of the occupancy. Lessees must complete it to ensure they know and record the apartment’s condition.

You may also want to include other disclosures. However, they’re optional but recommended depending on the property:

  • Bed Bugs Disclosure
  • Asbestos
  • Landlord’s Details
  • Medical Marijuana Use
  • Mold Disclosure
  • Late/Returned Check Fees
  • Any Shared Utilities Disclosure
  • Any Fees That Are Non-Refundable
  • Designated Smoking Area Disclosure