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I received a 14day notice to quit threatening to issue of no trespass if I don't leave, is that legal? My rent is paid in full.

Boston, MA |

I'm on my way out of this property (Last month here) and prior to the last months rent payment I wrote a letter of intent stating that I will deposit half of the rent in cash and asked the landlord to apply my security deposit to the other half the final rent. The reasoning is 1) the property is in immaculate shape 2) landlord did not provide a bank account or any proof that my deposit was in escrow. 3) The landlord completely ignored me when I inquired about it.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You should consult a landlord tenant attorney. If your landlord did not agree with your way of making the last month's rent payment then technically your landlord can send you a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent. It is your landlord's determination to make any deductions for damages to the unit, not yours. That being said, your landlord should have given you a receipt for your security deposit and have held it in an interest bearing account. Failure to follow the security deposit laws can subject your landlord to multiple damages. To avoid any possible problems on your end, you may want to ensure your rent is paid in full and deal with the security deposit issue afterwards. If the unit is immaculate as you say then you likely would not receive any deductions. Further when you get your security deposit back it should include interest earned during your tenancy. Your best option is to sit down with a landlord tenant attorney and discuss what rights and remedies you may have. Best of luck.

Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

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9 comments

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

I should add that with respect to your question about the trespassing, your landlord cannot forcibly evict you or bar your access to your apartment while you still live there and any action your landlord may take must be done through the court system.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your answer, since the landlord did not give a receipt of where the deposit is in escrow aren't I able to ask for immediate refund covered in 15b 3a?

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

Yes, but that does not apply if the "lease, rental, occupancy or tenancy of one hundred days or less in duration which lease or rental is for a vacation or recreational purpose." (The last subsection of the chapter and section you cited). I'm guessing that's not applicable here but I thought I would mention it. Nice research you did.

Asker

Posted

Thanks :) Yes the term of the lease was from October-May.

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

You are very welcome and good luck with everything!

Asker

Posted

One last thing and I appreciate your expertise! Even though I sent a notice of intent allowing my security to be applied towards last rent and the landlord intern replied with a notice to quit should I send a demand letter anyway? From what I read in MGL is that mishandling of a security deposit can lead to treble damages.

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

That is true with respect to mishandling security deposits but I'm not sure if failing to give you the information about where it was being held is enough if your deposit was held in an interest bearing account and your landlord gives you the deposit and interest earned. I'm not sure on that one without researching more into it. You should be careful not to breach your lease agreement, meaning that you can demand the deposit back but you probably shouldn't deduct it from your rent. If you plan on suing your landlord, have an attorney draft the demand.

Asker

Posted

ok , thanks again for your time!

Emma A. Kremer

Emma A. Kremer

Posted

You're welcome. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Posted

Additionally, your landlord does not have a responsibility to account for the security deposit until after your move out.

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Posted

Please be advised, your security deposit is not "last months rent". Therefore, your landlord is not required to agree to your suggested payment arrangement. I would advise consulting a landlord-tenant attorney whom may be able to negotiate a favorable outcome for you, especially where it appears the landlord has not complied with the requirements of the security deposit law.

Best regards,
Justin M. Murphy

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your answer, I have sent a letter asking for my security deposit back immediately for failing to comply with M.G.L. c. 186, § 15B(3)(a)

Posted

I agree with previous responders as to the security deposit and rent. But to answer the question you asked, you don't become a trespasser if you overstay. Landlords and tenants cannot be considered trespassers vis-a-vis each other. If you overstay, the landlord's remedy is to file an eviction case in Housing Court or District Court.

Disclaimer: This site exists to provide information only. It is not legal advice. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am a Massachusetts lawyer. Any information provided on this site does not, except as explicitly stated, imply familiarity with laws or procedures peculiar to your state which may differ from those where I practice.

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