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My landlord lives in Florida, but his rental property is in Georgia. How can I get my deposit back if he refuses to return it?

Smyrna, GA |
Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If more than thirty days have passed since the day that you vacated the premises and your landlord either did not return your security deposit, or withheld too much, then you can file a complaint for return of the deposit that was wrongfully withheld. If your landlord does not fall within an exception, you may be able to receive up to three times the amount withheld.

While complaints are usually filed in the state and county where the defendant lives, there are some exceptions. Landlord/tenant complaints are one such exception. Thus, you can file your request for return of your deposit in the county where the rental property is located.

I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

~ Kem Eyo

The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.


I would think you could sue him in Georgia for the money, but it might not make sense to do so, depending on the size of the deposit.

This is AVVO, a place for users to obtain general legal information to general legal questions. I am glad to help you in any way I can, within those limits. I wish to make clear I am only communicating with you for the sole purpose of exchanging such general information, and nothing more. It is not legal advice, which I can not provide because among other reasons I know few of the necessary details of your situation. I do not purport to represent you in any way, shape or form. Of course, if you would like to seek out my services, and if you are a NY resident, I will probably not put up very much resistance but representation would still necessitate a signed retainer agreement between yourself and I. Thank you.



The amount is $1k.

Robert A. Stumpf

Robert A. Stumpf


I am not familiar with small claims processes in Georgia, but that's probably would I would do.


Security deposits can be a sticky issue. Normal wear and tear is a relative concept so the more proof you have the better. It is always a great idea to take pictures of the property at the time of move in and at the time of move out. Most cameras will date the pictures automatically if that function is working. I would first write a demand letter requesting your deposit or at least an accounting. If you do not agree with the landlord's assessment, sue for a return of your deposit in small claims court. You do have some leverage if the property owned is in Georgia.

Good luck. I know how frustrating this can be.

Wes Hill

This response does not create an attorney client relationship nor should the advice be relied upon because it is not specific to your legal situation. Before you depend on legal advice, you should retain competent counsel.