landlord wants to deduct ‘furniture removal’ charge from security deposit

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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landlord wants to deduct ‘furniture removal’ charge from security deposit

My original lease that was with 5 other tenants expired 2 years ago.
Since that, original people on the lease left, and new tenants-at-will
came and left as well. I’m the only one from original lease who is
left. Owner wants to charge me for the furniture removal that is left
from everybody in this rooming house. What are the steps I have to
follow to get my money back?

Asked on September 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If furniture was left behind AND it was sufficient in amount, size, etc. to reasonably require either or both of 1) the landlord hires a removal service, or at least people to help lift/move it, and/or 2) the landlord had to hire a dumpster or carting service to take it away, then the landlord may charge a furniture removal charge. It is only if the landlord reasonably needed to go out of pocket for the removal, and then it's only what it cost. If the landlord did not have to go out of pocket, or charged more than the cost, it is illegal, and if he withholds from you r security deposit, you could sue for the return of some or all of it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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