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Massachusetts Security Deposit Law

The Massachusetts residential security deposit law is extremely favorable to tenants. The law sets forth in great detail the numerous technical requirements and procedures which a landlord must follow when accepting, maintaining, and returning security deposits from residential tenants. Even innocent violations by landlords who are acting in good faith can result in automatic imposition of damages amounting to three times the security deposit, plus the tenant's costs and attorney's fees.

Lawyers at Frisoli Associates are experienced in representing both landlords and tenants in cases involving potential violations of the residential security deposit law. Security deposit cases handled by the lawyers at Frisoli Associates include ones where its lawyers:

  • In 2008, obtained a lump sum settlement of $9000 after filing suit for a tenant against a landlord who wrongfully failed to return a security deposit of approximately $2000.
  • In 2008, secured a judgment after a trial on the merits in the amount of approximately $27,000 (including three times the security deposit, plus court costs and attorney's fees) against a landlord because of the landlord's wrongful withholding and deduction of expenses from the tenant's $3500 security deposit.

Residential tenants should be aware of their rights under the security deposit law; they may benefit from aggressively pursuing claims for security deposit law violations.

Landlords should avoid liability and punitive damages for innocent violations of the security deposit law by seeking competent advice from attorneys experienced in landlord-tenant law.

Bulfinch Square • 43 Thorndike Street, Cambridge, MA 02141 • Phone 617-494-0200 • Fax 617-494-9068