North Dakota Rent Control Laws in 2024

Introduction to North Dakota’s Rent Control Laws

North Dakota does not have any statewide rent control laws that limit how much a landlord can raise rents. The state legislature has not enacted any laws that cap rent increases or provide other statewide tenant protections against excessive hikes.

However, cities and municipalities in North Dakota are allowed to implement their own local rent control ordinances if they choose. A city could pass a law capping annual rent increases to a certain percentage, for example. But rent control at the local level is rare in North Dakota, with most cities opting not to regulate rents.

Only a handful of cities in North Dakota are believed to have any kind of rent control on the books. For example, the city of Grand Forks passed a narrow rent control ordinance in 2020 that applies solely to properties receiving city subsidies for construction and renovation. But most cities have not followed suit.

The lack of rent control legislation at both the state and local levels makes North Dakota one of the more landlord-friendly states when it comes to rent increases. Landlords have broad discretion to raise rents as much as the market can bear. Renters have little recourse under state law when faced with excessive rent hikes.

When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in North Dakota?

Unlike some states, North Dakota does not have any laws limiting when a landlord can raise the rent on a rental property. Landlords have the right to raise rent at any time, as frequently as they want. The only restriction is that landlords must provide tenants with proper written notice before implementing a rent increase. 

North Dakota law does not require landlords to justify or explain the reason for raising the rent. Landlords can raise the rent even if there have been no improvements made to the unit and no increase in services or amenities. The lack of regulation allows landlords to raise rents for any reason they see fit.

While landlords can technically raise rents daily, most provide rent increases on an annual basis. Leases generally transition to month-to-month agreements after the initial term, making it easy for landlords to increase rents with only 30 days notice. Tenants have little recourse and limited protections against excessive rent increases in North Dakota.

The timing and frequency of rent increases are solely at the discretion of the landlord. The only legal requirement is proper notice be given before a rent hike takes effect.

Required Notice Period for Rent Increases in North Dakota

North Dakota law specifies required notice periods that landlords must provide before implementing a rent increase on tenants.

For month-to-month rental agreements, where rent is paid on a monthly basis, landlords must provide tenants with 30 days of advance written notice before increasing the rental amount. This written notice must clearly state the new rental amount and the date when it will go into effect.

For rental agreements longer than month-to-month, such as annual leases, a 60 day advance written notice is required in the state of North Dakota before a landlord can raise the rent. The notice must specify the new rental rate and effective date of the increase.

If a landlord fails to provide tenants with proper advance notice before raising the rent, the increase is considered invalid. Tenants should not pay an increased rental amount if their landlord did not provide the required 30 or 60 days of notice beforehand.

Limits on Rent Increase Amounts in North Dakota

There are no limits under North Dakota state law on how much a landlord can raise rent. Landlords can raise rents by any amount as long as proper notice is provided. 

However, there are some restrictions landlords must follow:

  • Rent increases cannot be retaliatory against a tenant who has filed a complaint or exercised other legal tenant rights. Retaliatory rent increases are illegal.
  • Rent increases cannot be discriminatory based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status, national origin, or other protected classes. Discriminatory rent increases violate fair housing laws.
  • Rent increases should be economically justified based on factors like maintenance costs and market rates. Excessive increases intended to force out tenants may be challenged.

While there is no maximum percentage limit for rent hikes in North Dakota, renters do have some protections against predatory increases aimed at harassment or discrimination. Tenants facing large rent hikes should review their rights and options.

Frequency of Rent Increases Allowed in North Dakota

North Dakota does not have any laws limiting how often landlords can raise rents. Landlords can increase rents as frequently as they want, as long as they provide proper written notice each time. 

There is no limit to how many times per year, or how close together, rent increases can occur. For example, a landlord could potentially raise rent every month if they wanted to, as long as they gave 30 days written notice before each increase for a monthly tenancy.

Even if rents were just raised, there is nothing preventing the landlord from issuing another increase very soon after. The frequency of rent increases is fully at the discretion of the landlord. 

The key requirements are that rent increases cannot be retaliatory or discriminatory, and that proper notice is given based on the term of the rental agreement. But as far as how often increases happen, that is entirely up to the landlord under North Dakota law.

Tenants should be prepared for the possibility of frequent rent hikes, and make sure to carefully review any notices of rent increases they receive. There are no legal limits on how often rents can go up in North Dakota.

When Rent Increases Become Illegal in North Dakota

While North Dakota does not impose statewide limits on rent increases, there are certain situations where a rent hike would be considered unlawful. Two key examples of illegal rent increases in North Dakota are:

Discriminatory or Retaliatory Rent Increases  

Landlords in North Dakota cannot raise a tenant's rent because of their membership in a protected class such as race, color, religion, sex, disability, etc. Doing so would violate fair housing laws. Rent increases are also illegal if they are made in retaliation against a tenant who has filed a complaint or exercised other tenant rights. These types of discriminatory or retaliatory rent hikes are prohibited.

Rent Increases Without Proper Notice

In order for a rent increase to be valid in North Dakota, landlords must provide tenants proper written notice before raising rent. The required notice period is 30 days for monthly rentals, and 60 days for longer rental terms. If a landlord increases rent without meeting these notice requirements, the rent hike would be considered unlawful. Tenants are not obligated to pay the full amount until proper notice has been given.

