While there is no limit to how much a property owner can charge for an application fee or what security deposit amount a property owner can collect in the state of Georgia, property owners must adhere to regulations regarding how security deposits must be held and returned. Continue reading below to gain a better understanding of the security deposit laws in the state of Georgia.
Is there a limit on how much the property manager/owner can charge for an application fee? If so, what is that amount?
There is no limit to how much a property owner can charge for an application fee in the state of Georgia. Application fees charged are nonrefundable.
What is the security deposit amount the landlord can collect?
There is no limit to the security deposit amount that property owners can collect in the state of Georgia.
Can the property manager/owner collect a fee for pets?
A pet deposit separate from the apartment security deposit is allowed in the state of Georgia. Service pets are an exemption, and disabled persons with service pets do not have to pay an additional security deposit. However, if a service dog causes damages, the resident is still liable for expenses incurred.
How does the security deposit need to be held?
Property owners in the state of Georgia have two options regarding security deposits for rental units. Property owners can place the security deposit in an escrow account used solely for the purpose of holding security deposits, or in a surety bond for the amount of $50,000, or the total amount that the property owner holds in security deposits from all rental units, whichever is the lower of the two.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident where the deposit is held?
Yes. Property owners in the state of Georgia must notify renters in writing where their security deposit is held.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident what the interest rate on the account is (if applicable)?
No. Property owners in the state of Georgia are not required to tell their renters the interest rate on the accounts.
What can the property manager/owner deduct from the security deposit?
According to Georgia legislation regarding security deposits, property owners can use the security deposit to cover unpaid rent, unpaid utilities, damages exceeding normal wear and tear, or damages suffered by the property owner due to the renter’s abandonment of the property.
How long does the property manager/owner have to return the security deposit after the lease has ended?
Property owners in the state of Georgia must return the security deposit within 30 days of the renter vacating the property. Property owners have three business days from when the renter vacates the property in order to inspect it and complete an itemized list of deductions.
What penalties does the property manager/owner face if they do not return the security deposit on time?
If a property owner in the state of Georgia does not provide the vacating renters with an itemized list of deductions within the allotted time, they forfeit all rights to the security deposit and maybe find up to three times the amount of the security deposit alongside reasonable attorney fees.
What is the process for the property manager/owner to claim the security deposit funds?
Property managers in the state of Georgia must inspect the vacated properties within three business days from the termination of the lease or the renter vacating the property and provide the renter with an itemized list of damages as well as an estimated cost to treat the damages. In the event that the renter has abandoned the property, the property owner must inspect the property within a reasonable amount of time. Residents may request to inspect the property within five business days from the termination of the lease or from vacating the premises in order to examine the damages and deductions listed by the property owner. Property owners must provide a written statement of deductions to renters.
Is the resident allowed to apply their security deposit towards the last month’s rent?
According to Georgia law, renters cannot choose to use the security deposit in place of their last months’ rent, unless the property manager/owner agrees to it in writing.
To summarize, legislation in the state of Georgia regarding how security deposit must be held and returned is straightforward and clear. In order to avoid fines or legal action, it is crucial for property owners in the state of Georgia to inspect their property immediately upon the renter vacating, and record potential damages in order to provide them to the renter.
Disclaimer & Sources:
Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is for informational purposes and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.