Learn the important basics of Georgia landlord tenant law in just 30 minutes with this one-stop guide to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Statutes.
GA Landlord Tenant Law:
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.
Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks. Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)
The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap. 42 U.S.C. § 3604
*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.
However if the dwelling has four or less rental units and the landlord lives in one of them, then he or she won't have to follow the above Fair Housing laws. 42 U.S.C. § 3603(b)
(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.
To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.
Any verbal agreement made between a landlord and tenant can only last for up to one year. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-2.(a)
Any lease without a specified time period is considered as a "Tenancy at will" under Georgia landlord tenant law. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-6
For a tenancy at will, the tenant will be entitled to the profits of his or her crops in the following situations:
If any area of the property's living space has been flooded three (or more) times in the last five years, the landlord must disclose it to the tenant before signing the lease. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-20
Georgia landlord tenant law O.C.G.A. § 44-7-3.(a) requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
The landlord must inform the tenant of any changes in names or addresses within 30 days.
According to Georgia landlord tenant law, your lease agreement CANNOT:
As long as the tenant is agreeable, Georgia landlord tenant law doesn't limit the maximum amount of security deposit the landlord can ask for. Both the landlord and tenant have to agree on the security deposit amount, and this amount must be stated in the written tenancy agreement.
The landlord can ask for other non-refundable fees, but the security deposits and pet deposits have to be returned (after allowed deductions). O.C.G.A. § 44-7-30.(3)
If the landlord is paying a third party to manage the property OR If the landlord and family (spouse plus non-adult children) owns 10 or more rental units, these additional Georgia landlord tenant laws O.C.G.A. § 44-7-36 shall apply as well:
If the landlord fails to deposit the security deposit in an escrow account or provide written statements to the tenant within the above time periods, the landlord shall forfeit his or her right to the security deposit. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-35.(a),(b)
The Georgia Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Georgia landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-34.(a)
If the landlord is paying a third party to manage the property OR If the landlord and family (spouse plus non-adult children) owns 10 or more rental units: A move-out inspection of the property has to be carried out within three business days after termination of the lease. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-33.(b), O.C.G.A. § 44-7-36
After this inspection, the landlord must send the tenant a signed list of security deposit deductions (move-out inspection list). The tenant may inspect the rental property within five days (after termination of the lease) to ensure that the deductions are correct before signing the inspection list. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-33.(b)
If a landlord fails to follow Georgia landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover up to three times the amount of security deposit plus attorney fees. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-35.(c)
Regardless of how many rental units the landlord owns, he or she must return any remaining deposit to the tenant within one month. The deduction list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-34.(a)
If the landlord has made reasonable efforts to return the security deposit but the tenant isn't contactable, the landlord shall be allowed to keep the security deposit after 90 days (of the deposit being mailed to the tenant). O.C.G.A. § 44-7-34.(a)
Atlanta, Georgia GA
There are no specific Georgia landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments. If the landlord wants to impose late rent charges, it must be specified in the lease agreement.
If the tenant's check bounces, the landlord may charge the tenant up to $30 or 5% of check check (which is greater) plus any bank fees for the bounced check. O.C.G.A. § 13-6-15
There are no specific Georgia landlord tenant statutes on raising rent.
The Georgia Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition. The landlord shall also be responsible for all substantial property improvements that he or she implements. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-13
Once the landlord has given up right of possession, he or she shall not be responsible for third party damages caused by the tenant's negligence or illegal usage of the rental unit. However the landlord is still responsible for the damages resulting from defective construction or poor property maintenance. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-14
Under the Georgia Landlord Tenant Act, the landlord is responsible for the following:
The landlord shall NOT be responsible for the following (unless agreed upon in the rental agreement):
Georgia landlord tenant law disallows the tenant from removing permanent fixtures or destroying live trees.
