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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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?


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