In Massachusetts, landlords can request two kinds of deposits: security deposits and rent for the last month. These deposits must be handled in a very specific manner to comply with the law. An overview of the Waltham MA rules on tenant deposits is offered below.
Statement of Property Condition
Within ten days of accepting a security deposit for Waltham MA apartments, property owners must furnish tenants with a property condition statement that detail any pre-existing damages. Tenants should be allowed fifteen days to verify the information. A corrected version should be given to both parties. This form should be referred back to upon the tenant vacating the property and can be the basis for withholding funds from deposits.
Holding of Funds
All deposits (both security and rent) must be held in a Massachusetts interest bearing account. They should also be shielded from creditors of the landlord in an escrow or equivalent type account. Many financial institutions provide products for this particular purpose. The account may include the personal information of the tenant (for interest reporting purposes). Landlords must provide tenants with a receipt for deposits and information on the location of money.
Interest Funds and Returning Deposits
Every 12 months, interest accumulated from deposit money must be paid to the tenant. This can be done either as a payment from the landlord or deducting it from rent for a particular month. After a tenant has vacated, landlords must pay back security deposits within 30 days. The landlord may withhold amounts for repairs (except normal wear and tear) and overdue rent. Amounts withheld should be itemized in a list and provided to the tenant. For damages, a list of specific damages should be provided along with repair estimates.
Waltham MA Rules On Tenant Deposits
The above details are simply an overview of Waltham MA rules on tenant deposits. Specific scenarios can differ and it may be necessary to seek legal guidance. In such cases, be sure to contact a lawyer that understands Massachusetts rules. Additional information can also be found on the Massachusetts government website at http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer/housing/tenant-and-landlord.