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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Default Can You Recover Your Security Deposit if Your Landlord Didn't Do a Move-In Checklist

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

    I rented a room for two months and put in a $400 security deposit. Landlord subtracted $385 of that when I left, then another $25 for leaving on 8/1 instead of 7/31 (when he said I could stay one day later). Damages were for scuffs and water marks (no way thats $385, thats more like normal wear and tear). However, he did not provide a check in list of damages. Am I liable to get my deposit back?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,157

    Default Re: Month to Month Rent in Georgia, No Checklist Given

    Quote Quoting bfpri
    View Post
    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Georgia

    I rented a room for two months and put in a $400 security deposit. Landlord subtracted $385 of that when I left, then another $25 for leaving on 8/1 instead of 7/31 (when he said I could stay one day later). Damages were for scuffs and water marks (no way thats $385, thats more like normal wear and tear). However, he did not provide a check in list of damages. Am I liable to get my deposit back?
    Possibly.

    The Georgia security deposit statute says this:

    O.C.G.A. 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.
    Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.

    http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/...r-7/article-2/

    Print it out and attach it to a letter demanding the return of your security deposit by August 31st as required by law.

    If he doesn't return it or provide you with the required itemization or you still feel he withheld it wrongly you can sue him in magistrate's court after the end of the month.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    2

    Default Re: Month to Month Rent in Georgia, No Checklist Given

    Sorry by checklist I actually meant this, which was not provided when I moved in. I only a received a list of rules and the contract for the lease.

    Require Written/Signed Move-In Checklist: If owner and family own ten or fewer rental units, prior to collecting a security deposit, the owner shall give the tenant a comprehensive list of any existing damage to the premises. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises to confirm the accuracy of the list prior to taking occupancy. (O.C.G.A. 44-7-33). This is not applicable to owners and family members who collectively own ten or fewer rental units, unless those units are managed by a third party for a fee. (O.C.G.A. 44-7-36)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,157

    Default Re: Month to Month Rent in Georgia, No Checklist Given

    The exemption statute reads differently:

    O.C.G.A. 44-7-36. Certain rental units exempt from article
    Code Sections 44-7-31, 44-7-32, 44-7-33, and 44-7-35 shall not apply to rental units which are owned by a natural person if such natural person, his or her spouse, and his or her minor children collectively own ten or fewer rental units; provided, however, that this exemption does not apply to units for which management, including rent collection, is performed by third persons, natural or otherwise, for a fee.


    http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/...cle-2/44-7-36/

    The landlord is still bound by Section 44-7-34.

    O.C.G.A. 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.


    http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/...cle-2/44-7-34/

    In fact, that section brings 44-7-33 back in so he's not exempt from that either.

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