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Landlord's unfair and deceptive for triple damages?

When I moved into my apartment five months ago the carpet in one bedroom was stained in several places. I told the landlord I'd take the apartment if he changed the rug or paid to let me do it (I know how). He said I could change it myself and spend up to $300 on the carpet and that he would repay me withing one month of doing it. So I took the apartment and bought carpet and installed it. Now he wont pay me and he says I better not deduct it from the rent because he had a certificate of occupancy so the carpet did not need to be replaced. This guy is a liar and I want to get my money back. But now I want to know if what he did could get me triple damages because he is being unfair and deceptive? What do you think?

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Interestingly enough, just about any naughty behavior a landlord can dream up is designated an unfair and deceptive act under regulations promulgated under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, or 93A.  940 CMR 3.17 contains some general language designed to cover many types of unfair and deceptive behavior, but also includes some specifics, such as

(g) Fail to reimburse the tenant within a reasonable or agreed time after notice, for the reasonable cost of repairs made or paid for, or supplies or services purchased by the tenant after any representation, that such reimbursement would be made(.)

So I like your strategy.  Go ahead and send your landlord a demand letter.  If he's silly enough to ignore it, take him to court. In your complaint, if it gets that far, make sure to ask for triple damages in your complaint.   Good luck.

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