The tenant may use fallen or dead timber for firewood and cattle. The tenant may remove the landlord's trade fixtures. After the tenancy is terminated, all remaining trade fixtures will be considered as abandoned and will become the landlord's property. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-12
If the landlord fails to maintain the property, the tenant may send the landlord a written notice to request for repairs. After receiving this written notice, the landlord has to make repairs within a reasonable time.
If the landlord fails to do so, the tenant may proceed with one of the following actions:
1. The tenant can sue the landlord for damages
The tenant can sue the landlord for damages resulting from poor property maintenance. If the landlord sues the tenant back, the tenant can try to counterclaim for additional damages.
2. The tenant can hire someone to make repairs and deduct the cost from rent
The tenant may hire a qualified and licensed professional to carry out required repairs at a reasonable cost and deduct the cost from the next month's rent. The tenant has to keep the receipts for the repairs.
3. The tenant can move out of the property if it is uninhabitable
If the rental unit is uninhabitable and cannot be restored to a livable condition by ordinary repairs, the tenant can stop paying rent and move out of it.
4. The tenant can contact a housing code inspector
If the property is in very poor condition, the tenant can contact housing code inspector to inspect it. If the inspector condemns the property, the lease will be terminated and the tenant will be able to move out. Before moving out, the tenant must have proof that the property was condemned and give landlord a written notice to terminate the lease.
If the landlord deliberately cut offs heat, light or water service to the tenant, he or she can be fined up to $500. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-14.1
There are no specific Georgia landlord tenant laws on when or how the landlord (or the landlord's agents) can enter the rental property.
There are no specific Georgia landlord tenant laws on subletting.
Any lease or agreement that rents, sublets or assigns a property for prostitution will be voided. O.C.G.A. 44-7-18
Augusta, Georgia GA
Georgia landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.
For a fixed term lease, the lease will be terminated when it expires.
For a tenancy at will, a landlord has to give the tenant a notice to quit 60 days in advance, while a tenant has to give the landlord a notice to quit 30 days in advance. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-7
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Tenant is Deployed in the Armed Forces
Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident
Georgia landlord tenant law allows a service member to terminate the tenancy agreement if ONE of the following conditions is met:
The tenant may terminate the rental agreement by giving the landlord a written notice to quit AND a copy of the military orders or written verification signed by the service member's commanding officer. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-22
If the service member dies during active duty, his or her family member may terminate the rental agreement by giving the landlord with a written notice to quit at least 30 days before the intended termination date.
The service member will have to pay (pro-rated) rent up to the termination date.
Even if the property is damaged by fire, disasters or unavoidable accidents, the tenant still has to continue paying rent (unless the damage is caused by the landlord). O.C.G.A. § 44-7-15
According to Georgia landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
*If the tenant fails to pay rent on time more than once within 12 months, the landlord can file for immediate eviction. After eviction has been filed, the tenant has seven days to pay all rents owed to avoid eviction. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-50.(a), O.C.G.A. § 44-7-52
Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.
If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
If the property or its contents are badly damaged by fire or natural disaster (such as earthquake or flood), the landlord is still allowed to collect rent as long as the destruction was not caused by the landlord. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-15
Georgia landlord tenant law requires the landlord to go through the court dispossessory process before he or she can evict the tenants or prevent access to the rental unit.
According to Georgia landlord tenant law, valid reasons for eviction include:
During an eviction process, the tenant is allowed to remain in possession of the property until a court decision is made. The landlord cannot cut off utilities during this period. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-14.1.(b)
If the landlord forces the tenant to move out with (the unlawful methods above) or shuts off utilities, the tenant can make the landlord pay a fine of up to $500. O.C.G.A. § 44-7-14.1.(c)
There are no specific Georgia landlord tenant laws on abandonment of property by the tenant.
Georgia Landlord Tenant Law: Georgia Code Title 44 - Property Chapter 7 - Landlord and Tenant
Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook: A Landlord Tenant Guide to the State's Rental Laws
Eviction: Landlord Tenant Dispossessory
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.