How long does a landlord have to bill me for damages?

I moved out of my apartment 15 days early. It has been 50 days since the end of the lease and i have not heard anything from the apartment complex. I did not expect to receive my deposit back but a bill for damages due to ruin carpet and a broken door. How long do they have to bill me? Is this something that is going to haunt me for years?

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It appears that under Indiana law, the landlord should have provided you with an itemized statement of any charges withheld from the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of your tenancy. Failure to do could potentially require the landlord to return the entire security deposit back, though he/she could still sue you for any amounts it is claimed that you owe for damages or unpaid rent. (So you might get the deposit back, but then be sued for as much or more than the deposit anyway.)

Regardless of whether the landlord properly returned the deposit or provided the itemized list, the landlord would have up to 10 years to take legal action for damages to the premises or unpaid rent; that is because the statute of limitations in a case like this (the time to sue) is that for written contracts, which is 10 years.

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