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Georgia Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

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Georgia Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

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Georgia Landlord-Tenant Law: An Overview

Georgia landlord-tenant law is a set of legal guidelines that regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants in the state of Georgia. This law governs the rights and obligations of both parties, including Georgia security deposit laws, rent payment schedules, and lease agreements. The Georgia landlord-tenant act also includes provisions for repairs and maintenance, evictions, and termination of leases. Understanding the intricacies of this law is crucial for both landlords and tenants to avoid potential legal issues. Overall, Georgia landlord-tenant law provides a framework for a fair and lawful tenancy, ensuring the protection of the rights of both landlords and tenants.

Georgia Landlord-Tenant Act: FAQs

Is there a limit on how much I can charge for rent?

A landlord may charge whatever he/she feels is reasonable because Georgia landlord-tenant law does not limit the amount of rent a landlord is permitted to charge. The state of Georgia has not introduced rent control or rent stabilization.

Am I required to provide smoke detectors?

As of June 1st, 1994, a house, apartment, or condominium must contain a smoke detector. The smoke detector must be located in a passageway by the bedrooms of the dwelling. There must be a smoke detector on each floor, except the attic, unless it is used as a living space. All detectors must be listed and meet the specifications of the NFPA 72.

What are the limits on the amount I can charge for fees?

According to Georgia landlord-tenant law, returned payment fees are to be charged to the tenant as follows: $30 or 5 percent of the instrument, whichever is greater, plus the amount of fees charged to the holder of the instrument by a bank or financial institution as a result of the instrument not being honored. Late fees are not prohibited, but tend to be a rare practice and generally not encouraged (Ga. Code Ann. § 13-6-15).

Are there specific instructions regarding security deposits?

There are no limits on the amount a landlord may charge for a security deposit. Security deposits must be placed in either a post bond or escrow account. Landlords must provide tenants with written notice stating the name, address, and account number, as well as the manner in which the security deposit is being held. At the end of a tenancy, the security deposit must be returned within 30 days or written notice stating the reason for withholding any amount. If the landlord keeps a portion of the security deposit, he or she must return the balance along with the reasons for retention to the tenant’s last known address.

May I limit the amount of visitors in my rental?

Under Georgia landlord-tenant law, a landlord may not limit the amount of guests a tenant allows into their unit, although, if a tenant has the same visitor spend too many nights a landlord may deem the guests as an unauthorized occupant.

How can I terminate a Georgia lease?

For a Written Lease: There is no minimum or maximum time restriction for notice to end or renew a lease, except that terms of notice shall be clearly specified in the lease.

No written lease: A landlord must give a tenant 60 days’ notice to end the lease and a tenant may give the landlord 30 days notice.

Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease?

Under Georgia landlord-tenant law, a landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable.

I have already started eviction proceedings; should I accept a partial payment?

Accepting payment whether full or partial, may waive the landlord’s right to proceed and evict the tenant.

What do I do to initiate eviction?

The basis for evicting a tenant is:

  • The non-payment of rent.
  • Failure to surrender the premises at the end of the lease term.
  • Breach of the lease, including any rules that are part of the lease, entitling the landlord to terminate the lease.

Prior to going to court, the landlord must give written notice to the tenant stating that they must immediately give up possession and vacate. If the tenant refuses or fails to hand over possession, the landlord, the landlord’s agent, or the attorney must go to the magistrate court and file a dispossessory affidavit under oath.

Can I charge attorney fees and court costs?

In the State of Georgia, attorney fees may be recovered by the prevailing party if specified within the lease agreement. Court costs however are usually awarded by the judge to the prevailing party

May I require renter’s insurance?

A landlord may require a tenant to get renter’s insurance, although, there is no law that states a tenant must purchase renter’s insurance.

How much notice must I give before entering the rental unit?

Before entering the premises, a landlord must give at least 24 hours notice, except in the case of an emergency, or if it is impracticable to do so.

What are the renter’s rights in Georgia?

Tenants have the legal right to adequate housing, which means that they must be able to live in a rental unit in good circumstances, in accordance with Georgia rental law and the Federal Fair Housing Act. On the other hand, every tenant in Georgia is entitled to fair treatment from their landlord under the law.

What are landlord responsibilities in Georgia?

Landlords have a very broad obligation to maintain and fix their rental properties. The landlord has a legal obligation to maintain the property in good condition and may be held responsible for third parties’ damages resulting from poor construction or neglect to maintain the property.

What are tenants’ rights without a lease in Georgia?

Such tenants are referred to as “tenant-at-will” if they don’t have a contract and merely pay their rent on a monthly basis. In accordance with Georgia law, the landlord must provide them with a notice of at least 60 days before requesting them to vacate the property. Tenants have a legal right to know 60 days earlier if the landlord wants a tenant to move out of the property. You may then be kicked out.

Can you be evicted in 3 days in Georgia?

Georgia landlord-tenant law does not specify how long a landlord must wait after serving an eviction notice and bringing an eviction case against a tenant. To allow the tenant time to pay the rent or vacate the unit, it is best practice for landlords to wait at least three days before filing the eviction complaint.

What can the tenant sue the landlord for in Georgia?

