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)
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 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.