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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2942
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Details We as tenants experienced two large floods the 4th

Customer Question

Details
We as tenants experienced two large floods the 4th out of 5 months of living in property. We had a sit down with witness and it was agreed we would receive a letter with details as to what construction needed to be done for a better form of communication. Is was agreed upon that we would receive a small amount of rent back each mo th while repairs took place for unusable rooms. We had paid a year of rent up front via owners request. Weeks after little to no communication (text msgs) we received certified mail surprisingly stating we need to agree to be out after 30 days or an eviction process would become of it. We agreed because the situation had become unbearable. Our original agreement was completely ignored. After moving out and cleaning the home We did a walk through of our home. We agreed the walls needed repairs due to spot painting that did not match. We received a small return deposit unknowing she has charged us for ridiculous fees that were not pointed out in person at time of walk through. What can I do
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 5 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. Thank you for your question and for using justanswer.com.

In the state of Georgia, a landlord has three days after a tenant terminates occupancy to inspect the unit for damages. The landlord must make a list of damages and the approximate cost to repair them.

The landlord must provide the tenant with this final list of damages. This list must also make it clear, in writing, that the tenant must agree to the damages listed or dissent to the claims.

Within five days of terminating occupancy, the tenant has the right to inspect the property with this list. If the tenant signs this list, he or she is agreeing to the damages listed. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, he or she must write out the items they disagree with and sign a statement of dissent. The tenant may take the landlord to court to recover the cost of any damages they have indicated they disagree with in their statement of dissent. If a tenant has not signed a statement of dissent, they forfeit their right to recover any money withheld from their security deposit as listed in the final damage notice.

If a landlord attempts to illegally withhold a tenant's security deposit, he or she may have to pay the tenant up to three times the amount withheld, unless it is determined the landlord accidentally withheld the portion, in which case, they will only be liable for paying the tenant back the amount mistakenly withheld. The code which governs the security deposit in the state of Georgia can be found at Georgia Code Annotated §§44-7-30 to 37.

So if you agreed to these fees and did not sign a statement of dissent after the walk through then you will not be able to do anything. If you did sign this then you should be able to go to small claims court and try to reclaim any of the ridiculous fees that were unwarranted.

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What is a statement of dissent?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 5 months ago.

Basically it is a statement that says you do not agree with the landlord's assessment. If you signed off on these fees after the walk through and did not fill out a statement of dissent, then you are out of luck. If the landlord simply added these fees later then you should be able to still assert a claim in small claims court.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My husband agreed to the move out list. Not sure if that is the same. The landlord had not mentioned any charges other than the ones agreed and signed for. Later to discocer the agrrement had been tampered with and additional charges were added on the same form.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 5 months ago.

If additional charges were added that you did not sign off on, then you can still recover these and if the landlord did this fraudulently, the court could award you punitive damages for this type of behavior (punishment damages). With facts such as these then you need to retain an attorney to pursue these claims. This is fraud if these are the facts and the landlord cannot add other fees after you sign off on the walk through.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Am i able to contact you for an alotted time period? I need some advice on pursuing a letter to the landlord as a final notice otherwise we will sue. I am currently out and about but how long can I reach out to you.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 5 months ago.
I will be around.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 5 months ago.

Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?