Both tenants and landlords can benefit from help with a security deposit. Massachusetts’s security deposit law is not light reading, and often requires even the most experienced landlord-tenant attorney to review the law more than once to understand its many, many provisions. An experienced attorney can often provide invaluable help with a security deposit matter.
Landlords Who Have Accepted A Security Deposit From a Tenant
I, along with many other attorneys (as well as a former Housing Court judge) recommend that landlords do not take a security deposit from a tenant. The law has too many requirements for a landlord to comply with, and the risks of violating the law are steep, which can include treble damages, attorney fees, and costs.
For landlords, help with a security deposit often involves determining whether a landlord complied with the law’s detailed requirements. If a landlord has erred in holding one of these deposits, an attorney can often help assist a landlord in avoiding or minimizing the damages that can arise from violating this law.
If you’re a landlord, don’t make the assumption that you need to wait until a problem arises to get help with a security deposit. A consultation with a landlord-tenant attorney can often help determine if you have violated any part of the law, and determine the best way to avoid a larger problem down the road.
Tenants Who Cannot Get Their Security Deposits Back
For tenants, help with a security deposit often involves legal action against a landlord for failing to properly return a deposit. Massachusetts’s security deposit law explicitly provides for attorney fees in such cases: the purpose being to give tenants incentives for pursuing these claims. A landlord-tenant attorney can help you determine if you have grounds for pursuing a security deposit claim and the best court for pursuing such a matter.
I provide assistance to both landlords and tenants with security deposit matters. My experience in representing both types of clients provides me a unique perspective on this area of law. If you find yourself in need of help with a security deposit matter, contact me for a consultation.