landlord / rental question

Dench

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if theres no signed agreement between the landlord and tenant, and the landlord refuses to give back the deposit because of a rule that was not explained verbally or in paper what can the former tenant do? (in this case, the ex tenant gave 22 days notice, and was then told that she was supposed to give 30 when that number was never agreed upon)

this is for a friend who had a apartment in dorchester with a roomate that had an abusive boyfriend living there when he wasnt supposed to be.
my friend is curious if there is any state/city/commercial organization she could make a report with.

any help would be very much appreciated.
 
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if theres no signed agreement between the landlord and tenant, and the landlord refuses to give back the deposit because of a rule that was not explained verbally or in paper what can the former tenant do? (in this case, the ex tenant gave 22 days notice, and was then told that she was supposed to give 30 when that number was never agreed upon)

this is for a friend who had a apartment in dorchester with a roomate that had an abusive boyfriend living there when he wasnt supposed to be.
my friend is curious if there is any state/city/commercial organization she could make a report with.

any help would be very much appreciated.

while it is too late now, but no person should ever get into a landlord/tenant situation without a lease signed and all the rules in writing.

As for 30 days notice, that was usually the standard that I had in any of my lease agreements. They may have the ability to get it back due to having nothing signed, but who actually knows without trying....
 

Dench

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Tenant deposits are a matter of law. Contact the AG's office.
could you give me more information about that? i really dont have the slightest clue.
what department of the AG?
should she make it clear to the AG that there was no lease (therefor putting the landlord in a bad position?)
 

Rob Boudrie

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As a matter of practicality, although the ethics of the strategy may be debated, there is nothing that prevents a tenant from stopping payment of rent one month before leaving and telling the landlord to use it as the last month's rent. Although prohibited by the lease, all a landlord can do is scream "you can't do that" .... while waiting weeks to get to court where the chances of a penalty being imposed on the tenant are nil.
 
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When your lease runs out or there is no lease signed you are what is called "tenant at will". Which bascially means your are renting month to month, i dont belive there is a notice needed although curtious.Security Depoists are covered under civil law and need to be paid back plus interst unless they can prove damage to the residence. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/lat07.htm
 
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A tenant at will should give 30 days notice if moving or at least that's been my experience as a landlord for the last 20+ years. Scriv can yell at me if he wants but the landlord can't arbitrarily keep her deposit unless he can prove the money was used to repair damages done to the apt. BTW wear and tear do not equal damages. Ma law favors the tenant for the most part,I know this as I had to evict 2 different sets of tenants for various violations of the lease.
 
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A tenant at will should give 30 days notice if moving or at least that's been my experience as a landlord for the last 20+ years. Scriv can yell at me if he wants but the landlord can't arbitrarily keep her deposit unless he can prove the money was used to repair damages done to the apt. BTW wear and tear do not equal damages. Ma law favors the tenant for the most part,I know this as I had to evict 2 different sets of tenants for various violations of the lease.
now, is that security deposit supposed to be kept in an interest earning account? I got my security deposit back from my last place, but it was just the straight 900 bucks. Every place I rented before that gave me the deposit plus interest.....
 

icyclefar

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If no lease agreement is in place covering the rental then "Tenant at Will" laws apply. Typical notice under Tenant at will is "one rental period", if rent was paid monthly, then proper notice to vacate is one month. If you pay your rent weekly, then it's one week.

Landlords of residential property are required by law to keep deposits in an interest bearing account with the interest accruing to the Lessee.

As far as damages are concerned, as said before, normal wear and tear are NOT damages. Furthermore, a Landlord will have no claim for damages unless they can show a "condition report" signed by the Lessee establishing the condition of the premises prior to the beginning of the Lessee's occupancy.

Unfortunately, in these situations the "Golden Rule" applies, he who has the Gold attempts to make the rules. If you are in the right, and choose to challenge the Landlord, you will prevail. It has been my experience that Landlords who "break the rules" tend to get spanked firmly when you get to court. *typically small claims is all you need.
 

Rob Boudrie

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he who has the Gold attempts to make the rules
Correct. If you follow the rules, and don't attempt to make use the deposit as the last month's rent, the landlord holds the gold. If you do, it's incumbent upon the landlord to obtain, and enforce, a court judgment against you for any damages as you hold the gold. I've been on both sides of this fence, and it's not stacked as strongly in favor of the landlord as they would like you to believe.
 

Another_David

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Your friend is the tenant?

Everything they need to know: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocasubt...ing+Information&L3=Tenant+&+Landlord&sid=Eoca

Interest on last and security is due as actual interest received, with proof of deposit showing the interest rate OR if no proof landlord pays 5%.

