How long after a tenant moves does the landlord have to sue for damages?

UPDATED: May 2, 2011

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How long after a tenant moves does the landlord have to sue for damages?

I moved out of my residence on a month ago (3days short of a month) and just received a letter from the former landlord. It state that they are taking me to court for damages that my deposit didn’t cover. However the damages that they list are wrong. I would like to know what is the statute of limitations for taking me to court for this?

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It appears that the statute of  limitations to sue on a matter like this is 3 years in colorado, whether viewed as a tort (wrongful damage to property) or a contractual matter (breach of your obligations under the lease). That means the landlord has up to 3 years to take action against you.

Obviously, the landlord must be able to prove (by a preponderance of the evidence; i.e. that it's more likely than not) that (1) the damage exists; (2) it was done by your or by someone under your control (guest, family, pet, worker you brought in, etc.); and (3) the amount or cost of the damage. You will, if sued, have a chance to see the landlord's evidence, dispute it, and present evidennce of your own.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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