In MA, landlords may demand two different kinds of deposits: security deposits and rent for the last month. These deposits must be handled in a particular way. A summary of the Medford guidelines on rental deposits is provided below.
Property Condition Statement
Within 10 days of accepting security deposits for Medford apartments, property owners should give tenants paperwork that detail any pre-existing problems. Tenants must be allowed fifteen days to review and note any errors on that document. A corrected version should be provided to both landlord and tenant. This form should be referenced at the termination of the tenancy and will be the basis for withholding funds from deposits.
Where Funds Must be Places
All deposits must be placed in a MA interest earning account. They must also be protected from creditors of the landlord in an escrow or similar type account. Many banks offer products for this specific purpose. The account can contain the personal information of the tenant (for tax purposes). Landlords must write out a receipt and give details on the bank where the money is being deposited.
Interest and Return of Deposits
At the end of each year, interest accumulated from deposit money must be paid to the tenant. This can be performed by issuing a check from the landlord or deducting it from rent for a given month. After a tenant has moved out, landlords must return security deposits within a 30 day period. The landlord may deduct funds for repairs (not counting normal wear and tear) and overdue rent. Monies withheld should be detailed in a statement to the tenant. For repairs, a list of specific damages should be included along with repair estimates.
Medford Guidelines On Rental Deposits
The above details are simply an overview of Medford guidelines on rental deposits. Specific scenarios will range and it might be necessary to receive legal advice. Be sure to call a lawyer who specializes in MA guidelines. Information on landlord tenant laws may also be found on the MA government website at http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer/housing/tenant-and-landlord.