Real Estate Law
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Sorry to hear about this situation. Can they claim damages after a walk through? Yes they can, however, they have to prove that the damages actually existed. This may be difficult to prove given there was a walk through and no damages were reported at that time. In other words, yes anyone can assert a claim, but this does not mean they (landlord) will ultimately prevail.
An issue here also was there a lawsuit or did they just made a false credit report. If the landlord sued and did not properly serve your children then there can be a petition to set aside the judgment. If the the damages were just report to credit report, then a dispute should be file immediately and in addition hire a lawyer to go after the landlord for making a false report and causing the children damages for harming their credit.
A local attorney in North Carolina should be retained to communicate with the prior landlord and pursue any available remedies.
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Ok thank you for the additional information. I am very sorry to hear that. The will need a lawyer to get this situation reversed and remedied and the landlord could still be held liable if the damages to they claim were fraudulent. Even though your children may be 100% in the right, it will take some civil procedure to reverse everything and to remedy the situation.
Here is a link to the North Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service that can assist you with contacting an attorney that can file the appropriate motions to the Court: http://www.ncbar.org/members/lawyer-referral-service/