Since the end of the eviction moratorium, evictions have been on a serious upswing in Fulton County. Whether it's due to nonpayment of rent, a natural end to a lease or a lease violation, more and more landlords have had to give their tenants notice.
Do you know how to evict a tenant?
Ideally, you'll never have to apply your knowledge about eviction laws and the eviction process, but it's important that you know the basics. We're here to help. Read on for a brief guide all about the eviction process.
First: Do You Have the Right to Evict Them?
Before you start the eviction process, make sure that you're making the right move. Eviction is burdensome, and often it's a better choice to try to work things out with the tenant before taking legal action.
If you've decided that you want your tenant to leave the property, note their tenant rights.
There are only three main reasons that a landlord can lawfully remove a tenant. The tenant has to be behind on rent, in violation of their lease, or at the end of their lease without an option for renewal.
You can not evict a tenant as retaliation, for getting a support or service animal, to increase the rent, or for any other reason. If you're unsure, we recommend discussing this with your property management team or a legal professional.
Your first responsibility is to give notice. There's no set guideline or restriction regarding giving notice in Georgia, but make sure that your notice aligns with your lease.
The only exception is if you're ending a tenancy that's currently at will or month-to-month. You need to notify your tenant 60 days ahead of time.
If the tenant hasn't paid rent, the notice should tell them how long they have to pay. If the tenant has violated the terms of the lease in another way, the landlord can choose not to allow them to stay even if they offer to fix the problem.
File and Serve a Complaint
If the tenant chooses not to fix the problem or leave, the landlord has to file and serve a complaint. Keep in mind that this process will cost $75.
The tenant will be served a court summons either in person, on the property itself, or via first-class mail. Serving the summons in person is always the first and best option.
The tenant then has seven days to pay their rent (if nonpayment is the issue) or leave before the eviction process begins. They can also choose to respond and show up in court.
Go to Court
If the tenant chooses not to respond to the complaint or show up for the court hearing, the judge will rule in favor of the landlord. If the tenant does respond, they will be able to explain the situation. The judge may rule in favor of the tenant and reject the eviction.
If the judge rules in favor of you, you'll get a writ of possession. This is the tenant's final notice to leave the property. If they choose not to leave, the landlord can have them escorted out.
That's How to Evict a Tenant
Knowing how to evict a tenant is crucial. Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation that will require you to evict someone, but if you do, keep this brief guide in mind.
Are you looking for help with your rental properties in Atlanta, Georgia? Why not invest in professional property management? Check out our services and schedule a consultation today.