Tenants unwilling to fill out W9 for security deposits

2 Replies

I have recently acquired a new property with existing tenants living there. Previous owner was holding security deposits in non interest bearing accounts, as per law in Massachusetts we are required to put it in the interest bearing Massachusetts bank. I have contacted the bank to open those escrow accounts but bank said they would need W9 from tenants. I have the form to tenants but they are unwilling to fill those out, just want to hear back from other Massachusetts landlords on how they deal with these situations?

Thanks in advance..

Honestly they might just not understand what they're signing and you'll have to walk thru it with them. That's the tradition form method or there's certain landlord bank accounts (Leader Bank offers them) that offers tenant portals to log in and fill it out at their convenience so they can maintain privacy.

Hi @Ujjwal Shrestha

They are probably uncomfortable with doing it because, although it is state law in Connecticut and Massachusetts, most landlords simply do not do it. In addition to that, there are some banks that do not require a W-9 to set them up. For example Windsor Federal Savings did not require it, but People's United Bank does.

In situations where tenants have been adamant about not providing their social security number we have asked them to sign a statement acknowledging that their money is not protected from our debtors and that it would have been in their best financial interest for the money to be in an interest-bearing escrow account.

Make sure they know that if you get sued, their money is at risk.

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