My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Georgia
I signed a 12 month lease approximately 22 months ago for a townhome in Georgia, beginning June 1, 2015. The Lessor listed on the lease that I signed is not the property owner, but a third party who manages the house rental for the owner. I paid the first month's rent, as well as a security deposit equal to 1 month's rent. The Lessor did not provide me with the location of the escrow account where the security deposit would be held, as required by OCGA § 44-7-31(a). Additionally, I was never given a list of existing damage, even though it is required by OCGA § 44-7-33.
The lease had the following clause inserted:
LESSEE'S HOLD OVER. If Lessee remains in possession of the Premises with the consent of Lessor after the natural expiration of this Agreement, a new tenancy from month-to-month shall be created between Lessor and Lessee which shall be subject to all of the terms and conditions hereof except that rent shall then be due and owing at (same rent as above) per month and except that such tenancy shall be terminable upon sixty (60) days written noticed served by either party.
After the lease expired, I continued to live in the townhome for 9 months, until February of this year, at which time I began the process of purchasing a house. On March 2nd, I called the Lessor to provide him notice that I would be moving out. To my surprise/delight, the Lessor agreed to a move out/lease termination date of March 31st, which represented 30 days of notice. Relying upon the Lessor's offer, I vacated the premises by March 31st, and cancelled my renter's insurance and utility services at the property. No inspection was performed after the move out, even though it is required by OCGA § 44-7-31(b).
When I reached out to the Lessor today to ask about the status of my security deposit, he informed me that he had spoken with the property owner and had decided that the original lease document said that I would have to provide 60 days notice, so he would keep my security deposit in lieu of a payment for April rent.
Obviously, this is not what was agreed upon, but I don't know if I have any legal recourse in this situation.
As best as I can tell, this is not a tenancy-at-will situation (OCGA § 44-7-6 and OCGA § 44-7-7), which would allow me to give only 30 days of notice.
However, as I outlined above, the Lessor did fail to follow all of the requirements for inspections and escrow accounts for security deposits, so perhaps that might be the best angle to pursue?
Any opinions or ideas would be much appreciated.