How long does a landlord have to ask for damages after tenant has vacated an apartment?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2011

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How long does a landlord have to ask for damages after tenant has vacated an apartment?

AK law states that a landlord has 14 days to give tenants an itemized list of damages after tenant has vacated a property. I recently left an apartment and the landlord kept my security deposit and gave me an estimate for labor to have carpet replaced 14 days after I vacated which was more than initial security deposit. However after 40+ days the landlord sent me the itemized list of new carpet, fees, and labor which was more than the estimate. What am I responsible to pay?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Alaska


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the replacement of the carpet resulted from normal wear and tear of it by mere occupancy as opposed to abusing it where animals have soiled it, it has paint upon it or was purposefully torn, you are entitled to the full return of your security deposit from the landlord and do not owe anything for the carpet's replacement.

Many landlords try and charge the former tenant's security deposit for the cost of new carpet under the pretense that the tenant "damaged" the carpet where the "damages" are not "damages" at all but merely the result of normal use.

If you actually damaged the carpet beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord's time period to bring an action for the balance of expenses for the new carpet beyond the security deposit used would most likely be several years based upon applicable statute of limitations for breach of contract (oral or written) or damage to personal property.

You need to ask yourself, was the carpet actually damaged, or was it worn out through mere use?

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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