North Dakota Eviction Process

Last Updated: November 3, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

Timeline. 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 (read more).

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

Introduction. In North Dakota, landlords must obtain a court order to evict a tenant. There must be legal reason for an eviction. Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in North Dakota.

Step 1: Notice is Posted

Landlords in North Dakota can begin the eviction process for several reasons, including:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice must be served giving the tenant the option to pay rent in order to avoid eviction.
  2. Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, the landlord isn’t required to give the tenant the opportunity to correct the issue before moving forward with the eviction process.
  3. No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
  4. Sale of Rental Unit – If the rental unit is sold, tenants must be given notice prior to being evicted.
NOTES
  • Evicting a Squatter. If the individual occupying the property did not have the permission of the landlord when initially moving in, does not have a lease (or verbal agreement) and has no history of paying rent, then a landlord/tenant relationship may not be established. As a result, the normal eviction process may not be applicable (read more).

Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.

Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.

According to North Dakota law, rent is considered late if it is not received three days after the due date, and eviction notices cannot be served on the tenant until rent is at least three days late.

Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Pay if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant the option to pay the past due amount in full within three days in order to avoid eviction.

If the tenant does not pay rent by the end of the notice period and remains on the property, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement

Icons  document     on iPropertyManagement.com A tenant can be evicted in North Dakota if they do not uphold their responsibilities under the terms of a written lease or rental agreement.

North Dakota landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct a lease violation in these instances, but they must provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Quit, giving the tenant three days to move out of the rental unit in order to avoid eviction.

Typical lease violations under this category could include things like damaging the rental property, having too many people residing in the rental unit, and having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy.

Note that illegal activity is included in this category.

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

Generate an official North Dakota lease termination letter.


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Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease

In the state of North Dakota, if tenants “hold over,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord must give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.

Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.

The amount of time required in the notice depends on the type of tenancy.

  • Month-to-Month – If rent is paid on a month-to-month basis, a landlord must provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Quit.
  • All Other Tenancies – For all other tenancies, landlords must give their tenants at least as much notice as the rent payment period or 30 days’ notice, whichever is less.

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

Generate an official North Dakota lease termination letter.


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Eviction Process for Sale of Rental Unit

If the rental unit is being sold, and the tenancy will not continue under the new owners, tenants must be given three days’ written notice prior to being evicted.

Tenants do not have the option of correcting any issues in order to remain in the rental unit in this situation.

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

Generate an official North Dakota lease termination letter.


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Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

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.comThree to seven days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant three to seven days prior to the eviction hearing.

Step 3: Court Hearing and 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.

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 three 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.

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 five days, depending on whether a stay of execution is granted by the judicial officer.

North Dakota Eviction Process Timeline

Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in North Dakota. With that being said, these estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.

  1. Initial Notice Period – Between 3 and 30 days, depending on the notice type and reason for eviction.
  2. Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint – Three to seven days prior to the eviction hearing.
  3. Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – 3-15 days after the summons is served on the tenant.
  4. Issuance of Writ of Execution – A few hours to a few days.
  5. Return of Possession – Up to five days if a stay of execution is granted.
Questions? To chat with a North Dakota eviction attorney, Click here

Additional Information

Tenant’s Abandoned Property. After the eviction, if the tenant leaves behind personal property that is not more than $2,500 in value, it may be disposed of 28 days after the tenant receives the notice. If the tenant does not claim the property the landlord has the right to sell the personal property to pay for any necessary storage fees or moving expenses.

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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