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SECURITY DEPOSITS

What is a security deposit and why do I have to pay it?

The security deposit protects the landlor if the tenant vacateswithout making required

payments or damages the unit. If the tenant gives proper noti e and vacates without owing any

rent or damages, the landlord must return the serity deposit to the tenant within thirty (30)

days. Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §44-7-30) a security deposit is money paid by the tenant to

the landlord and includes damge deposits, advance rent depoits, and pet deposits. Amounts

identified in the lease as the ecurity deposit are reundable to the tenant. The security deposit

does not include nonrefundable fees, or amounts alied toward payment of rent, services, or

utilities

What other types of deposits may be required by the landlord?

In addition to the security deposit, the lan ord may require an application fee, cleaning

fee, pet deposit, advance rent deposit, or other ees. Before paying any of these deposits or fees,

a tenant should get in writing what the payme t is for and under what terms the payment will be

refunded.

Pet

deposits

and

adnce

rent

deposits,

which

ar refundable

under

the

lease,

are

considered part of a security deposit under the Georgia law. Application fees or deposits to hold

an apartment until you actually sign a lease are nt considered security deposits and are usually

not refundable, should you choosenot to move into the unit.You should ask if the holding

deposit or application fee will be applied to your first month’s rent or security deposit if you sign

a

lease

and

move

in.

Always

get

a

receiptrfany

deposit

or

fee

that

you

pay.

If

the

fee

is

refundable, ask the landlord to put this information on the receipt.

35

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