What is the statue of limitations on a damage claim aftera tenant has moved out?

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What is the statue of limitations on a damage claim aftera tenant has moved out?

In addition, if a landlord makes claims of damages and those claims are disputed by the tenant, how does a court decide who is in the right? Neither party has pictures of the alleged damages.

Asked on September 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Let me clarify your question. 

Do you mean with regard to the return of security deposits?  Flordia law in very specific as to same.  There is more to the law than this but here is the basics:

"Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant's last known mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim.  The tenant is required to give the landlord a valid address at which the tenant can be contacted."

It then goes on to discuss what will happen if either party does not comply. 

"*If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the 30-day period, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon the security deposit.

*Unless the tenant objects to the imposition of the landlord's claim or the amount thereof within 15 days after receipt of the landlord's notice of intention to impose a claim, the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and shall remit the balance of the deposit to the tenant within 30 days after the date of the notice of intention to impose a claim for damages."

In an action in court the winner will be forced to pay the losers court fees.  Here it is going to be a challenge for both of you if neither has real "proof" of the claimed damages or the condition of the apartment when you left.  You might want to consult with an attorney.  Good luck.




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