I have had rental tenants for the past 12 years. The first two years with a lease, the last few years on a month-to-month basis. The tenants have been great and are still in the property. But, due to hardship (between 2009-2011), i allowed them to live in the property (rent free, with a verbal agreement that they would make restitution). I let them remain because they had established such good repor, and took such good care of the property. In the interim, the estate has taken control of the property and wants the tenants to pay the total amount due (of which I understand and agree). Is there a NC statute of limitations that affects the time limit that the debt can be recovered? The tenants have since been notified to vacate. And, what is the cap on any amount that can be recovered from these tenant considering the age of the debt? Thank you.
The question is unclear. If you allowed the tenants to live on the property rent-free then the total amount due is zero. Do they owe rent from before 2009 or after 2011? The answer may may a difference. If you have already served a notice to vacate then you are probably going to file an eviction claim with it. The tenants' lawyer or the court will surely tell you if you are asking for too much rent. You should hire your own lawyer to handle evictions and not try to do it yourself.
If I read the question correctly, then you will not be able to recover. For the past 10 years they have been month to month tenants, which means that they pay rent for that month, they have a contract that allows them to rent the unit for that month, then at the end of the month the lease expires and you get a new lease.
You recognized their hardship and struck some type of informal agreed to allow them to make up the back rent once they got back on their feet.
I am lost as to who the "estate" is that took control of the property.
NCGS 1-52 governs the statute of limitations for any type of breach of contract, which whether payment is obligated by that informal agreement or lease would fall under this chapter. If the non-payment was in 2011, then 3 years have passed and you are barred from bringing an action against them.
This article is meant as general knowledge and not meant to substitute for legal advice on specific issues. I’m only licensed in NC and this is only general advice. This does not create an attorney-client relationship until a retainer or representation agreement has been signed.
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