I am a landlord and I need the tenant to forfeit his security deposit because he terminated the lease early …

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I am a landlord and I need the tenant to forfeit his security deposit because he terminated the lease early …

It is not written in the contract but is there anyway I can do that in the state
of georgia.

Asked on June 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is allowed by the law to keep the security deposit for unpaid rent. That includes rent which will come due under the lease and for which the tenant is liable, but which the tenant will not pay because he or she breached the lease by terminating it early when not allowed to do so. (E.g. when there is no early termination clause in the lease.) Keep the money in the account until sufficient unpaid rent has accrued to "cover it" (e.g. if it's equal to one month of rent, keep it in the security deposit account until there's been a month unpaid); then you can release it to yourself. 
But first, immediately, as soon as the tenant has terminated early, send the tenant a letter indicating that the amount they will owe for rent due to terminating early and state that the security deposit will be withheld for it. Send the letter to any forwarding address or, if you don't have one, to the last known address with instructions to please forward; also email or text a copy, if you have that contact information.


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