In a 20 page decision, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the entry of summary judgment in favor of two tenants on a claim under M.G.L. c. 186, § 15B for the landlord’s failure to timely return a security deposit. The Appeals Court reaffirmed that M.G.L. c. 186, § 15B is a strict liability statute that requires a landlord to return the security deposit or lawfully account for deductions within 30 days of the end of the tenancy. The Appeals Court rejected the landlord’s argument that a purported offer to the tenants to come in person to pick up the checks in the downtown Boston office satisfied the landlord’s obligation to return the deposit where the landlord knew that at least one tenant lived out of state and had mailing addresses for both tenants.

In total, the tenants were awarded triple the amount of the unreturned security deposit plus statutory interest, in addition to $27,230 in attorney’s fees for the violation M.G.L. c. 186, § 15B.

A copy of the decision can be accessed here.
Attorney John A. Mangones represented the tenants in the Housing Court proceeding and in the appeal.

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