Security Deposit Laws Landlords Should Know: Property Management Atlanta

A major part of Atlanta property management is the security deposit and all the Georgia laws pertaining to that deposit. Today, we’re addressing what you need to know. 

What Is a Security Deposit?


The security deposit is collected by the landlord or any of the Atlanta property management companies doing business in the area. We take this deposit from the tenant to protect against any damages that might occur during the occupancy.  

Property Management Companies in Atlanta


Anyone who manages properties for others must have a Georgia real estate license. The security deposit must be held in an escrow account registered with the Georgia Real Estate Commission. If a person individually or collectively with their spouse and children owns properties over 10 units, the same standard applies to how a security deposit is held. Or, you may post a certified bond with the clerk in the county where your properties are located. 

Using Security Deposit Funds 

This money is not to be used during occupancy. If the tenant incurs a late fee one month with a late rent payment, you cannot take it out of the security deposit. You also cannot use this money for any repairs and upgrades that you want to make to the property during occupancy. 

What Are Security Deposit Dates? 

Before collecting the security deposit, it’s important that the tenants have an opportunity to inspect the property for existing damage. Within 3 days of the termination of the lease, the landlord or the property manager is required to do a move out inspection. This determines the damage in excess of what was there at the time of move in. Provide an estimate of damages and costs within 5 days of that inspection, and make sure both parties sign off. Before and after photos can be helpful in avoiding disputes. Use the security deposit to pay for any damages responsible to the tenant. If money is still owed to the tenant, you have 30 days to return it. If you don’t follow the rules, you will forfeit any right to the security deposit, and you can be liable for up to 3 times the amount of that deposit. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at Solutions Realty Network.