North Dakota Eviction Process

North Dakota Eviction Process

Last Updated: September 14, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

Steps of the eviction process in North Dakota:

  1. Landlord serves tenant written notice.
  2. Landlord files complaitn with court (if unresolved).
  3. Court holds hearing & issues judgement. 
  4. Writ of execution is issued.
  5. Possession of property is returned to landlord.

Evicting a tenant in North Dakota can take around two to eight weeks, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a stay of execution, the process could take longer.

Questions? To chat with a North Dakota eviction attorney, click here

Grounds for an Eviction in North Dakota

In North Dakota, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or sale of a rental unit. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 3 Days Maybe
End of / No Lease 1 Month No
Lease Violation 3 Days No
Sale of Rental Unit 3 Days No

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 3 days’  notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in North Dakota the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days); however, weekends and legal holidays are excluded.

Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.

Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (1 month for tenants that pay month-to-month).

Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Eviction for Violation of Lease Terms or Responsibilities

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities. To do so, the landlord must give 3 days’ notice to move out. The tenant does not have the opportunity to correct the issue and must vacate.

Tenant responsibilities include:

  • Complying with all building and housing codes that materially affect health and safety.
  • Keeping the dwelling unit safe and clean.
  • Removing all ash, garbage, rubbish and other waste from the dwelling unit and disposing it in a clean and safe manner.
  • Keeping all plumbing fixtures clean.
  • Using all appliances and facilities in a reasonable manner.
  • Not deliberately or negligently destroying, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the unit.
  • Not disturbing the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Having an unauthorized pet or guest.
  • Parking in an unauthorized area.
  • Damaging the rental unit.
  • Creating an unreasonable peace disturbance.
  • Allowing trash to pile up in the rental unit.
  • Disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of other tenants. 
  • Threatening others.
  • Entering the dwelling unit with force, intimidation, fraud, violence or stealth.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction for Sale of Rental Unit

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant if the rental unit is being sold , and the tenancy will not continue under the new owners. To do so, tenants must be given 3 days’ notice to vacate without the option to stay in the rental unit.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Illegal Evictions in North Dakota

In North Dakota, certain actions by landlords can make an eviction illegal.

“Self-Help” Evictions

No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:

  • Changing the locks.
  • Shutting off utilities.
  • Removing tenant belongings.

A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.

Retaliatory Evictions

While in most states it is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right, there are no anti-retaliation statutes in North Dakota.

North Dakota has no statutes prohibiting landlord retaliation when a tenant exercises a legal right (i.e., joining a tenant’s union or making a complaint to a governmental official regarding a habitability issue).

Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant

A landlord can begin the eviction process in North Dakota by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:

  • Giving it to the tenant in person.
  • Mailing the notice to the tenant’s last known address.
  • Posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental unit if the tenant cannot be found.

It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice. 

3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in North Dakota, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to pay the entire remaining balance or vacate the premises.

30-Day Notice to Quit

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in North Dakota, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out.

For tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice does not change.

3-Day Notice to Quit

In North Dakota, if a tenant commits a violation of the terms of their lease or the rental unit is being sold and the tenancy will end, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

Questions? To chat with a North Dakota eviction attorney, click here

Eviction Complaint Filed on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court

As the next step in the eviction process, North Dakota landlords must file a complaint in District Court. In the state of North Dakota, this costs $80 in filing fees.

The summons and complaint may be served on the tenant by a sheriff or anyone else over the age of 18 who isn’t part of the case, at least three days prior to the hearing by delivering a copy to the tenant in person.

If the tenant cannot be found in the county , a sheriff or anyone else over the age of 18 who isn’t part of the case must show proof that there was at least one attempt to serve the tenant in person between the hours of 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Next, the landlord (or the landlord’s attorney) shall file an affidavit and must send a copy of the summons and complaint to the tenant’s last known address. Lastly, the sheriff or process server must post the summons on the door of the residential unit. This service must be completed at least seven days prior to the hearing.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com3 to 7 days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant three to seven days prior to the eviction hearing.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment

The eviction hearing will be held 3-15 days after the date the summons was issued by the court.

If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judicial officer may issue a default ruling in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move out.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of execution will be issued, and the eviction process will continue.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com3-15 days. The eviction hearing will be held no earlier than three days, nor later than 15 days, after the date the summons was served on the tenant.

Eviction Writ of Execution on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 4: Writ of Execution is Issued

The writ of execution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and may be issued at the hearing. It will not be enforced, however, until after the move-out date on the order for eviction.

For example, if the order for eviction states that the tenant has three days to move out of the rental unit, the tenant will not be forcibly removed before the 3 days is up.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comA few hours to a few days. The writ of execution may be issued the same day as the hearing, but will not be enforced until the court-ordered deadline to move out has expired.

Eviction property possession returned on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

The judicial officer will select an eviction date at the hearing, and the tenant must move out of the rental unit on or by that date or the sheriff will return to forcibly remove the tenant.

Tenants can request a five-day stay of execution if moving out immediately would create a hardship for the tenant and/or members of the tenant’s family.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comUp to 5 days, depending on whether a stay of execution is granted by the judicial officer.

North Dakota Eviction Process Timeline

In North Dakota, an eviction can be completed in 2 to 8 weeks but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.

Below are the parts of the North Dakota eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.

Step Estimated Time
Initial Notice Period 3-30 Calendar Days
Court Issuing/Serving Summons 3-7 Business Days
Court Ruling 3-15 Business Days
Court Serving Writ of Execution ~1-3 Calendar Days
Final Notice Period 3-5 Calendar Days
Questions? To chat with a North Dakota eviction attorney, click here

Flowchart of North Dakota Eviction Process

North Dakota Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in North Dakota, please refer to the official legislation, North Dakota Century Code §47-32-01 to 47-32-04, and §§47-16-01 to 47-16-27, for more information.

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