Can an apartment complex persue me for damages almost 2 years later?

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Can an apartment complex persue me for damages almost 2 years later?

I moved out of this apartment over 1 1/2 years ago. The apartment never contacted me or my husband about any damages despite having 2 good addresses for us as well as phone numbers. They contacted my husband this morning claiming that we owe them $200 for damage to the apartment (which, there was no damage when I moved out). When my husband asked why they waited almost 2 years to contact us they stated that they had just started reviewing their records (which confirms my assertion that they didn’t contact us before now). Can we be held responsible for this? How should I proceed?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An action for damages to a rental premises is an action based in contract (the lease). That means that the statute of  limitations, or time to sue, for a breach of contract applies. In TN, that  statutory period is 6 years--so legally, the landlord or its managing agent may take action against you for damage up to 6 years after the expiration of the  lease. There is no penalty for  waiting--a person or business  may seek damages any time within the statutory period. To prevail, they would have to show that you (or your family, guests, or pets) caused the damage they are seeking to recover compensation for.


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