Landlord and Tenant Rights in North Dakota

North Dakota landlords and tenants have certain rights and responsibilities that are outlined in state laws. Here is an overview of some key laws impacting the landlord-tenant relationship:


  • In North Dakota, a lease can be written or oral. If it is for one year or longer, it must be in writing.
  • The lease should clearly spell out the terms including rent amount, due date, length of lease, security deposit details, and more.
  • Leases automatically renew on a month-to-month basis if no notice is given.  
  • Landlords must provide proper notice before ending or modifying a periodic tenancy.

Security Deposits

  • North Dakota limits security deposits to one month's rent.
  • Landlords must return deposits within 30 days of move out along with an itemized statement of any deductions.
  • Tenants can recover up to 2x the deposit if it is wrongly withheld.

Maintenance and Repairs

  • Landlords must maintain rental units in a safe, sanitary, and habitable condition. 
  • Tenants must notify landlords promptly about needed repairs.
  • Tenants can withhold rent if repairs are not made in a timely manner.


  • The North Dakota Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, age, and other protected classes.
  • Tenants facing discrimination can file a complaint with the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights.

Other Laws

  • Landlords cannot retaliate against tenants for exercising their legal rights.
  • Landlords must provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities.  
  • Tenants have a right to privacy within their rental units.

Eviction Process and Rental Dispute Options in North Dakota

In North Dakota, a landlord must follow the proper legal process to evict a tenant if they violate the terms of the lease agreement or fail to pay rent. 

The eviction process typically begins with the landlord providing written notice to the tenant that they have violated the lease. For non-payment of rent, a 3-Day Notice to Quit is provided, giving the tenant 3 days to pay the rent or move out. For other lease violations, a 30-Day Notice to Quit is provided.

If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, the landlord can then file an eviction lawsuit in county court. The tenant will be served with a Summons and Complaint and given time to respond. If the tenant does not appear in court or cannot prove compliance, the judge will issue a Writ of Eviction ordering the tenant to vacate. 

The sheriff will then serve the tenant with the writ and return to the property in 24-48 hours to remove the tenant if they have not left voluntarily. The landlord cannot personally remove the tenant or lock them out illegally.

If a tenant feels an eviction is retaliatory or illegal, they can challenge it in court. Tenants can also sue landlords for violations of the lease, discrimination issues, failure to maintain the property, and other disputes in small claims court. Small claims courts handle cases under $15,000 in North Dakota.

Impact of Rent Increases on North Dakota Families

Rising rents are causing hardship for many low income and fixed income families in North Dakota. With no statewide rent control laws, landlords can raise rents by any amount with proper notice. This leaves financially vulnerable tenants with little recourse.

Many North Dakota residents are renters, including over 30% of households in cities like Fargo and Grand Forks. For lower income families and individuals, rent often takes up over 30% of their monthly budget. Unexpected rent hikes can devastate their finances. 

Seniors living on fixed incomes are also heavily impacted by rent increases in North Dakota. Over 12% of North Dakota's population is over age 65. Many older adults rely solely on Social Security and retirement savings, which do not increase when rents go up. Large rent hikes may force difficult choices between paying rent and affording medication, food, and other necessities.

Non-profit housing advocates report seeing more North Dakota families pushed to the financial brink when rents increase. Some are forced to choose between paying rent and utilities or even face eviction. With limited affordable housing options, many struggle to find alternative lodging they can afford. 

Renters have little leverage or recourse when rents rise dramatically in North Dakota. Tenant rights groups say stronger protections are needed at the state level to prevent rent gouging and displacement. With rents rising faster than wages, they warn the lack of rent control could spur increases in homelessness and housing insecurity.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can a landlord legally raise rent in North Dakota?

There is no limit under North Dakota state law on how much a landlord can raise rent. Landlords can raise rents by any amount as long as they provide proper notice. However, rent increases cannot be retaliatory or discriminatory.

What is the maximum amount landlords can raise rent in North Dakota?

North Dakota does not have any statewide restrictions on the maximum amount landlords can raise rent. There is no percentage limit or cap on rent increases. Landlords have broad discretion to raise rents.

Is North Dakota a tenant friendly state?

North Dakota is considered more landlord friendly than tenant friendly. The state has limited protections for renters and tenants. North Dakota does not have any rent control laws limiting rent increases. Tenant rights advocates have called for stronger tenant protections.

What are the fair housing laws in North Dakota?

North Dakota's fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, familial status, national origin, or status with respect to marriage or public assistance. Landlords cannot refuse to rent, impose different terms, or retaliate based on these protected characteristics.

Can cities and towns enact rent control in North Dakota?

Yes, cities and towns can enact rent control ordinances under their home rule authority. However, statewide preemption limits strong rent regulations. Very few cities in North Dakota have rent control laws.

What should I do if my landlord raises my rent excessively?

If your landlord raises your rent an excessive amount without proper notice, you may have legal recourse. Consult with a tenant rights group to understand your options, which may include negotiating with your landlord, using mediation or arbitration services, or challenging the increase in court.

Featured Tools
Finding and Selecting the Best Tenant
For a $2,000 monthly rental: 1. You lose $1,000 if you have your rental on the market for 15 additional days. 2. You lose $1,000+ for evictions. Learn how to quickly find and select a qualified tenant while following the law.
More Tools