Renter Rights | Statute of limitations by state - Roost
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Renter Rights | Statute of limitations by state

What renters need to know about statutes of limitations

As a renter, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to take legal action. You suspect that your landlord did something illegal, and you’re wondering if you can sue. There are times when you can — like if you slip and fall on the property that was not properly maintained — and times when it’s just not worth it. Without knowledge of your rights, you might not have a complete understanding of when you can sue (or be sued). But before you even think about whether you have a case, you’ll want to consider the statute of limitations. 

The statute of limitations is the amount of time that someone has in order to file legal action. This time period varies based on several factors. First of all, statutes of limitations vary by state. You might have three years in one state and six years in another state. Also, the statute of limitations will vary based on the type of legal action you want to take. For example, if you feel your landlord violated your lease, that’s considered breaking a written contract. In some cases, you might be dealing with a conversation you had with your landlord, which would be considered an oral contract. As with any legal action, your documentation of facts is the key to knowing whether or not you can sue your landlord — if you’re within the statute of limitations. 

If the above sounds confusing, don’t worry. We’re here to make it a bit simpler for you. Below, we’ve compiled a chart that shows you how statutes of limitations vary based on state and condition. We’ve also included the corresponding statue reference for your state, so you can get more information. Remember to check with a tenant-landlord lawyer for your specific situation, but this will serve as a quick reference. 

Statute of limitations — state by state

StateStatuteMaximum period of time after the event
Lease/written contractVerbal/Oral contractInjuryProperty damage
AlabamaAla. Code § 6-2-30 et seq. *6626
AlaskaAlaska Stat. § 09.10.010 et seq.3326 (real property); 2 (personal property)
ArizonaAriz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12-541 et seq.6322
ArkansasArk. Code Ann. § 16-56-101 et seq.5333
CaliforniaCal. Civ. Proc. Code § 312 et seq.*California has tolled the statutes of limitation for all civil causes of action from April 6, 2020, to 90 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (See, Amendments to the California Rules of Court, Emergency Rule 9.)4223
ColoradoColo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101 et seq.33 (6 short-term debt/rent )(2 tortious breach)2 (injuries from motor vehicle accidents, 3 years)2
ConnecticutConn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 52-575 et seq.6322
DelawareDel. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8101 et seq.3322
District of ColumbiaD.C. Code § 12-301 et seq.3333
FloridaFla. Stat. Ann. § 95.011 et seq.5444
GeorgiaGa. Code Ann. § 9-3-20 et seq.6424
HawaiiHaw. Rev. Stat. § 657-1 et seq.6622
IdahoIdaho Code § 5-201 et seq.5423
Illinois735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-201 et seq.10525
IndianaInd. Code Ann. § 34-11-2-1 et seq.10626 (real property); 2 (personal property)
IowaIowa Code Ann. § 614.1 et seq.10525
KansasKan. Stat. Ann. § 60-501 et seq.5322
KentuckyKy. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.080 et seq.10 (15 years for contracts entered into on or before July 15, 2014)515 (real property); 3 (personal property)
LouisianaLa. civil code § 3492 et seq.101011
MaineMe. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 751 et seq.6666
MarylandMd. Courts & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. § 5-101 et seq.3333
Massachusetts Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 260, § 1 et seq.6633
MichiganMich. Comp. Laws § 600.5801 et seq.6633
MinnesotaMinn. Stat. Ann. § 541.01 et seq.6626
MississippiMiss. Code. Ann. § 15-1-1 et seq.6333
MissouriMo. Rev. Stat. § 516.097 et seq.10 (If contract is for something other than payment of money or property, then the statute of limitations is five years.)555
MontanaMont. Code Ann. § 27-2-202 et seq.8532
NebraskaNeb. Rev. Stat. § 25-201 et seq.5444
NevadaNev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 11.010 et seq.6423
New HampshireN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:1 et seq.3333
New JerseyN.J. Stat. Ann. § 2a:14-1 et seq.6626
New MexicoN.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-1 et seq.6434
New YorkN.Y. Civ. Prac. Laws & Rules § 201 et seq.6633
North CarolinaN.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-46 et seq.3333
North DakotaN.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-01 et seq.6666
OhioOhio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.03 et seq.8624
OklahomaOkla. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 91 et seq.5322
OregonOr. Rev. Stat. § 12.010 et seq.6626
Pennsylvania42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5501 et seq.4422
Rhode IslandR. I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-12 et seq.1010310
South CarolinaS.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-510 et seq.3333
South DakotaS.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 15-2-1 et seq.6636
TennesseeTenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-101 et seq.6613
TexasTex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.001 et seq., Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 2.7254422
UtahUtah Code Ann. § 78B-2-101 et seq.6443
VermontVt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 461 et seq.663
VirginiaVa. Code Ann. § 8.01-228 et seq.5325
WashingtonWash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.16.005 et seq.6333
West VirginiaW. Va. Code § 55-2-1 et seq.10522
WisconsinWis. Stat. Ann. § 893.01 et seq.6636
WyomingWyo. Stat. § 1-3-102 et seq.10844
Last Updated: September 5th, 2020