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20-Jun-2008 2:25 PM -- Anonymous

I've lived in the same unit for 10 years and will be moving soon. The current landlord is the 2nd owner/landlord of the property (as of 5 years ago).
5 years ago, after months of attempts, I did ask and get a letter from the current owner confirming he did receive my security deposit at the closing from the 1st landlord when he bought the building.

However, I know that he did not receive a copy of the original landlord's rental documents that included a statement of condition. No new statement of condition was created when he took ownership.
Also, I cannot locate my copy of the original statement of conditions. There was some missing items/damage when I moved in 10 years ago

Given this situation (lack of documentation about the original condition) does the landlord have any legal right to keep a portion of the deposit for damages?

He probably has a inspection report from 5 years ago, can that be used as evidence even though I never signed off on it ? For example, when I moved in there was a 8 inch hole in a wall that I had a heavy wardrobe in front of that the home inspection probably didn't catch.

21-Jun-2008 6:21 AM -- The Editor

Without the condition statement it will be tough for the LL to convince any housing court judge to allow him to keep the sec. deposit (unless it is for some other purpose, like back rent.)

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Renter's Deposit Law & Small Claims

Recently, my daughter took her land lord to small claims court to obtain the return of her security deposit, which had not been placed in the correct type of account, after moving out of the rented house. The land lord issued a counterclaim. The counterclaim was accepted and the 2 were combined in a hearing in April. During the hearing, the Assistant Clerk Magistrate, Gerald Morin (North Hampton, Ma Court) refused to look at my daughter's evidence regarding the deposit and also dissregarded the signed Statement of Condition papers that clearly showed, there were no damages or removed items as the land lord claimed. Further, Clerk Morin indicated that the way the land lord dealt with the deposit is OK. Yet, clearly, she did not, according to Chapter 3 of this law.

The result is that my daughter now owes the land lord money for damages that did not occur and a snowblower that the landlord's son removed from the house! Judge Goggins refused my daughter's "Request for reconsideration". We suspect that the Magistrate knows the land lord and has allowed this situation to occur. There seems to be some judicial misconduct here! What can we do now?

After losing in small claims court

Follow this link to a page on the District Court's website regarding your options after losing in small claims court.  Good luck.

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