A landlord may be held responsible for any damages sustained by a tenant or a visitor as a result of failing to uphold their legal duty to keep their property secure. This is accomplished by bringing a premises liability claim.

Can a landlord kick the tenant out in Georgia?

In Georgia, a landlord has a range of grounds to evict a tenant, including nonpayment of rent or breach of a lease, or other rental agreement clauses. However, before the eviction may take place, the landlord must offer the tenant a chance to comply with the terms of the lease or rental agreement.

How long does it take a landlord in Georgia to evict you?

An eviction must be requested by the landlord within thirty days of the date of service following the issuance of a writ of possession, or a new Landlord-Tenant (Dispossessory) Affidavit must be submitted.

In Georgia, may a landlord evict you without a court order?

Without a court order, a landlord cannot evict a renter. Any other methods of eviction, such as turning off the utilities or changing the locks on the rental property, are prohibited by law. 

What is an illegal eviction in Georgia?

When a renter is kicked out of their home without a good reason and in violation of their rental agreement or lease. It is known as illegal eviction. When the landlord has broken their agreement with the renter and infringed their rights as a tenant, this may occur.

What must be in a Rental Agreement in Georgia?

Rental agreements can be either in writing or orally, respectively. Although they are both legal, landlords and tenants should choose the written contract since it provides tangible evidence of all the terms that were agreed upon.

According to Georgia landlord-tenant law, the landlord is only required to provide a description of the rented property and each party’s contact information. To prevent problems, Georgian landlords typically provide comprehensive information in their lease agreements.

The most typical terms Georgian landlords provide in a lease are summarized below:

  • The lease’s duration
  • Provisions relating to rent
  • Security deposits
  • Utilities
  • Entry privileges of the landlord
  • Maintenance of the rented property
  • Subleasing clauses

The Georgia Code and the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook, a publication produced by the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs, both include more details on a lease’s terms.

Landlord’s Rights & Responsibilities in Georgia

The Georgia Code states that in order to rent out their property to a renter, Georgia landlords must abide by the local Georgia legal requirements. The tenant has the option to seek legal counsel if the landlord doesn’t comply with these demands.

The following is a list of the obligations that each landlord in the state of Georgia must fulfill:

  • Obey the restrictions on the repayments of security deposits.
  • Stick to Georgia’s rental regulations.
  • Abide by anti-discrimination laws.
  • A livable rental property.
  • Keep up with repairs to their rented home.

The landlord must adhere to their local guarantee of habitability when it comes to offering a livable rental apartment. This explains that the building must always be secure and livable. Georgia law permits tenants who require extensive repairs to give written notice.

In these situations, landlords must respond and offer assistance within a reasonable amount of time. Georgia tenants may exclude the cost of repairs from their subsequent rent payment if this doesn’t take place.

If we discuss landlords’ rights, they have the right to demand rent and security deposits, as well as to make sure that the terms of the lease are adhered to.

Tenant’s Rights & Responsibilities in Georgia

Tenants have the legal right to adequate housing, which means that they must be able to live in a rental unit in good circumstances, in accordance with Georgia landlord-tenant act and the Federal Fair Housing Act. On the other hand, every tenant in Georgia is entitled to fair treatment from their landlord under the law. 

According to Georgia law, a landlord cannot require a renter to fix or pay for repairs unless the tenant, his or her family, or visitors were responsible for the damage.

If the damage goes beyond ordinary wear and tear, they may also request repairs under their tenant rights. The renter may seek legal counsel and damages if the landlord doesn’t make these repairs within a reasonable amount of time.

Georgia landlord-tenant rules require that the renter always adheres to the following guidelines:

  • On-time rent payment.
  • Maintain the property’s cleanliness.
  • Every time it’s required, do minor repairs.
  • Follow the remaining lease conditions.
  • Do not bother other renters or nearby residents.

Georgia Security Deposit Laws

The security deposit laws in Georgia regulate the amount of security deposit that landlords can charge and how it must be handled. Here are some key points about security deposit laws in Georgia:

  • Maximum amount: Georgia law does not specify a maximum amount for security deposits. However, landlords should be reasonable in their charges and not overcharge tenants.
  • Interest on security deposits: Georgia law does not require landlords to pay interest on security deposits.
  • Receipts: Landlords must provide tenants with a receipt for the security deposit, which should indicate the amount of deposit, the date it was received, and the landlord’s name and address.
  • Time frame for returning deposit: Landlords must return the security deposit within one month after the tenant moves out, unless the lease agreement specifies a different timeframe.
  • Deductible expenses: Landlords may only deduct expenses from the security deposit for unpaid rent, damages to the unit beyond normal wear and tear, and other expenses specified in the lease agreement.
  • Written itemization of damages: If the landlord deducts from the security deposit, they must provide the tenant with a written itemization of damages within one month of the tenant moving out.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Each issue has unique circumstances that may be too complicated to put a simple answer to. The answers in this Q & A are only guidelines. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.

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Tracy
Tracy
4 years ago

If tenant decides to move the same day they rented. Do i have to give there money back. When they signed a year lease.

Rhett Miller
Rhett Miller
2 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

@Tracy I had a similar situation. But it was 5 days after they moved in. What happened in your situation?

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