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legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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In DC is there a statute of limitations a previous tenant

Customer Question

In DC is there a statute of limitations for when a previous tenant can take you to court over her security deposit return? I returned it initially in Feb 2015 when she left (within the 45 days) however, she never received it as she gave me a wrong address. She didn't contact me until Jan 2016 about it however. I sent her another check and itemized letter of deductions shortly after. She just contacted me (May 2016) saying she disagrees with the content of the letter and is going to take me to small claims court. I think she is bluffing - but what are the landlords rights here?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.
According to section 12-301, the statute of limitations for breach of contract is 3 years; it would be three years from the date of the breach- which would be allegedly when it was first returned (within the statutory 45 day time frame). That is located here However, if the landlord can prove that the withholdings were reasonable then the tenant would not prevail. There is also an equitable theory the court can take into consideration-laches:unreasonable delay in making an assertion or claim, such as asserting a right, claiming a privilege, or making an application for redress, which may result in refusal. So based on laches, the judge may deny the plaintiff's claim, asserting that the tenant waited to long to dispute any deductions to the security deposit. Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat. Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.(no additional charges are incurred). Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.
Here is a brochure for landlords that may come in handy in the future:
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer.I hope the information provided was useful.Here is a link to the bar association's legal referral site: you have further questions please post here; otherwise kindly--- Rate Positively---so the site credits me for assisting you.Thank you and take care!

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