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I’m in Massachusetts. I leased an apartment along with 3 other roommates for 2 years, with the lease ending in May. The landlady and apartment was terrible, but we managed with minimal drama and all bills paid on time. Flash forward to now, she told ya she was planning on keeping $800 of our $3400 security deposit for cleaning, painting, and an unpaid water bill.
When we moved in 2 years ago it looked like the tenants hadn’t cleaned in years and the walls were in terrible shape. While it wasn’t explicitly stated in the lease that our landlady would repaint the walls prior to move in, she repeatedly assured us verbally and over email that she was repainting the whole apartment. Knowing that the apartment would be cleaned and repainted were a huge reason we signed the lease to begin with. When we moved in nothing has been painted and the apartment was disgusting, she refused to do anything and insisted she did have the apartment cleaned and that she never agreed to painting.
We were pissed but dealt with the cleaning and decided to paint the living room ourselves since it was by far the worst walls. I know that we weren’t allowed to paint and expected we might get fined when we moved out, but the walls were just so bad and we weren’t expecting to live with them. The living room is small, maybe 10 by 10, and we repainted the walls in a similar (but noticeably different if you look) neutral color and were careful, laid drop clothes and used painters tape. We did a great and clean job painting that room.
Flash forward to now, she is withholding $300 to paint the room, $150 for cleaning, $100 since our rent increased from the first to second year, and the rest for an unpaid water bill.
there is no way it would cost $300 to have that room professionally painted. And the kicker is my old roommate is still living there (subletting from new tenant) and the walls haven’t even been painted. They have not even brought up painting with the new tenants, which would be relevant since they have furniture and stuff on the walls which would need to be moved.
We seriously cleaned before moving out, the apartment is significantly cleaner than when we moved in, and people living there are almost positive a cleaning service never came.
I’ve never seen this water bill and she’s never mentioned an unpaid water bill until now.
our lease technically isn’t legal - we had 4 unrelated people on one lease when the local law only allows up to 3
it’s been more than 30 days and we haven’t gotten the rest of our deposit back, if I read Mass state laws right she needs to return it within 30 days.
she never did made us fill out a condition report when we moved in.
Edit: also our landlady never mentioned returning the interest that our security deposit incurred over 2 years
Do we have any legal ground to stand on? We really need at least some of this money back, as were broke new grads.