Don't worry everyone, the advice from Reddit is a resounding "yes this is illegal"

I'm sure the landlord had every intention of giving the renter $6000 had their gamble with their money gone in the other direction

@web3isgreat if it had gone the other way the landlord would have just eaten the profits 100%. what a dick

@web3isgreat I mean, sucks for the landlord, but that's not the renter's problem. It's the landlord's responsibility to return the deposit, assuming all conditions for the return are met. I doubt "money market value" is in the contract.

@web3isgreat i'd say the renter just owned 50% of the flat :D

@web3isgreat yeah the renter didn't lose their deposit -- the landlord did. The landlord owes the renter their deposit back, plus whatever the going interest rate was. Their shitty choices about what they did with it in instead don't change that legal obligation one bit.

@web3isgreat In MA the law says that the landlord must put the deposit in "an interest bearing account". It doesn't say what happens if the interest is negative, which could legit happen if the Fed decided to make rates negative.

No idea whether Bitcoin counts as "an interest bearing account", but I doubt it. As far as I can tell they don't define it.

Section 3.17 (3) (b)

@sigue @web3isgreat Bitcoin isn't an account, it's a currency, and interest rates are not negative. This landlord failed their legal duty, they kept the money under their mattress and got robbed. The tenant is under no obligation to accept that loss, it doesn't cancel the landlord's debt obligation.

@web3isgreat this is amazing. I appreciate the r/legaladvice crosspost!

@web3isgreat they're just a small claims lawsuit away from getting it back.

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