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ARTICLE ID 168229

$________ JUDGMENT Landlord/tenant - Failure to return security deposit after conclusion of lease - Treble damages and attorney fees awarded.

Norfolk County, MA

In this landlord/tenant matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to return the plaintiff’s security deposit as required by law. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff had failed to pay water and septic bills, as well as other miscellaneous damages.

The parties entered into a written lease agreement for the rental of a single family house. The monthly rental was $________. The landlord requested and received from the tenant the sum of $________ as a security deposit. The tenant vacated the premises in August, ________ after having agreed to extend the one-year lease for another year. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant landlord refused to return the security deposit even after the plaintiff requested the return of the deposit.

The plaintiff brought suit against the landlord seeking the return of the $________ security deposit plus treble damages and attorney fees as provided by the Massachusetts statute. The defendant denied that the plaintiff was entitled to a return of the security deposit, alleging that the plaintiff had failed to pay for water and septic bills, as well as other miscellaneous expenses during the lease term. The plaintiff was able to demonstrate that the defendant landlord had paid all of these bills and at no time during the entire tenancy had ever given the plaintiff a bill or asked the plaintiff to make the payment.

After a bench trial, the judge found in favor of the plaintiff and determined that the defendant violated the security deposit law. He entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant for the return of the security deposit, plus treble damages as required by law. The defendant appealed the judgment, which appeal was denied. A judgment issued in the amount of $________ for the security deposit, treble damages, costs and attorney fees.

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