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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default My Tenant Left Without Notice and the Property Was a Mess

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: GA

    Hi, My tenant had 2 months left on their contract and the neighbors called to let me know that they moved out. The tenant then called me on the 30th of April to let me know that they had moved out and cleaned the place up. Now please keep in mind this is a $195,000 home that was immaculate when they moved in and when I went by to check on the house it was nasty. The carpets looked like they had never been cleaned, walls had dirt and marks on them, there was a big hole that they tried to patch, there was hardly any grass left in the backyard and trash left behind. This mortgage is expensive so it will not be easy to get someone in there quickly, what are my legal rights as far as them breaking their contract without notice and destoying my property. Thanks for your help in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: My Tenant Left Without Notice and the Property Was a Mess

    44-7-34. Return of security deposit; grounds for retention of part; delivery of statement and sum due to tenant; unclaimed deposit; court determination of disposition of deposit


    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, within one month after the termination of the residential lease or the surrender and acceptance of the premises, whichever occurs last, a landlord shall return to the tenant the full security deposit which was deposited with the landlord by the tenant. No security deposit shall be retained to cover ordinary wear and tear which occurred as a result of the use of the premises for the purposes for which the premises were intended, provided that there was no negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises by the tenant or members of his household or their invitees or guests. In the event that actual cause exists for retaining any portion of the security deposit, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a written statement listing the exact reasons for the retention thereof. If the reason for retention is based on damages to the premises, such damages shall be listed as provided in Code Section 44-7-33. When the statement is delivered, it shall be accompanied by a payment of the difference between any sum deposited and the amount retained. The landlord shall be deemed to have complied with this Code section by mailing the statement and any payment required to the last known address of the tenant via first class mail. If the letter containing the payment is returned to the landlord undelivered and if the landlord is unable to locate the tenant after reasonable effort, the payment shall become the property of the landlord 90 days after the date the payment was mailed. Nothing in this Code section shall preclude the landlord from retaining the security deposit for nonpayment of rent or of fees for late payment, for abandonment of the premises, for nonpayment of utility charges, for repair work or cleaning contracted for by the tenant with third parties, for unpaid pet fees, or for actual damages caused by the tenant's breach, provided the landlord attempts to mitigate the actual damages.

    (b) In any court action in which there is a determination that neither the landlord nor the tenant is entitled to all or a portion of a security deposit under this article, the judge or the jury, as the case may be, shall determine what would be an equitable disposition of the security deposit; and the judge shall order the security deposit paid in accordance with such disposition.

    HISTORY: Code 1933, 61-605, enacted by Ga. L. 1976, p. 1372, 6; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, 44.
    44-7-33. Lists of existing defects and of damages during tenancy; right of tenant to inspect and dissent; action to recover security deposit


    (a) Prior to tendering a security deposit, the tenant shall be presented with a comprehensive list of any existing damage to the premises, which list shall be for the tenant's permanent retention. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises to ascertain the accuracy of the list prior to taking occupancy. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the list and this shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of the list but shall not be conclusive as to latent defects. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, the tenant shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he dissents and shall sign such statement of dissent.

    (b) Within three business days after the date of the termination of occupancy, the landlord or his agent shall inspect the premises and compile a comprehensive list of any damage done to the premises which is the basis for any charge against the security deposit and the estimated dollar value of such damage. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises within five business days after the termination of the occupancy in order to ascertain the accuracy of the list. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the list, and this shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of the list. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, he shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he dissents and shall sign such statement of dissent. If the tenant terminates occupancy without notifying the landlord, the landlord may make a final inspection within a reasonable time after discovering the termination of occupancy.

    (c) A tenant who disputes the accuracy of the final damage list given pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state to recover the portion of the security deposit which the tenant believes to be wrongfully withheld for damages to the premises. The tenant's claims shall be limited to those items to which the tenant specifically dissented in accordance with this Code section. If the tenant fails to sign a list or to dissent specifically in accordance with this Code section, the tenant shall not be entitled to recover the security deposit or any other damages under Code Section 44-7-35, provided that the lists required under this Code section contain written notice of the tenant's duty to sign or to dissent to the list.

    HISTORY: Code 1933, 61-604, enacted by Ga. L. 1976, p. 1372, 6.

    so, get a list together and if the deduct the damages from the deposit. If there is money left, send it to them. If there isn't and more owed, send them a bill.

    Since they didn't fulfill their lease, they are still liable for the unit until their lease expires or a new tenant is found. Start working on getting it ready for a new tenant. If you delay that process, they can argue you failed to attempt to rent the place to mitigate your damages.

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