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When is the landlord required to return the tenant’s security deposit?

Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §44-7-34), all landords, regardless of the number of units

they own, must return the securitydeposit within thirty (30) days after the termination of the

lease or the surrender and acceptanceof the premises, whichever occurs last.

If the security

deposit is held because of damge to the unit, the landlord must send the tenant notice within

thirty (30) days identifying the damage, the estimated dollar amount of the damage, and a refund,

if any, of the difference between the security deposit and the amount withheld for damages.

What do I need to know about security deposits before I sign a lease?

Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §44-7-33) establissean inspection procedure, the purpose of

which is for the landlord and tenant to agree othe pre-occupancy condition of the rental unit.

Georgia law requires that before the tenant pays a security deposit and moves into the rental unit

the landlord must give the tenant a complete list of any existing damages to the unit that is signed

by both the landlord and tenant. Te tenant is to be given an opportunity to inspect the rental

unit to determine if the list is accrate or if additional defects needto be added to the list. The

tenant must sign the list or specify in writing on the list the items in dispute and then sign.

The move-in inspection requirement applies t landlords who owns more than ten (10)

rental

units,

including

units

owned

by r

t spiouse

and/or

children,

or

who

employ

management agent regardless of the number of units owned. Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §44-

7-36), landlords who own fewer than ten (10) units and who manage the units themselves are not

required

to

follow

the

inspectionprocedures

but

may

find

the

proecss

helpful.

Landlords

are

required to conduct a move-in inspection are not allowed to withhold the security deposit if they

failed to perform the inspection when the tenant moved into the unit.

37

a

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