There are a lot of balls you have to juggle as a landlord. Finding tenants, making sure your property stays in good shape, the list goes on and on. One thing you'll want to make sure you don't sleep on is the law-especially the law around lease enforcement.
Luckily, we've got the information you need. Let's go through the lease enforcement laws in Georgia you need to know about.
Reasons You Can Evict a Tenant
There are a few reasons a landlord could evict a tenant in Georgia.
If a tenant fails to pay rent within the agreed-upon timeframe, typically after receiving a notice to pay or quit, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Violations of lease terms or rental agreements, such as unauthorized pets, subletting without permission, or excessive noise, can be grounds for eviction.
If the lease term ends and the tenant remains on the property without signing a new lease or rental agreement, the landlord may seek to evict the tenant.
Tenants who cause property damage, engage in illegal activities on the premises, or pose a significant risk to health and safety can be subject to eviction.
Engaging in illegal activities within the rental property, such as drug-related offenses or other criminal behavior, can be grounds for eviction.
Eviction Laws in Georgia
Before filing for a Georgia eviction, landlords typically must provide a written notice to the tenant, known as a "Notice to Quit." Notice periods can vary depending on the reason for eviction. For non-payment of rent, the notice period is typically three days.
If the tenant fails to listen to the notice to quit, you can then file a dispossessory affidavit in the magistrate court of the county where the rental property is located. This initiates the legal eviction process.
If you're confused about the eviction process, you might want to hire a property manager to help you navigate. They can also conduct a tenant background check, so you won't end up in this situation in the first place.
Security Deposit Rules
You also need to know the rules about security deposits for lease enforcement. Georgia does not have a statutory limit on the maximum amount of money a landlord can ask for a security deposit. However, this amount is typically agreed upon in the lease or rental agreement.
If deductions are made from the security deposit, the landlord must give the tenant a thorough list of deductions along with any remaining balance within three business days after the tenant vacates the property.
It's important that the clauses in your lease agreements are clear and follow the law.
Certain lease provisions that violate Georgia law or public policy are prohibited. For example, discriminatory clauses based on race, color, religion, sex, place of birth, disability, or familial status are not allowed.
Make sure your lease outlines any rules around pets or children living on the property.
Lease Enforcement in Georgia: Now You Know
There are a lot of different lease enforcement rules in Georgia that you'll need to navigate.
Are you looking for property management help in the Atlanta area? PMI Georgia should be your first stop. We have one of the most experienced teams around.
Contact us today for all the help you need.