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The law that deals with security deposits and last month’s rent paid in advance (does not apply to tenancies of 100 days or less or vacation rentals) can be found in Section 15B of Chapter 186 of the General Laws of Massachusetts (M.G.L. c. 186, 15B). Additionally, there is a Massachusetts regulation which addresses security deposits and other landlord-tenant issues (940 CMR 3.17). Federally subsidized housing is also subject to federal laws and regulations.
A landlord may request the following from the tenant:
Is the landlord required to give a receipt to the tenant for the security deposit?
Yes, a landlord must give a written receipt to the tenant at the time of accepting the security deposit. The receipt should include:
Within 10 days of collecting a security deposit, the landlord must provide a signed statement to the tenant that describes the condition of the property, including any known damage and violations of the state sanitary and building codes. The following language must appear at the top of the statement of condition, which informs the tenant of what to do after receiving it from the landlord.
If the tenant disagrees with the statement of condition and submits a list of additional damages, the landlord has an additional 15 days to either agree to the tenant’s list by signing it and returning it to the tenant or to provide the tenant with a signed statement of disagreement.