My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: North Carolina
Eleven months ago while I was moving out of my rented apartment, I concluded that I made all payments to my landlord (LL) after reviewed my payment history. The LL confirmed to me that my current balance was zero and told me if they find any unpaid charges, they would charge my security deposit. Soon after moving, I received a full security deposit from the LL without any claims.
Recently, i.e. 11 months after I moved out, I received a letter from my former LL claiming that I have an outstanding balance of ~ $120 for water that I owe to them. Also the LL threatens to refer my case to the collection agency if I do not pay the charge within 5 days.
I believe that I paid off my balance fully. Also, it seems, the LL failed to make the claim as specified by the NC law "the deposit must be returned within 30 days after a tenant moves, though if a landlord's claim against the deposit cannot be finalized within that time, the landlord may send an interim accounting at the 30-day point and then a final accounting within 60 days." Furthermore, it seems to me, by paying me the full security deposit, the LL has in effect admitted there were no outstanding balance.
1. Since the LL did not send me any claims within 30 days of my moving date, does that mean that the LL forfeited his rights to any such claims?
2. What would be the best course of action for me if the landlord indeed send over the matter to a collection agency?
3. Any other advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.