In Massachusetts, landlords are required to follow specific rules regarding security deposits. These requirements are set forth in the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law, which applies to all residential tenancies, including apartments, single-family homes, and condominiums.
Under the law, a landlord may require a tenant to pay a security deposit at the beginning of the tenancy. The security deposit may not exceed the amount of one month’s rent and must be deposited in a separate escrow account established by the landlord. In addition, landlords must pay interest on the security deposit once a year.
The landlord must provide the tenant with a receipt for the security deposit, which must include the amount of the deposit, the date it was received, the name of the person who received it, the name of the bank location of the bank with the account number, and a description of the rental unit.
After you hand over your security deposit, the landlord needs to provide a statement within 30 days. This document should include details like how much was put down and where it’s being held including an account number – otherwise they may have to reimburse you right away!
When the tenancy ends, your security deposit is subject to return from the landlord – minus any payments for damages beyond usual wear and tear or unpaid rent. The landlord must provide a detailed list of deductions alongside what’s left of your original payment within 30 days after leaving their premises.
If the landlord fails to return the security deposit or provide an itemized list of deductions within 30 days, the tenant may be entitled to triple the amount of the security deposit, plus attorney’s fees and court costs.
As you can see from this brief summary, there are numerous requirements placed on landlords when holding a security deposit. It is important for landlords to comply with these requirements to avoid legal liability and potential penalties.