North Dakota Lease Agreement Template – Forbes Advisor


Published: Nov 7, 2023, 6:10am

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A lease agreement is the document created when a landlord enters into a contract with a tenant to rent property.

This article breaks down all the requirements and tells you what you need to know to create a binding rental contract in North Dakota. One of the best ways to ensure you understand how a document works is by looking at a template. You can enter your email address below to get a free North Dakota lease template in your inbox.

Basing your lease on this document can help you ensure you create a legally binding document.

What Is a Lease Agreement?

A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord, who owns a property, and a tenant, who intends to occupy the property for a specified period. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental arrangement. It typically includes details such as rent amount, payment schedule, security deposit, lease duration, rules for property use, maintenance responsibilities and procedures for dispute resolution.

It serves as a comprehensive document that safeguards the interests of both the landlord and tenant. It establishes a framework for the rental relationship, ensuring clear communication and minimizing potential conflicts. A rental contract helps create a legally sound arrangement by clearly outlining expectations and obligations.

When Is a Lease Agreement Used in North Dakota?

Generally, a lease agreement is used whenever a property owner agrees to let someone else use their property for a period of time. In North Dakota, a rental agreement must be in writing to be valid if it is for more than a year. Oral leases are valid for shorter terms, but putting a lease into writing is always a good idea . While the law may not require it, a written contract can prove invaluable if there is a disagreement between landlord and tenant.

Who Typically Creates a Lease Agreement?

The creation of the document is usually left to the landlord, and you may find that a landlord is unwilling to use a lease created by a tenant. This is especially true of residential leases. However, prospective tenants always have the right to negotiate terms with a landlord, but this practice is more common when negotiating a commercial lease.

Regardless of who creates a lease, it can benefit both parties to document all the terms agreed to at the beginning of the landlord-tenant relationship.

Which Parties Are Involved in a Lease Agreement?

There are always two parties to a lease: the lessee and the lessor. The lessee is the tenant or tenants who will be using the property. The lessor is the landlord who owns the property and allows its use.

If the tenant or tenants have bad credit or low income, the landlord may require a third party to the lease—a cosigner or guarantor. A guarantor, as the name suggests, is on the lease to guarantee the tenant honors the rental contract. Usually, this means that the guarantor agrees to pay the rent if the tenant doesn’t.

What Should Be Included in a North Dakota Lease Agreement?

Under North Dakota law, a lease agreement has to include:

  • A clear demonstration that the landlord and tenant intend to create a landlord-tenant relationship.
  • Identification of all parties.
  • A description of the property,
  • The amount and term of the rent.
  • The signature of both parties if it is in writing.

The description of the property can be as simple as the address.

In addition to what’s required to form a written lease in North Dakota, it’s a good idea to include many other elements.

The landlord should, for example, be sure to include things like how the rent should be paid, what the penalty is for late or missed payments and any other tenant responsibilities.

The tenant, on the other hand, would want to know:

  • How much notice they need to provide if they want to renew at the end of the lease,
  • When the landlord might ask for access to the property or
  • How to reach the landlord or their agent when something breaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Under North Dakota law, there is no limit to the late fee landlords can charge tenants for late rent. Does a lease need to be notarized in North Dakota?

A North Dakota lease does not need to be notarized to be valid and enforceable. In fact, notarizing a lease is extremely rare—increasingly so as more and more residential leases are e-signed.

What rights does a tenant have in North Dakota?

A lease in North Dakota is a contract between the tenant and landlord. Like any contract, both parties can negotiate the terms—at least in theory. In practice, landlords may be unwilling to alter their residential lease.It doesn’t hurt to ask, however. It’s also important to know that a lease can’t contain terms that are illegal.

North Dakota law spells out specific rights tenants have which you can learn about on the state Attorney General’s site.

Lease Agreements By State

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Jeffrey Johnson started his editorial career nearly 20 years ago as an editor and researcher for McGraw Hill and Pearson. After earning an MFA from Chapman University and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, he combined his editorial and writing experience with his legal education. He served as the Managing Legal Editor for the websites Free Advice and Law Firm, and has been featured as a legal expert on The Manifest and Vice.

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