Georgia Eviction

Georgia eviction has three bases: non-payment of rent, failure to give up the premises at the end of the lease, and breach of the lease or the rules in it (but only if the lease provides for termination in the event of such a breach). Before filing for eviction, Georgia eviction laws require that landlords must first demand that the tenant vacate the rental property. If a landlord wishes to end a tenancy earlier than the lease allows, they are required to give the tenant appropriate notice.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 5, 2021

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Georgia landlords can evict any tenant so long as Georgia law is followed. There are three bases for eviction in Georgia: overdue rent or nonpayment of rent, failure to give up the premises at the end of the lease, and breach of the rental agreement or the rules in it (but only if the lease terms provide for termination in the event of such a breach). To evict a tenant, a landlord must go through Georgia procedures with a proper notice period– he or she cannot force a tenant out without taking the proper measures.

What are the requirements for a Georgia termination notice?

Before filing for eviction proceedings (dispossessory action), Georgia landlords must first demand that the tenant vacate the rental property. It is only when the tenant refuses to leave and refuses to remedy the situation that caused the breach that the landlord can file a dispossessory action.

If a landlord wishes to end a tenancy earlier than the lease agreement allows, he or she may do so by serving the tenant with appropriate notice. This notice is called “demand of possession” in Georgia. In many states, the landlord must give the tenant notice in writing in a specified time period, but in Georgia, the landlord can merely tell the tenant on the phone or to her face. If you have a tenancy-at-will, or month to month terms, you have to give your tenant 60 days notice to leave.

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How can you get legal help?

In Georgia, eviction hearings are usually handled by the Magistrate Courts (they are the most accessible courts to people who do not have lawyers). Your local Magistrate Court can be found at the Georgia Council of Magistrate page. Some of the county sites may have forms available for you to fill out, but if not, they are available at the main Georgia civil forms site. A dispossessory action may also be filed with the municipal, civil, state or superior court. Remember that while it may seem simple to fill out a form and magically evict your problem tenant, sometimes events do not unfold as smoothly as you had hoped. If you are unsure of the termination and/or eviction process at any point, you may wish to hire or consult a Georgia landlord or tenant attorney. When choosing an attorney, make sure to refer to the Questions to Ask Your Georgia Evictions Lawyer below.

Are self-help evictions legal in Georgia?

Self-help eviction measures are not legal in Georgia. If landlords so much as shuts off the utilities, the tenants may be able to sue their landlords for as much as $500 (O.C.G.A.’ 44-7-14.1).

Additional Questions to Ask Your Georgia Eviction Lawsuit Lawyer

  1. How many evictions cases have you handled?
  2. How many were successful/unsuccessful?
  3. How long is the period of time for the eviction process?
  4. For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
  5. For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenants have been living in the rental property illegally without paying rent?
  6. What do you charge?
  7. For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

Contact a private attorney to get answers about what defenses to evictions you could use and more information on illegal eviction procedures, lease violations, your particular eviction situation, and more.

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