The Georgia Code Title 44 Chapter 7 Article II Section 44-7-32 allows for a landlord and tenant to agree to use a surety bond instead of a security deposit in the following manner:
Surety Bond in Lieu of Escrow Account
(a) As an alternative to the requirement that security deposits be placed in escrow as provided in Code Section 44-7-31, the landlord may post and maintain an effective surety bond with the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the dwelling unit is located. The amount of the bond shall be the total amount of the security deposits which the landlord holds on behalf of the tenants or $50,000.00, whichever is less. The bond shall be executed by the landlord as principal and a surety company authorized and licensed to do business in this state as surety. The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful compliance of the landlord with Code Section 44-7-34 and the return of the security deposits in the event of the bankruptcy of the landlord or foreclosure of the premises and shall run to the benefit of any tenant injured by the landlord’s violation of Code Section 44-7-34.
(b) The surety may withdraw from the bond by giving 30 days’ written notice by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the principal’s dwelling unit is located, provided that such withdrawal shall not release the surety from any liability existing under the bond at the time of the effective date of the withdrawal.
(c) The clerk of the superior court shall receive a fee of $5.00 for filing and recording the surety bond and shall also receive a fee of $5.00 for canceling the surety bond. The clerk of the superior court shall not be held personally liable should the surety bond prove to be invalid.
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.
Return to Georgia Landlord-Tenant Law.