How long can a property manager claim damage, even after you paid the first claim?

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How long can a property manager claim damage, even after you paid the first claim?

I live in the state of Oklahoma and recently moved out of my
apartment on 11/03/2017 after 9 yrs of residing at the complex.
around two weeks after I vacated the complex, they gave me a notice
of repair for the apartment I moved from. Two weeks later when I was
able to pay for the repairs that overextended the amount of my
deposit, the apartment complex added new charges. I thought that was
strange but made arrangements to pay anyway. After I had paid and
received a notice saying that the account is closed and paid in
full, two months later I received another notice claiming they found
additional charges that they wanted me to pay for. Even after I told
them I still have the invoice showing the account was closed and
paid in full, and asked why are you coming at me five months after I
had vacated the premises and two months after you told me I was paid
in full. I was told that they had up to ten years to charge me for
repair and my invoice means nothing. Is this true, and what will
prevent them from coming up with additional charges in the future. I
was also told if I don’t pay within 15 days they will report me to
the credit bureau that will show a negative on my report. Do I have
any options legally to stop them from doing this to me, and avoid
continuously paying them for repairs that I assumed was taken care
of?

Asked on March 22, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) They have up to 5 years, not 10. Charges for damages to rental property are held to "contract" actions, since the relationship between the parties stems from the lease, which is a contract (whether written or unwritten/oral). The statute of limitations, or time within which to bring claims arising under a contract, in your state is 5 years.
2) You can refuse to pay and let them sue you. To recover the money from you, they would have to show in court that you caused the damage (and not that it was wear and tear, caused by a later tenant, or pre-existed your tenancy).
3) If they falsely report you to credit bureaus damaging your credit without cause, you could sue them for defamation--for making a false factual statement which damages your reputation and causes you harm. If they can't prove that you in fact caused the damage and were responsible for the charges, you could potentially recover compensation from them.


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