How much time does a landlord have to sue a tenant for damage to an apartment?

I moved out of my old apartment 7 years ago.  We bought a house around the corner so I see my old landlady's family occasionally.  My security deposit was $1,500 and she gave me back $1,200 accusing me of damage that we didn't do. We lived there for 8 years and were on good terms.

A storm knocked a tree branch through my window.  I immediately went downstairs.  They boarded it up.  On two occasions the drain was clogged and they fixed it.  In the bathroom there was a leak in the roof and it caused streaks down the wall and there was a big dent in the stove which I had a picture of when I moved in.

She threw all that in my face.  I had to go to her house several times after I moved out to get the security deposit.  It took several weeks but I wouldn't leave her alone.  On move out day her sons tried to stop me from taking pictures.  I was ready to pay her $200-$300 for some damage we had really done.  But they didn't even notice it.

My kids broke a corner off the granite counter top in the kitchen and I fixed it with crazy glue and made it shiny with clear nail polish.  When I was getting something out of the fridge, I slipped and broke off 4 plastic shelves which I glued back on.  My son actually did break the bathroom window and there's a couple of other things they never noticed.

So when I see them I want to tell them so badly what we broke.  Hopefully, they didn't accuse the tenants who moved in after us.  But I am wondering if the statute of limitations has passed.  

11 Answers

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  • Who
    Lv 7
    10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

     dont really matter -

    after 7 years they would have a hellova job proving you did any damage 7 years before

  • 10 months ago

    I think you're better off just calling it even and letting this go. Breaking a granite countertop usually means you need to have the entire thing replaced. You skated out from under that charge, which would probably have taken your entire deposit. If they didn't notice the broken fridge shelves and the window, then for crying out loud don't bring it up now. 

    There isn't really a 'statute of limitations' on this sort of thing. The landlord has a set amount of time to charge your security for damage they CLAIM you cost them, and once that is done, they can't come BACK and charge you again for damage caused while you lived there. For one, they no longer have your money. 

    You got out of the lease with only a $300 charge on your security, which was most likely much less than you would have been charged--a window alone could have cost a MINIMUM of that amount. Let it go. Move on. Don't try to battle this out because it won't be worth it in the end. 

  • Erik
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Huh?  You broke some stuff they didn't catch, and at the same time, they withheld money for stuff that wasn't your fault?  In my book that's a wash.  Just get on with your life.

  • 10 months ago

    You can look up your local "statute of limitation" for property damage online.  However, you should also notice the various EXTENSIONS that may apply, such as the time in which they could not have reasonably discovered the damage, or the time in which you moved out of state, etc., which could add years to the time in which they can legally file a claim. 

    It's up to you to decide how much your guilt over this is killing you, and you could simply make them a "gift" of some amount you feel would be "fair" for what you did to their property, without mentioning any specifics or renewing any possible claim they might not even be aware of. 

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  • 10 months ago

    The statute of limitations is typically about 2-3 years though it varies state to state, but so what. Just keep your mouth shut and forget about it. You got back about the security deposit you were supposed to. If you do tell her about this stuff it could come back to haunt you somehow (though I doubt the statute of limitations isn't far past) and this just doesn't seem like important stuff anyhow.  Why is this even bothering you after 7+ years. Forget about it, move on with your life.

  • 10 months ago

    It has likely long past.  They will probably charge the tenants currently renting, when they notice the damages.

  • 10 months ago

    Not worth the hassle. Just leave it be. 

  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    It depends on your state's laws, but where I live, it's 2 years. If she only charged you $300 after all that damage and living there 8 yrs (wear & tear) , you definitely dodged a bullet.

  • 10 months ago

    In most places a year.

  • P
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    In general no Landlord will go after you for more after they settle the security deposit.  They will take whatever it is and move on.  After 7 years it would be impossible to prove that you did anything so they wouldn't even try, but it would be extremely ignorant of you to volunteer that information since it could cause problems.  

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