Have her send the landlord a "letter of demand" by certified mail demanding the payment be sent to her current address within 30 days. If he doesn't then this landlord is going to feel pain. Sue for amount due plus triple the amount as damages. Mention that and the AG in the letter. Contact the AG only after sending the letter and waiting 30 days for a response.
 
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Dench

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thanks for everyones help! my friend is here and is very happy for the advice!
 
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A helpful hint from a landlord,when your friend moves into their new apartment get/have a friend with a video camera go thru the apartment and take pics with the first picture of the days local newspaper and when you leave do the same. That way if the landlord says you destroyed the place you have evidence before and after the fact.
 

RKG

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Your friend is the tenant?

Everything they need to know: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocasubt...ing+Information&L3=Tenant+&+Landlord&sid=Eoca

One rental period required for notice so if she was monthly and only gave 22 days notice she owes 8 days. Landlord should refund deposit less 8/30th of one month's rent. If he's claiming damage to the apartment itself he should have a pre and post apartment inspection report to provide her (rarely happens). Verbal agreements in real estate are virtually worthless. The burden is solely on the landlord to make a claim for keeping this deposit.

Interest on last and security is due as actual interest received, with proof of deposit showing the interest rate OR if no proof landlord pays 5%.

Have her send the landlord a "letter of demand" by certified mail demanding the payment be sent to her current address within 30 days. If he doesn't then this landlord is going to feel pain. Sue for amount due plus triple the amount as damages. Mention that and the AG in the letter. Contact the AG only after sending the letter and waiting 30 days for a response.

This advice, I respectfully submit, illustrates why one should not seek or employ legal advice obtained over the web.

I don't know (and don't want to know) enough of the fact to venture even a tentative opinion about this particular case. However, if the situation requires a 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month TAW, then late notice obligates the tenant to a full month's rent, not a fractional month.

Please, tell your friend to see legal advice from a lawyer qualified to render it.
 

Another_David

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This advice, I respectfully submit, illustrates why one should not seek or employ legal advice obtained over the web.

I don't know (and don't want to know) enough of the fact to venture even a tentative opinion about this particular case. However, if the situation requires a 30-day notice to terminate a month-to-month TAW, then late notice obligates the tenant to a full month's rent, not a fractional month.

Please, tell your friend to see legal advice from a lawyer qualified to render it.
In your opinion, how much should this person pay for legal representation to get what is probably a $500 deposit returned?
 
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n1heu

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at will tenancy

Call AG and ask for pamphlet on renters rights. It also may be on line but there is a 6-8 page booklet that can be requested that explains every likely rental situation and the laws regarding security deposits. It is a must for anybody that rents.
 

Dench

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thanks again guys. im going to have her reread this thread as youve all added info to it.
i appreciate it!
 
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From my dealing with the agency that handles landlord/tenant disputes, if you give notice say on the 15 of the month the 30 days notice does not start til the 1st of the following month. Scriv you welcome to flame me on this.
 

Another_David

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From my dealing with the agency that handles landlord/tenant disputes, if you give notice say on the 15 of the month the 30 days notice does not start til the 1st of the following month. Scriv you welcome to flame me on this.
The PDF posted by N1 does confirm this. I was wrong about my assessment of a fractional month payment due.

A tenancy-at-will does not last for any set amount of time
and does not end on a certain date, the way a lease does. In
a tenancy-at-will the tenant pays the agreed-upon rent each
month, for an indefinite period of time. Either the landlord or
the tenant can decide to end the tenancy by giving the other
party notice, either 30 days or one month before the due date
of the next rent payment, whichever is longer. In this type of
agreement, the rent can change according to the same terms
(either 30 days or one month before the due date of the next
rent payment, whichever is longer).
 

Dench

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to everyone that gave input into this thread, i would like to thank you and my friend is also very thankful for the advice and help.
fortunately for her, her land lord has had a change of heart and has decided to give the full deposit back due to the circumstances of her former roommate.

again, thanks for the help!
 

Another_David

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to everyone that gave input into this thread, i would like to thank you and my friend is also very thankful for the advice and help.
fortunately for her, her land lord has had a change of heart and has decided to give the full deposit back due to the circumstances of her former roommate.

again, thanks for the help!
that's great and really the best solution for all. Make sure she thanks this landlord and ends on good terms because future landlords will want to call him as a reference. I used to rent apartments and would always start every question about procedures with good communication and kindness goes a long way--neither party wants to end up in court. Send him a thank you note--it works wonders.
 

Blitz1

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to everyone that gave input into this thread, i would like to thank you and my friend is also very thankful for the advice and help.
fortunately for her, her land lord has had a change of heart and has decided to give the full deposit back due to the circumstances of her former roommate.

again, thanks for the help!
She didn't, per chance, show him a photo of the recent car shoot and say "these are some of my friends." [smile][wink]
 
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