Submitted by SnoopyScone t3_zwojz3 in massachusetts

Hello all! I’m an international student attending a university in the Boston area. During the period of August 2021 - August 2022, I lived off campus in one of the apartments near to the university. While my previous roommates moved out of the apartment since they graduated, I leased out another unit in the same apartment with a new set of roommates from September 2022. I am facing the following problems:

  1. Our security deposit for the first unit (to the tune of almost $5000) hasn’t been returned yet even though it has been 4 months since we moved out.
  2. A new management team came into force sometime during September, and the new management is blatantly racist against international students staying in the apartment. They treat us like literal filth, hold packages we receive in their custody for more than 2-3 days, ask us for IDs every time we enter the building (even if we have the FoBs on us), slap unnecessary charges every now and then, and threaten us with eviction notices for no reason.
  3. This apartment is a 21 floor one, with 3 elevators, out of which only 2 are functioning. Once in a while, all the elevators will be down. It so happened last month that one of our neighbors got terribly sick all of a sudden, and we had to take him to the hospital. We are on the 17th floor and none of the elevators were working. It was a big hassle for us.

I’m not familiar with Mass leasing laws, but is there any way to proceed legally against the apartment management? Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you!



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Moist_Doughnut_311 t1_j1wa64n wrote

Landlords have 30 days to assess and get quotes for any damages they plan to pay for with the security deposit and provide you with notice. After the 30 days they forfeit that right and must reimburse you the full amount plus interest.

When it's happened to me before I just email the landlord with excerpts from the law and they always send the check out ASAP.


SnoopyScone OP t1_j206nmk wrote

We have decided to ask the management once more after the holidays before we proceed on the legal route. Thanks a lot for the info!


Positive-Material t1_j1vxy93 wrote

lawyers offer free 30 minute consultations.. you can try asking them.. i would call them and offer to settle out of court for triple damages because deposit wasn't returned.


Proof-Variation7005 t1_j1wdk8l wrote

For #1, you've got a pretty solid case and can just take them to small claims court. The window to pay is like 30 days and if the landlord waits longer, they've basically forfeited any amount of that money, even if it would be a legit expense (i.e. $200 for cleaning or something). 5 grand is definitely under the small claims threshold so you don't necessarily need to lawyer up.

I'm not really sure I can speak to the other issues. The elevator issue sounds more like bad luck tbh.


SnoopyScone OP t1_j206fyi wrote

Thank you! We’ll look into the small claims court possibility.


Unique-Public-8594 t1_j1vx1dc wrote

Of course it’s appropriate to ask here. I can’t answer but wanted to suggest that if there is no helpful answer posted here, you might want to try r/legal?

Sorry about the discrimination. :/


angryelf51 t1_j1ww9k0 wrote

Check if your college has an off-campus student housing legal clinic. Mine did and they walked me through issues I had with a landlord.

TLDR, having a letter from them to the landlord immediately got my security deposit back.


SnoopyScone OP t1_j2067ws wrote

Ooh I had completely forgotten about the university’s off-campus housing team. I’ll reach out to them. Thanks a lot!


bubalusarnee t1_j1wi6dn wrote

Have you considered contacting the office of the Mayor?


SnoopyScone OP t1_j206acu wrote

Didn’t know we could do that. I’ll look into this now. Thank you!


ekac t1_j1yrqq8 wrote

Contact Maura Healey's office.

Report housing-related discrimination to the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office at or 617-963-2917.

You may also file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD). More information is available at or (617) 994-6000.

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey


SnoopyScone OP t1_j2063sy wrote

Thanks a lot for these resources! Much appreciated!!


Banea-Vaedr t1_j1zfv09 wrote

If you can prove any of this, you can probably get a lawyer to take it on contingency. Get a bunch of the tenants with you and file suit.


SnoopyScone OP t1_j2061yc wrote

Yes, we have all the proofs required. We will do that. Thank you!!


SeekingAir t1_j1zn181 wrote

  1. Did you receive a proof of security deposit received, including bank name and account number, for the first apartment? Did your $5k security deposit get transferred to your new apartment or did you have to make another security deposit? If you haven't received any communications regarding this money, it's time to ask management in writing where that money is.

  2. Before claiming racism, is everyone else in the building being treated the same way? Spend some time in the lobby and observe how other tenants are treated. A new management company on site may be due to lack of performance/enforcement of security measures by the previous management company.

  3. Elevators are notoriously finicky, especially in older buildings. Qualified elevator repairmen are in short supply and high demand. There is no upside for management to not have the elevators in working condition. They want them fixed as much as the tenants do I'd guess. If you feel this issue warrants a call to your local inspectional services department, do so. You may want to contact the MA Office on Disability for further information.


SnoopyScone OP t1_j205z6x wrote

  1. Yes, we do have it. It has also been stated in the lease that they would be holding the SD in a Chase account. And no, we had to pay another deposit for the new apartment. Every time we ask the management, they always say the cheque is being processed.
  2. All the international students here are facing this issue.
  3. Sure, we will contact the MA office of disability. Thank you!!