Three from the murky world of renting:
1. Question: I would like to know if I can get my pet deposit back even though I am still living in my apartment. My dog died shortly after I moved in, and I am not getting another one. My landlord says the deposit cannot be refunded until I move out, which I don’t plan on doing for a few years.
Answer: A reasonable person would think so, wouldn’t you. Unfortunately, unless you have it in your lease that you’d get the money back, if your pet died, you’ll have to wait. (By the way, I don’t think you can be forced to pay a pet deposit, in Massachusetts. The security deposit (maximum of one month’s rent) is all the landlord can collect.
Dog dies but landlord won’t return pet deposit – By Robert Griswold, Inman News, by way of The Boston Globe
2. Question: I share an apartment with friends. In the past, the owners of the building have asked for only one person to be on the lease and the others to informally sublet. I came in as a subletter. The leaseholder moved recently and I spoke to the landlord about signing the lease. He said he would get it to me, but now, two months later, I still haven’t signed anything. What are the ramifications?
Answer: Dude, you’re now a tenant at will. If the landlord decides he wants you out, you’ll have thirty days to move. Always get on the lease. Always.
Dog dies but landlord won’t return pet deposit (2nd item) – By Robert Griswold, Inman News, by way of The Boston Globe
3. Question: The building I live in is being sold and the manager just dropped off an estoppel agreement to sign. What is it for? Should I sign it?
Answer: I had never heard of this. Interesting. It’s a form that would be included with your lease, or sent to you, sometime during your lease. It outlines tenant and landlord responsibilities, beyond rent amount and lease term. It sets the rules and covers any agreements you’ve made.
Should tenants be wary of signing estoppel? – By Helene Lesel, Inman News, by way of The Boston Globe
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Updated: January 2018