Landlord Not Returning a Security Deposit in Massachusetts
A landlord not returning a security deposit is one of the most common complaints that comes up between tenants and landlords in Massachusetts. Massachusetts law heavily regulates the handling of security deposits, and this law can be used when a landlord improperly refuses to return a security deposit.
Massachusetts’s Security Deposit Law
A quick skim of Massachusetts’s security deposit law shows the complexity of this law. G.L. 186 Section 15B regulates every aspect of a security deposit, from the acceptance of the deposit up to its return to the tenant. The extensive requirements of this law is one reason why I advise Massachusetts landlords to never accept a security deposit.
Penalties for not complying with this law can be steep. Some violations entitle the tenant to the immediate return of their deposit, and others permit the tenant to obtain triple damages, costs, and attorney fees against a landlord who fails to comply with this law.
What To Do About a Landlord Not Returning a Security Deposit
If a landlord fails to return your security deposit, contact an experienced landlord/tenant attorney for assistance. While the security deposit law offers numerous protections for tenants, an experienced attorney is often necessary for determining whether a violation occurred, how to pursue such a claim against the landlord, and the likely damages that can be obtained from such a case.
Landlords can equally benefit from having the assistance of an experienced attorney when handling a security deposit claim. An attorney can help determine if a violation occurred and whether any possible defenses exists to such a claim. An attorney can be helpful in negotiating a settlement and minimizing damages.
A landlord should not wait until a security deposit claim has arisen to seek the assistance of a landlord/tenant attorney. If you think you may be in violation of this law, or want help in making sure you comply with the law’s detailed requirements, speak to a landlord/tenant attorney right away.
If you find yourself involved with a security deposit matter, contact me for a consultation. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all of the difference in getting you the help you need.