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How long does an apartment complex have to get a judgement against you?

Gainesville, FL |

In 2009 my husband and I broke our apartment lease do the the complex releasing our personal information about my husbands job to the other tenants in the complex. It put myself and our children in danger. We had people banging on our door at 2 am when my husband was at work and I was home a lone with the children. We asked them not to do this and they ignored our request. When we left, my husband wrote a letter to the owner explaining to him why he felt he was not responsible for the breaking of the lease. We never heard another work, until today 2013. However it seems that it is me they are coming after and not my husband because I too was on the lease. This is around 4 years old and there has been nothing on our credit about the complex. I feel like something isn't right. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 3


I would strongly suggest consulting a local landlord/tenant attorney. You have left out far too many facts to give any definitive answer. You say "it seems that it is me they are coming after . . . ." Does that mean you were served with a complaint? If so, you certainly must consult a local attorney to assist you. If you fail to respond to the complaint within twenty days after being served - regardless of how meritless you think the lawsuit may be - the landlord can get a default and, subsequently, a default judgment against you.

Mr. Vicary is licensed to practice law in Florida. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Vicary strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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The Statute of Limitations for Florida written contracts is five years, four years for all others.

It sounds as if the apartment complex management may have started this collections action just in time,,,,or maybe not.

You may have to take this to a local attorney (with all documentation) so he/she can check the timeline.

A letter written to the property owner is not sufficient to terminate your lease properly.

Good luck!

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The general statute of limitations on a written contract in Florida is five years. On a lease that could be construed from the final date of the lease. If it is less than five years, I would think that they can still bring a legal action against you. If you do get sued, seek a lawyer ASAP.

Lawrence J. Marraffino
Florida Bar Board Cerrtified Civil Trial Lawyer
Gainesville Trial Lawyer

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