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