Can my landlord deduct cleaning/damage fees without my havingsigned a lease?

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Can my landlord deduct cleaning/damage fees without my havingsigned a lease?

I recently left my apartment which was tenancy-at-will with no lease signed. I received my security deposit back with a $250 deduction, 2 weeks after he said he send it. I asked over a week ago for the receipts as to what the deductions were for; I still haven’t received them. Before I left he was showing the apartment numerous times, giving mea heads up by texting me with a few hour notice to clean up. He said he had no problem giving my full deposit back at the time.

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a landlord is required to return his or her former tenant's security deposit in full within a certain period of move out. If the full amount is not returned, the landlord is required to set forth in writing a portion of the security deposit was used for and to provide invoices and receipts showing the use of the security deposit to the former tenant.

Under the laws of all states the above procedure for retention of a security deposit by a former landlord is allowed even if the rental was an oral agreement.

If you contest the use of the $250 of your security deposit, I would write your former landlord seeking what it was used for and then make a decision whether you want its return or not.

Good luck.

 


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