Is there a time limit on filing against a former tenant for damages?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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Is there a time limit on filing against a former tenant for damages?

I had a former tenant move out in 8 months ago and had more damages than the deposit covered. Is it too late to file?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

All states have statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against someone for claimed liabilty and damages. Typically the time for statute of limitations begins running is when the damages accrue. Meaning, when has the person who wants to bring the lawsuit been damaged?

Most states have statute of limitations of 2 years for a breach of an oral contract, 4 years for breach of a written contact, 3 years for damages to property.

Your former tenant moved out 8 months ago with more damages owed you for the rental than the security deposit covered. You most likely have time to file a lawsuit against the tenant for the excess owed and not be barred by the statute of limitations. Perhaps a small claims action is the route to proceed?

If so, to be on the safe side, you should file the action with the court against the former tenant before the passage of one year after the former tenant vacated your rental.


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