Answer: usually the answer would be no, but there are some factors which would make the answer yes. In Massachusetts and Rhode Island if the landlord did not properly set up your safety deposit in a separate account, they will be in trouble just for failing to do that. You can even get damages from the judge for them doing this improperly, I’ve seen that many times. The landlord is also responsible for filling out the proper paperwork, basically you need to have signed off on the condition of the apartment or place you are renting prior to giving the landlord a security deposit. The reason for this is when you move out damage that was there when you moved in the landlord can say you’re responsible for, due to this the landlord must have you sign a document that clearly states the condition of every room in the place you rent. Also a security deposit cannot be held simply because you didn’t pay your last months rent either, security deposit and last months rent are two separate things. So if your landlord is keeping your security deposit simply because you failed to make the last months rent, you get the security deposit back, but if you go to housing court you will most likely be adjudicated to pay back the last months rent if you have no reason to have moved out without paying. Now that being said if the landlord did everything properly and you damaged the apartment, then that’s with the security deposit is for. So if damage caused by you or someone you brought into the apartment and was not normal wear and tear expected from renting, then yes he can keep the security deposit, because that’s what a security deposit is for.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.

Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723

Office:  888-269-0688


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