How long after a tenant vacates can they be suefor supposed damages to the unit?

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How long after a tenant vacates can they be suefor supposed damages to the unit?

I am 1 the 4 tenants involved in this case. We left the apartment after staying for 1 year (last year). We paid all the rent due. Now suddenly I received a notice notifying me of a court hearing for a pre-trial/mediation as they are suing us for some maintenance related amount. They claim they tried to contact us during this time, however none of us received anything from them, aside from this notice. Also, no inspection was made when we left. They said there is no need for it since there was no move-in deposit and all we have to do is return the keys.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In terms of how long does the landlord have to sue for purported damages to the rental property, the statute of limitions (or time available to sue) for a matter like this would be at least 4 years, if there was an oral or verbal lease, or five years, if there was a written lease. So at any time before the statue of limitations runs out, the landlord could look to take action.

To recover money, the landlord will need to be able to prove that the damage was actually done by you, your roommates, your pets, or your guests. The landlord will also need to prove the cost of the repairs or replacements for any damaged items, appliances, surfaces, etc.


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