Residential landlords must make certain disclosures to tenants. These disclosures are generally written in the lease. If a landlord fails to make required disclosures, he can incur fees and potential legal ramifications for violations of state and federal law.
Certain disclosures are federally mandated. For example, federal law requires that renters receive disclosures regarding lead-based paint hazards. In addition, there are certain disclosures in a landlord-tenant relationship that are common in many states. Most states require that a landlord provide the tenant with information regarding the security deposit including where it is held, whether interest will be paid, the rate of interest, when to expect return of the deposit after the lease terminates, and the conditions upon which the landlord may withhold some portion of the deposit. Most states also require that a tenant be informed that certain fees are nonrefundable. This may include the cost of a credit check or transfer of name for utilities purposes.
Some of the mandatory disclosures in Georgia include the following:
Previous damage to the premises. The tenant should have access to a list identifying any existing damages to the unit. The tenant may examine the unit to determine whether the list is accurate prior to giving the landlord a security deposit. The document evidencing the results of the inspection must be signed by the landlord and tenant.
Flooding. A landlord must inform tenants whether the property is prone to flooding before the tenant signs the lease. Georgia law requires that the landlord provide written notice to the tenant about a propensity for flooding if flooding has resulted in damage to the unit three times during the past five-year period.
Death. In general, landlords and real estate agents have an obligation to be truthful and accurate when providing answers to questions about the unit asked by a prospective tenant. Specially, the law states that a landlord must respond truthfully if a prospective tenant inquires about a previous tenant’s disease and whether a homicide, felony, suicide or death (either by accident or natural causes) occurred in the unit.
The experienced team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C. can help you litigate your real estate claims. Contact Mark Weinstein and his colleagues at (770) 888-7707 or visit them at https://www.markweinsteinlaw.com to find out how they can advise you.