Dear Mr. and Mrs. Nut,
Please enclosed [sic] is a check for your security deposit interest, which has been placed in an Escrow account at Sovereign Bank (Account Number ******). The total interest was calculated as follow [sic]:
Please forward your January rent payment to ****** (i.e. one of his other soon-to-be-foreclosed properties)
Wow! How charitable of him to retroactively give us 5% interest in this ZIRP environment!
Though that's not what surprised us.
We had never said anything at all to him about properly *escrowing* our last month's rent and security deposit. That was a blow I was saving. So how did this idiot suspect it was an issue for us?
Either one of the cops communicated my gripe to him OR his attorney told him about *ducks* and getting them in *a row*.
Clearly, he's trying to lay some legal groundwork for getting us out of here one way or another. Either via goodwill persuasion, a sixty-day notice as per our month-to-month lease, or with an eviction.
Here's the problem:
He can't just retroactively escrow our money. No, the failure to do so within 30 days of receipt (some 2.5 years ago!) has an explicit penalty - HE HAS TO RETURN THE ENTIRE SECURITY DEPOSIT TO US. In other words, a landlord in Massachusetts who doesn't secure the monies as required FORFEITS all rights to charge us for damages during our tenancy.
The clown is only talking about HALF of our money. By law, he has to do the same thing, escrow, communicate bank account info, and pay yearly interest....with our our last month's rent as well. So he technically owes us twice the amount of interest he denoted above.
The Moron said *please enclosed is a check*....but there was only a copy of a check and, ironically for *interest only*, in the envelope. He didn't send us a check, he supposedly deposited a mere $300 check in our newly born escrow account.
This letter and entire puzzling incident required quite some time for my wife and I to decipher. Nonetheless, the law is quite clear - without taking the proper steps right away:
... you are entitled to the immediate return of your security deposit AND triple damages, plus court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees. You also are entitled to triple damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees if the landlord fails to pay interest on the last month's rent within 30 days after termination of tenancy.
Now when I found, and posted that, some fifteen months ago one item slipped my perception.
I had thought that by suing the Moron, he would lose $2,500; legal fees both his and mine, court costs, and TRIPLE the due interest - so figure, not counting the security deposit which he already got, that legal fees and TRIPLE the interest would total between $1,000 and $2,000. Big whoop, right?
But I just came across a comment on a website where a guy interpreted the statute differently.
He said that *PLUS TRIPLE DAMAGES* meant the landlord would have to pay the security deposit back TIMES FOUR. So that would be a $10,000+ punch to his smug face, would it not?
I have to get confirm on this from an attorney. If that is true, I am going to go scare the poop out of my landlord with it. Furthermore, I can find one of his other tenants in town who was paying $4,000 per month in rent in another one of his soon-to-be-foreclosed houses, and communicate this law to him!
Oh yeah, we were also notified, in the mail box, that we have *certified mail* for us at the post office, from this jerk.
Surely that is some notice of lease termination, that he wants to have an *open house* here, or some other legal notification that he needs a confirm of our reception.
We have no intention of going to get it. So in 15 days it will be sent back to him and I believe he will have to have us *served* with it. This I'm not sure of either so will have to confirm with an attorney.
In the meantime, I'm in no hurry to communicate ANYTHING to this crook. Let him bounce off his cage or padded room wondering what the bleep we are doing. He (messed) with the wrong Marine!