Understanding Georgia Security Deposit Law: A Comprehensive Guide
Georgia’s rental landscape emphasizes the nuances of the Georgia security deposit law, providing property owners with considerable leeway in collecting security deposits. Given the benefits to landlords, tenants, and property managers must be thoroughly familiar with Georgia security deposit law. This guide sheds light on Georgia state’s specific provisions and expectations regarding security deposits.
Georgia Security Deposit Limits
According to Georgia law, there’s no limit on the security deposit amount a landlord can demand.
Landlords can request an additional pet deposit, distinct from the primary security deposit. Notably, service pets are exempted, ensuring disabled individuals with such animals aren’t unfairly charged. Nevertheless, damages caused by service animals are still the tenant’s responsibility.
Storing the Security Deposit
Landlords in Georgia have two choices:
- Deposit the funds into an escrow account dedicated solely to security deposits.
- Opt for a surety bond of $50,000 or the total of all collected security deposits, whichever is less.
Informing Tenants about the Deposit’s Location
Landlords in Georgia must apprise tenants in writing about where their deposit is held. However, they aren’t obligated to disclose the account’s interest rate.
Deductions from the Security Deposit
Per Georgia security deposit law, landlords can utilize the funds for:
- Unsettled rent or utilities.
- Damages surpassing regular wear and tear.
- Financial losses due to tenant property abandonment.
Security Deposit Return Timeline
Post the lease’s conclusion, landlords have a 30-day window to reimburse the security deposit. They must conduct a property evaluation within three business days post-tenancy termination, preparing a detailed deduction list.
Penalties for Non-compliance
Landlords who miss the timeline or fail to provide an exhaustive deduction list risk forfeiting the entire deposit. Additionally, they might incur penalties up to thrice the security deposit amount, plus bear reasonable attorney fees.
Claiming the Deposit
To claim the deposit, Georgia landlords should:
- Inspect the property within three business days post-lease termination or tenant departure.
- Produce an itemized damage list and associated cost estimates.
In cases of tenant property abandonment, landlords must perform a timely inspection. Tenants retain the right to inspect within five business days post-lease termination to cross-check landlord-determined damages. A written statement of deductions is mandatory for tenants.
Using the Deposit for Last Month’s Rent
Georgia security deposit law doesn’t allow tenants to substitute their deposit for the last month’s rent, except if the landlord consents in writing.
Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.