What Do I Need To Know About Security Deposits Before I Sign A Lease?

Georgia law establishes an inspection procedure, the purpose of which is for the landlord and tenant to agree on the pre­occupancy condition of the rental unit. Georgia law requires that before the tenant pays a security deposit and moves into the rental unit the landlord must give the tenant a complete list of any existing damages to the premises signed by the landlord. The list should also contain a written notice of the tenant`s duty to sign or object to the list. The tenant is to be afforded an opportunity to inspect the rental unit to determine if the list is accurate or if additional defects need to be added to the list. The tenant must sign the list or specify in writing on the list the items in dispute and then sign. The move­in inspection discussed applies to landlords who collectively own more than ten (10) rental units including units owned by their spouse and children or who employ a management agent regardless of the number of units owned. Landlords who own fewer than ten (10) units or who manage the units themselves are not required to follow the inspection procedures but may find it helpful in establishing repair needs and responsibilities.

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