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Tenant Leaves Without Forwarding Address

A tenant had vacated an apartment for which I was holding a security deposit. He did not provide a forwarding address. The sec. dep. is in an escrow account. How long do I have to hold onto the security deposit?

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As you may know, in Massachusetts it is not a good idea to mishandle a security deposit.  I do not have a definitive answer for you, but I can offer these suggestions.  Make sure you complete all required paperwork and mail it along with the check to the tenant's last know address.  If she left a forwarding address it will go to her.  If not, it will be returned to you, and you will then have evidence that you made a good faith effort to return the money.  You never know if or when a tenant will come back looking for her money.
If the money is returned to you, you must then decide if you want to drop the issue and keep the money, or hand the money over to the State Treasurer's Abandoned Property Division.  That option involves some paperwork, but it eliminates the possibility of the tenant ever claiming that you held her deposit in violation of the law.  Good luck.

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