The Georgia Code Title 44 Chapter 7 Article II Section 44-7-33 outlines the following rights and duties of a landlord and tenant in terms of assessing a rental property’s condition:
Lists of Existing Defects and of Damages During Tenancy
(a) Prior to tendering a security deposit, the tenant shall be presented with a comprehensive list of any existing damage to the premises, which list shall be for the tenant’s permanent retention. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises to ascertain the accuracy of the list prior to taking occupancy. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the list and this shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of the list but shall not be conclusive as to latent defects. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, the tenant shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he dissents and shall sign such statement of dissent.
(b) Within three business days after the date of the termination of occupancy, the landlord or his agent shall inspect the premises and compile a comprehensive list of any damage done to the premises which is the basis for any charge against the security deposit and the estimated dollar value of such damage. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises within five business days after the termination of the occupancy in order to ascertain the accuracy of the list. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the list, and this shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of the list. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, he shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he dissents and shall sign such statement of dissent. If the tenant terminates occupancy without notifying the landlord, the landlord may make a final inspection within a reasonable time after discovering the termination of occupancy.
(c) A tenant who disputes the accuracy of the final damage list given pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state to recover the portion of the security deposit which the tenant believes to be wrongfully withheld for damages to the premises. The tenant’s claims shall be limited to those items to which the tenant specifically dissented in accordance with this Code section. If the tenant fails to sign a list or to dissent specifically in accordance with this Code section, the tenant shall not be entitled to recover the security deposit or any other damages under Code Section 44-7-35, provided that the lists required under this Code section contain written notice of the tenant’s duty to sign or to dissent to the list.
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.
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