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Security Deposit Issues with Landlord

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Security Deposit Issues with Landlord

Postby fad » Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:49 pm

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice. I recently left an apartment in Atlanta, GA and following our leave, our landlord found some issues with damages; we are responsible for some of these damages (i.e. - we dropped a bottle of nail polish accidentally on the bathroom floor, which she had regrouted), however the situation has snowballed since.

I just have a few questions because I do not know much about rent law, though I'm trying to learn quickly:

- Is the landlord required to provide receipts or proof of payment for every item they deduct from a security deposit? She states that she "did not keep receipts" for some items and that because it was not in the lease, she is not required to provide them.
- We moved out of state. Before the end of the final month of our lease, the landlord had a cleaning person come in and charged us the $120 for the service without notifying us beforehand. She gave us no chance to return to clean the apartment to her satisfaction even though we could have. Note that the lease _may_ have left a clause for professional cleaning services if the condo was in need of it. Which brings me to my next point.
- In the move out of state we misplaced our lease. In this entire course of exchanges back and forth with her, we have no lease to refer to and therefore no idea what our rights are. She said she sent one in the mail, which we have not received (it's now been 3 weeks). She refuses to send another copy.
- She wrote me an email last night in reply to one of mine that stated that we were short in paying rent over the course of 6 months, and that she just found out by reviewing the lease. In our lease it stated that "rent will increase by 10% annually payable beginning the month following the initial term." It's now been two months since we moved out and this has never been brought up before. She is now asking for the money, $410; I realize it was in the lease but can she request this money now even though she accepted payments as-was for those months?
- As a scare tactic, she brought up the guest bathroom that she had to gut and have remodeled because of a leak inside the wall. She stated in her email that we were "negligent in noticing/reporting the water damage in a timely fashion" which is absolutely a joke. We reported the damage as soon as we noticed it, even though the leak may have been present for days or perhaps weeks (tiny pinhole leak that even the plumber was surpised even existed, and stated it's understandable that it went unnoticed). Does she have any right to pursue us for damages in this room even though we are clearly not responsible? My guess is no.
- As I mentioned, it's now been 60 days; if she finds, or decides to pursue us for more damages after all this time, are we responsible for them? GA rent law requires security deposit items to be handled within 30 days.

Please note that we did take good care of the apartment, but a few things came up and unfortunately for us, not in our favor. I don't want anyone to read this thinking we trashed the place. It was in excellent condition when we left minus the above items, and we've never, ever had a problem with a return of a deposit, and we have glowing references otherwise.

Thanks for your time,
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:19 pm

Postby Anna » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:04 pm

Not familiar with GA laws, but have never heard of LL being able to prove damages and expenses in court on the basis of her word alone. Evidence is evidence everywhere: pictures & paid receipts. [except in default judgements: thensometimes the sky's the limit]

Without reading your 10% clause, there's no way to tell if she waived her right to charge it or not.

If GA requires LL to refund sec dep within 30 days, she may still be able to charge for damages above the sec dep after 30 days: you have to find the laws or someone familiar with them.
try these:

Georgia landlord tenant Laws, Atlanta real estate laws.

Landlord-Tenant Handbook
http://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/Hous ... tents.html

http://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/Hous ... intro.html
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Location: Manhattan

Postby lal » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:55 am

Although I am not a lawyer, it sounds like your landlord is trying to scare you.

She is absolutely required to retain receipts and would be required to prove her deductions from your deposit if this went to court.

All Georgia landlords must provide you with a move-in condition form and a signed move-out condition form, which you are allowed to disagree with at the time of receipt. If the landlord did not provide you with both of these, the landlord is in violation of the law.

Again I'm not a lawyer but here is a great link with information posted by a Georgia Magistrate judge. Scroll down in this document to the section on security deposits.

http://www.uga.edu/icje/documents/Civil ... edings.pdf
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