Warranty of Habitability in North Dakota

Last Updated: June 12, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In North Dakota, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by ND Cent. Code § 47-16-13-1. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability,” also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Electrical/Plumbing, Gas, Sanitation Facilities, Trash Can, Smoke Detector.
Time Limit for Repairs “Reasonable” Amount of Time
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No
  • Repair & Deduct: Yes

Applicable Dwelling Types in North Dakota

The implied warranty of habitability in North Dakota does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Not specifically addressed
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels Not specifically addressed

Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.

Landlord Responsibilities in North Dakota

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in North Dakota, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. Yes
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Yes
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Yes
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Yes
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Yes, if required
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Yes
Provide a working washer/dryer. Yes, if required

Landlords must comply with all building and housing codes that affect health and safety. Landlords must make all necessary repairs and keep the dwelling unit in a habitable condition. Additionally, for multifamily properties, landlords are responsible for ensuring that any common areas are clean and safe.

In some circumstances, a landlord and tenant may agree, in writing, upon certain maintenance and repairs.

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Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in North Dakota

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in North Dakota, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in North Dakota

North Dakota tenants must request repairs by providing the landlord notice about the issue that needs repair. The law allows notice through any method that effectively communicates the issue, although written notice is preferred for documenting the exact timing and nature of the repair request.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in North Dakota

North Dakota renters have the right to repairs for a variety of potential issues, including things that impact health and safety. To exercise their right, renters have to give the landlord notice about the issue that needs fixing and wait a reasonable time for the landlord to do repairs.

If the issue isn’t fixed by the landlord in a timely way, the renter could end the rental agreement or get a court order for repairs or compensation. The renter might also repair and deduct, or (rarely) withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in North Dakota

North Dakota landlords are not clearly prohibited from retaliating against tenants. Case law implies that tenants may be able to sue for retaliatory evictions related to maintenance complaints or non-renewal of a lease. However, there is no clear standard in the law yet.