Know Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities as a Landlord or a Tenant!

Are you a landlord or a tenant? Do you know your legal rights and responsibilities? Are you properly handling security deposits? Has your landlord failed to return part or all of your deposit?

Massachusetts G.L. c. 186, §15B provides detailed requirements for lease agreements, including the handling of security deposits. Among other requirements, landlords must return security deposits within thirty days, or pay treble damages, interest, costs, and attorney’s fees.

The Taylor v. Beaudry series of cases is one example of how a landlord can be penalized for failure to comply with the detailed legal requirements for security deposits. See Taylor v. Beaudry, 75 Mass. App. Ct. 411 (2009) (“Taylor I”); Taylor v. Beaudry, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 105 (2012) (“Taylor II”). In Taylor, a landlord sought to keep part of the tenant’s security deposit, claiming that the tenant was late in vacating the rental property, and left it in poor condition. However, the landlord was too slow in his actions, and failed to properly document his problems with the tenant. Massachusetts courts recently ordered the landlord to pay the tenant three times the amount of the deposit, even after the landlord had returned the full amount of the deposit. See Taylor II, 82 Mass. App. Ct. at 111-112.

            Massachusetts has detailed requirements for both landlords and tenants. Contact the attorneys at Hutchins Law, P.C. today to be sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities.

The purpose of this article is to inform our clients of developments in the law and to provide information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or to assume a client relationship. The content of this article could be considered advertising under the rules of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Copyright © 2012 Hutchins Law, P.C. All Rights Reserved.