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Re: Security Deposit
on June 19, 2012 @19:50
The landlord should have photographs of the premises prior to move-in, when the premises were vacant and the dimensions of the rooms are unobstructed by furniture. The photographs are the landlord’s memorial of the premises prior to move-in and are evidence in case of legal action. The purpose of photographs with the tenant’s property are not clear, although not illegal.
If tenant continues to takes issues with the rental security deposit regulations, advise tenant to contact the State Attorney General about the laws. In the meantime, send the tenant a copy of Massachusetts State law:
Massachusetts Laws Governing the Security Deposit
All security deposits must be deposited in a Massachusetts bank, in an account that collects interest, and within the first month of the tenancy. The landlord must provide the tenant with the name and address of the bank holding the security deposit, plus the actual account number. Each year, the landlord must either pay the tenant the interest on the security deposit or let the tenant deduct that amount from a rent payment.
The landlord should give the tenant a “statement of condition” within 10 days of receipt of the security deposit, which describes the condition of the apartment and any damage that exists at that time. The tenant has 15 days to add to the “statement of condition” or make changes to it. Both parties should keep copies of the final “statement of condition.” M.G.L. c. 186, § 15B.
When the tenancy ends, the landlord must return the security deposit, plus interest, within 30 days. However, the landlord may keep any unpaid rent or the amount of money needed to repair damage done to the apartment (beyond normal wear and tear). If the lease provides for it, the landlord may also deduct the tenant’s share of any increase in the landlord’s property taxes.
If the landlord must keep all or a part of the security deposit for damages, then the landlord must give the tenant a written description of the damage and an estimate of the repair cost within 30 days from the time the tenant moves out.
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