North Dakota Eviction Process

North Dakota Eviction Process

Last Updated: January 9, 2024 by Phil Ahn

Evicting a tenant in North Dakota can take around 2 to 8 weeks, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a stay of execution, the process could take longer.

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 the terms of the lease
  • Committing illegal activity

Depending on the grounds for eviction, the landlord must give proper notice and provide the tenant a chance to cure the violation.

Grounds Notice Period Curable?
Nonpayment of Rent 3 Days Yes
End of Lease or No Lease 30 Days No
Lease Violation 3 Days Maybe
Illegal Activity 3 Days No

Nonpayment of Rent

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent within the 3 day grace period of the day rent is due.

To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 3 days’ notice to quit, which gives the tenant an opportunity to pay the balance due or move out.

Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each month and is considered late in North Dakota the day immediately after its due date. North Dakota landlords are not required to give tenants a rent payment grace period. However, if the lease or rental agreement allows for one, then the landlord must honor it.

example

If rent is due on March 1st, it will be considered late starting on March 4th, unless the lease specifically states there is a longer grace period.

If the tenant does not pay the balance due or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

End of Lease or No Lease

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant who does not have a lease (“tenant at will”) or has a lease that has terminated and continues to remain on the premises (“holdover tenant”). To do so, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant a proper 30-days’ notice to move out.

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Lease Violations

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their legal responsibilities under North Dakota landlord tenant law. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 3 days’ notice to comply or vacate.

Landlords are not legally required to allow tenants to correct the violation. So, at the discretion of the landlord, the tenant can either fix the issue or move out.

Examples of lease violations include:

  • Allowing an unauthorized occupant or pet to reside in the rental unit
  • Causing minor property damage
  • Failing to maintain the rental unit in a clean and sanitary manner
  • Disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of other tenants

If the tenant does not fix the issue or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Illegal Activity

In North Dakota, a landlord can evict a tenant for committing an illegal activity. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 3 days’ notice to vacate.

The tenant does not have the option to correct the violation and must move out within the 3 day period.

In North Dakota, illegal activity includes:

  • Causing substantial property damage
  • Threats of force or violence
  • Intimidation or menacing conduct
  • Failing to move out after receiving notice about the sale of the premises
  • Unlawfully holding or keeping possession of the premises

If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.

Illegal Evictions in North Dakota

In North Dakota, there are a few different types of evictions that are illegal. If a landlord is found liable for a self-help eviction, they could be liable for attorneys’ fees.

“Self-Help” Evictions

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 such as:

  • Joining a tenant’s union
  • Making a complaint to a governmental agency
  • Filing a complaint against the landlord

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Eviction notice posted on iPropertyManagement.com

In North Dakota, all eviction processes follow the same steps:

  1. Landlord serves tenant with written notice of violations
  2. Landlord files complaint with court for unresolved issues
  3. Court holds a hearing and issues a judgement. 
  4. Writ of execution is issued
  5. Possession of property is returned to landlord

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 using one of the following methods:

  • Handing the notice to the tenant in person
  • Handing the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion (age 14 or older), AND mailing the notice by certified mail with a signed return receipt
  • Posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises AND mailing the notice by certified mail with a signed return receipt
tip

Landlords should always keep the original signed notice and declaration of service as proof of proper service if the case proceeds to court.

3-Day Notice to Quit

In North Dakota, if a tenant is late on paying rent and the balance due is not paid within the 3 day grace period (full or partial), the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 days to pay the balance due or move out.

30-Day Notice to Vacate

For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in North Dakota, the landlord can serve them a 30-Day Notice to Vacate to terminate the tenancy. This lease termination notice allows the tenant 30 days to move out.

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

3-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate

In North Dakota, if a tenant commits a violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 days to fix the issue or move out.

3-Day Notice to Vacate

In North Dakota, if a tenant causes substantial property damage or commits an illegal activity, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 3 days to move out without the chance to fix the issue.

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 3 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.

The landlord, or the landlord’s representative, shall file an affidavit and must send a copy of the summons and complaint to the tenant’s last known address. 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.

note

The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant 3 to 7 days prior to the eviction hearing.

Eviction Court Hearing on iPropertyManagement.com

Step 3: Court Holds Hearing and 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.

note

The eviction hearing will be held no earlier than 3 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.

note

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

note

Possession of the property will be returned within 5 days, unless a stay of execution is granted.

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 3-31 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

Flowchart of North Dakota Eviction Process

North Dakota Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

North Dakota Eviction Court Fees

The average cost of an eviction in North Dakota for all filing, court, and service fees is $190. Eviction cases shall be filed in District Court where the dwelling unit is located.

Fee District
Initial Court Filing $80
Summons Service ~$30+
Writ of Execution Service $30
Writ of Execution Enforcement $50

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