Many people know that the laws regarding residential security deposits are detailed – when the lease is signed, a condition report must be completed, receipts provided, and funds placed into a separate bank account.

There is a trap for the unwary landlord when the lease terminates. The Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed that MGL c. 15B requires the landlord to provide an itemized list of damages, sworn to under pains and penalties of perjury, including the nature of the damage, cost of necessary repairs, and supporting written evidence such as estimates, bills, invoices or receipts, all within 30 days.

A landlord who does not comply, forfeits the right to the deposit.