Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant in Georgia, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the laws in your state. Take the time to look at the full set of laws and regulations yourself, but for now, read further to get the gist of what they are and how to operate within them.
Every state has the protected seven classes, and Georgia is no different. No landlord in Georgia can discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. If a tenant reports a violation, Fair Housing Act lawyers may need to get involved and time in court is likely to follow, so as a landlord be sure that you are within your rights when you evict someone.
As a landlord, you can issue a pay-or-quit notice the day after rent is due. A pay-or-quit notice is a notification that a landlord serves their tenant when they are late with their rent payment, telling them that if they do not pay within a certain amount of time, they will have to leave. According to Georgia laws on eviction, a landlord can file for eviction immediately after serving this notice.
There is also a notice requirement when you decide not to renew with a tenant. If a tenant’s lease is up for renewal but you plan on not extending that offer to them, you must give them at least 60 days’ notice so they have enough time to find other accommodations.
Georgia landlord tenant laws also are not picky regarding the security deposit. There is no limit on what a landlord can charge, and landlords are not required to pay interest on security deposits. However, Georgia security deposit law does require that landlords provide tenants a written notice of the location of their security deposit’s escrow account. This stipulation is a required disclosure, and we will get into Georgia’s other disclosures later.
Rent and Fees
Application fees are not regulated in Georgia, and rent control is banned so landlords can charge what they feel is appropriate in both scenarios. As for fees, landlords can charge a bounced fee charge that is either $30 or 5% of the check amount, whichever is greater. Also included in this fee should be any additional money charged by the bank for attempting to cash a bounced check.
One important part of Georgia landlord-tenant code to be aware of is the “repair and deduct” remedy, which states that a tenant can hire outside contractors or professionals to fix an issue in the unit that the landlord refuses to fix in a reasonable amount of time. When this occurs, the tenant can deduct the cost of the repair from rent as long as they provide a receipt.
Landlords must tell tenants the name of the owner and any of their authorized agents prior to the tenant moving in and should give them notice of any changes to this list within 30 days of the change occurring. As mentioned earlier, landlords also must provide a written statement specifying where the tenant’s security deposit is being held. Another notice that must be put in writing is whether flooding has occurred on that property previously.
Additionally, if a tenant asks whether a death had taken place on that property, the landlord must answer honestly.
Lastly, tenants are to be given move-in/move-out checklists under Georgia law. Move-in checklists state any existing damage to the unit, and move-out checklists list any new damage and the dollar amounts to remedy them, so the tenant is aware of the reasons for any deductions from their security deposits.
The median rent rate in Georgia is $1,999. The median rent rate in Atlanta specifically is around $2,260. Living in Georgia has great perks like beautiful weather, a fantastic capitol full of fun and industry, and lovely historic sites like the city of Savannah. Make sure you do thorough research into this spot if you’re looking into investing here, and recognize that the laws listed above are only a general guideline. To be fully informed, you’ll have to continue looking into the expectations that Georgia has for you as a landlord.