2021 Georgia Code
Title 44 - Property
Chapter 7 - Landlord and Tenant
Article 2 - Security Deposits
§ 44-7-32. Surety Bond in Lieu of Escrow Account; Withdrawal of Surety; Fees; Liability of Clerk of Superior Court

Universal Citation: GA Code § 44-7-32 (2021)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 1933, § 61-603, enacted by Ga. L. 1976, p. 1372, § 6; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 3.)


Section 43-40-20 controls as to brokers' escrow accounts.

- Requirement of former Code 1933, § 84-1419 (see O.C.G.A. § 43-40-20) that brokers maintain security deposits only in an escrow account, since it dealt with a more specific class than Ga. L. 1976, p. 1372, § 6 (see O.C.G.A. § 44-7-32), and predated Ga. L. 1976, p. 1372, § 6, was controlling as to that class or in other words, brokers. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 76-101.

Partners may not purchase surety bond in lieu of escrow accounts.

- General partner, who is a licensed broker in a limited partnership may not purchase a surety bond in lieu of placing security deposits in the broker's designated trust account, and, similarly, a partner in a partnership, who is also a licensed real estate broker, may not purchase a surety bond in lieu of placing deposits in a designated trust account. 1984 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 84-80.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 49 Am. Jur. 2d, Landlord and Tenant, § 523.


- 52A C.J.S., Landlord and Tenant, § 989 et seq.


- Construction and effect of provision of lease or bond saving liability of tenant or sureties in case of forfeiture of lease or re-entry by landlord, 99 A.L.R. 42.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.