The security deposit issue continues this week as veteran landlord, property manager and real estate investor Hank Rossi takes on another question.

Dear Landlord Hank:

I live in Massachusetts and my lease clearly states that the tenant is responsible to deposit their rent in cash each month into my rental property account. Additionally, my bills, (mortgage, insurance maintenance charge cards etc.) all related to this rental are scheduled as reoccurring payments processed “electronically” by the bank. The lease states that if their rent is not deposited on time, late, or insufficient, then, the tenant is liable for the undetermined cost of NSF (not sufficient funds) “bank” fees as the result until the rent is paid. The tenant gave a 30-day notice to vacate but used the rent due me to give to their new landlord as a deposit, thus, incurred 10 fees @ $37 each. Would this be considered as a valid deduction from their security deposit?



Dear Landlord Ed,

This question would be best addressed by an attorney.

That being said, you are definitely due you last month’s rent and since the terms in the lease cover this situation.

I would think you’d be “reasonable”  to think that you could deduct those charges from tenant’s deposit.

I hope you have a large enough deposit to cover last month’s rent, late fees, and any damage you find.

Good luck.


Hank Rossi

In case you missed last week’s post on security deposit issues, here it is:

A Tale of Woe Regarding Handing a Security Deposit

Each week I answer questions from landlords and property managers across the country in my “Dear Landlord Hank” blog in the digital magazine Rent Resources by the American Rental Property Owners and Landlord Association.

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Tenant screening

Landlord Hank at work on one of his properties.