Moving On

5 Sep

MetroBoston, Publication Date September 05, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

It’s that time of year again. Moving trucks clog the streets as new tenants move into apartments and condos and old tenants move out.

Moving also triggers a rash of questions. Here are the short answers to the most common questions.

New Tenants. A landlord cannot charge more than a first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a month security deposit, and a reasonable key and lock deposit at the inception of your rental. A pet deposit is nothing more than a security deposit. It cannot be charged in addition to a full month’s security deposit. A move-in or move-out fee is also not permitted.

A landlord has 30 days to put a security deposit in a proper escrow account and give you proper notice of the details of the deposit. A landlord who fails to comply with key parts of the security deposit law forfeits the right to hold your deposit.

Vacating Tenants. A landlord has 30 days to return your security deposit. If the landlord deducts for damage to the apartment, the landlord must provide you with a letter, signed under the penalties of perjury, itemizing the damages and the costs of repair. The landlord must also provide you with receipts for any money paid for repairs.

Good luck on the move!  © 2012 George Warshaw.

George Warshaw is a real estate attorney and author. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts, and estate plans. George welcomes new clients and questions at



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: