The Georgia Landlord Tenant Law establishes the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in Georgia. Only the courts can enforce those rights and responsibilities. The top landlord/tenant issues are:
Eviction is the process by which a landlord obtains possession of the rental property by entering a lawsuit against the tenant and obtaining a judgment from the court directing the tenant to leave the property and pay back any rent, damage claims, and the costs of the court process. If a landlord is trying to evict a tenant, he or she will be notified of this action and summoned to appear in court to address the charges. Tenants should be prepared to offer a defense.
Because eviction causes tenants to lose their places of residence, the courts generally require landlords to comply strictly with certain procedures. Therefore, landlords are encouraged to hire an attorney to handle the eviction process on his or her behalf.
The full rental amount is due and payable on the date stated in the lease. If a tenant fails to pay that amount, the landlord may issue a “pay or quit” notice that requires full payment by a given date. The landlord is not obligated to accept partial payments. The landlord cannot remove personal property or take other action to remove a tenant, but must rely on an eviction notice from the courts to take possession of the property.
Landlords can increase rental fees at the end of the lease period by any amount they choose unless the lease states otherwise. There is no cap on the amount of increase. Tenants should contact their landlords prior to the end of the lease to determine if there will be an increase and, if so, how much. Landlords should give proper notice prior to the end of the lease if the rent will increase.
The security deposit is held to pay for items damaged beyond reasonable wear and tear and for any late or unpaid bills or fees. The landlord has 30 days from the end of the lease to inspect the unit, make any qualifying repairs, and return to you the remaining balance plus interest if applicable.