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What happens if the landlord refuses to refund the security deposit even though the tenant satisfied the conditions for refunding the security deposit?

If the landlord refuses to refund the securitdeposit, the tenant may bring a lawsuit to

recover the security deposit in the magistrate, stae, or superior court where the landlord resides

or where his designated agent for service resides.The tenant can sue t recover the security

deposit, interest on the amount whileit was wrongfully withheld, ttorney fees, and the cost of

filing

the

legal

ation.

The

tenant

can

only

sue

t ecover

amounts

held

by

the

landlord

for

damages, which the tenant disputed on the moveo-ut inspection list. T e court will most likely

not allow the tenant to recover for the cost ofrepairing items listed as damaged on the move-out

inspection list and not disputed by the tenant.

Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §44-7-35), a landlord who owns more than ten (10) units

or uses a third party to manage the units can be liable for three times the amount of the

improperly withheld security deposit plus attorney fees. The landlord may not have to pay treble

damages if the landlord shows that the withholding was not intentional and resulted from an

error, which occurred in spite of procedures reasonably designed to avoid such an error.

My friend was visiting and accidentally burned a hole in the carpet with a cigarette. The landlord says I am responsible for the cost of the repairs and that it will be deducted from my security deposit. Can the landlord do this? How does a tenant know if the landlord is charging a reasonable amount for the repairs?

The tenant is responsible for damages to the premises caused by the tenant and the

tenant's household members, guests, or visitors. The landlord can either deduct the charges from

your security deposit when you move out or he can perform the repairs and bill you for any

incurred cost. To determine the reasonableness of the charges, you could talk with reliable

sources in the repair business and get estimates from them to compare to the amount charged by

the landlord.

40

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