Your new tenants may have a pet or two for you to consider. Landlords can, of course, have a “no pets” policy, or a policy that limits the type or breed of pet. This should be clearly stated in your rental advertisement and discussed at any showings for the property. Federal law bars a landlord for discriminating based on many factors, including disabilities, and because of that service animals must be accommodated.

Pet deposits

Landlords in North Dakota can charge a pet deposit amount that is reasonable for their property, but a pet deposit can not be collected for a service animal. Think of service animals not as pets, but as animal occupants of the premises. A pet deposit does have its limits in North Dakota, with the amount that can be charged capped at $2,500 OR two months’ rent, whichever is greater. Pet deposits are in addition to a security deposit but must be handled in the same way as a security deposit.

Service animal documentation

North Dakota landlord tenant law allows a landlord to require bona fide supporting documentation as proof of a need for a service animal accommodation. N.D.C.C. § 47-16-07.5 states that reliable supporting documentation must confirm the disability and provide justification for the accommodation. The documentation can be provided by a medical professional who does not operate in North Dakota solely to provide certification for service or assistance animals. A landlord may not ask for supporting documentation from a tenant if their disability or disability-related need for a service animal or assistance animal is readily apparent or already known to landlord.