If my husband rented our home to a tenant for a year starting 39 months ago but she left 2 months later, is it too late to sue her?

We were unable to contacted her; we could not find her until now. Is it to late to take her to court to get the money she owes?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is probably (just) too late. The "statute of limitations," or time to bring a lawsuit, in North Carolina for breach of contract--such a lease, whether written or oral/verbal--is only 3 years or 36 months. The statute starts running from the moment of the breach, which from what you write would have been 37 months ago, when the tenant left. Therefore, it seems as if the statute of limitations just expired; and once it's expired, you may no longer bring a legal action. The fact that you could not find her until now does not give you extra time.

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