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What You Need to Know About Georgia Landlord Tenant Law

If you’re on this page, chances are you have a landlord tenant issue.

If you have landlord-tenant questions, we have answers for you.

Our firm specializes in complex landlord tenant issues across the State of Georgia.

Georgia Law on Landlord Tenant Relations

If you’re on this page, chances are you have a landlord-tenant issue. This area of law generally governs the renting of real property in Georgia, such as apartments and houses.

Landlord-tenant law can be confusing, so this guide will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in the state of Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is responsible for enforcing the Georgia Landlord Tenant Act, which covers most aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship. The DCA cannot, however, help with every issue.

Are you…

  • Living in an apartment without heat?
  • Dealing with a rat or rodent infestation that your landlord won’t fix?
  • Discovering that your landlord changed the locks and put your belongings on the street?
  • Attempting to get a friend to leave after he or she was invited for a short period of time?
  • Experiencing discrimination by your HOA?
  • Being served with an eviction?
  • Frustrated that your landlord is refusing to make needed repairs?
  • Concerned that your rights as a renter have been violated?

Georgia tenants have rights, and we can help you assert them. Our Georgia law firm has successfully represented thousands of tenants in court. If you have a problem with your landlord, we can help.

If you are dealing with one of the above scenarios, our firm can help by providing a highly skilled lawyer specializing in tenant law.

 
Why should you work with us?
 

Our office is experienced in landlord-tenant matters and eviction law in Georgia. Don’t just take our word for it, look at our results.

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Ready to move to the next step?

Schedule an appointment and share your case details with an attorney experienced in landlord tenant rights in Georgia. By reviewing documents, the attorney can provide you with answers to the most frequently asked questions, including:
 

  • What type of claims can I pursue?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses in my case?
  • Can I ask the opposing party to reimburse my attorney’s fees?
  • What amount of damages could I recover in my case?
  • How can I resolve this issue most effectively?
  • How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

Our office specializes in complex landlord tenant issues.

 
Watch this short video about a security deposit win.

Landlord Tenant Law

Our firm is experienced in helping renters assert their rights and navigate complex landlord-tenant matters. This area of law is especially complex in the Atlanta Metro and surrounding areas.

Eviction Defense — know the law for tenants!

Five questions to consider if you’ve been served with an eviction notice.

If you have been served an eviction notice, you will need to consider the following:

(1) Why are you being evicted?
(2) Is the landlord’s reason true? Is there evidence to support it?
(3) Did the landlord follow proper procedures?
(4) Were you given notice and proper service?
(5) What defenses can you raise? (Refusal of Rent, Retaliation, Prior Agreement)

If you have been served with an eviction notice, it is important to review the dispossessory affidavit quickly and respond within 7 days.  In the answer, the tenant should write out any defenses to the eviction and write-out any counterclaims that you may have (e.g. failure to repair, personal injuries, alternative housing expenses).  It is important to be comprehensive in your response to preserve your claims.

Slumlord Litigation

The Atlanta Metro area is one of the fastest growing cities, and it’s growth rate is out-pacing affordable housing.  As a result, many families have been forced into sub-standard housing conditions including leaks, mold, infestations, and other health compromising issues.

It is illegal for landlords to allow tenants to remain in such conditions after receiving notice of the issue(s). Some conditions that violate Georgia’s repair statute include:

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Leaks
  • Flooding
  • Infestations (Rats, Roaches, Squirrels, Bed Bugs)

If your landlord has refused to make repairs that affect the safety and habitability of the unit, you may be entitled to damages for:
 

  • Personal Property Damages
  • Personal Injuries
  • Alternative Housing Costs (i.e. hotel costs, Airbnb)
  • Attorney’s Fees
  • Other Damages Related to Disrepair of the Unit
Court

2022 Client Win

Damages Awarded: $20,000.00 personal property damages from a rat infestation
Waiver of Rent + Late Fees: $2,800.00 (2 months of rent waived)
Total Settlement: $22,800.00 (Litigation settlement acquired in 2022)

Illegal Eviction

What is an illegal eviction?

In Georgia, landlords have to go through the court process and obtain a court order called a Writ of Possession in order to evict a tenant from an apartment or home.  If a landlord tries to evict a tenant without a court order, it is considered an illegal eviction.  It is illegal for a landlord to:

(1) remove a tenant’s items from the residence without following the proper legal procedures
(2) change a tenant’s unit locks
(3) turn off a tenant’s utilities

If you’ve been illegally evicted, you may be entitled to damages for your lost personal property, pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, and costs.  If a Court finds that a landlord purposefully disconnected a tenant’s utilities, the landlord may be assessed a fine of up to $500.

Court

2022 Client Win

Tenant Personal Property Damages: $19,000.00
Pain and Suffering Damages: $10,000.00
Total Settlement: $29,000.00
(Pre-litigation settlement acquired for client in 2022)

Retaliation​

In Georgia, it is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for seeking repairs or making a code enforcement complaint about poor living conditions.  Illegal retaliation can manifest in a variety of ways including:

  • eliminating a tenant’s access to amenities on the property (pool, gym)
  • increasing rental rate of a unit
  • filing an eviction (dispossessory action)
  • interfering with any rights that the tenant is entitled to, pursuant to the lease agreement

If the landlord retaliates after the tenant seeks help relating to a life, health, safety, or habitability concern in the home, a tenant may be entitled to one month’s rent + $500, court costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees for a landlord’s intentional retaliatory behaviors.

Court

2022 Client Win

Retaliation Damages: $2,099.00
Failure to Repair: $3,322.86
Attorney’s Fees: $3,500
Total Settlement: $8,921.86
(Judgment rendered in favor of tenants on counterclaims in 2022)

Security Deposits

In Georgia, landlords are required to provide an itemized security deposit statement within 30 days of the tenant moving out.

If a landlord fails to comply with this requirement, he or she may be prohibited from deducting any damages from the security deposit.  In addition to getting your security deposit back, you may be entitled to treble damages and attorney’s fees.​

Court

2022 Client Win

Tenant Security Deposit: $3,500.00
Damages Awarded: $10,500.00 (3x the original security deposit)
Attorney’s Fees: $1,300
Total Settlement: $11,800.00
(Pre-litigation settlement acquired for client in 2022)

Landlord-Tenant issues are time-sensitive —
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