Are you currently the landlord of a property in Northwest Georgia?

Knowing the basic laws related to owning a property is a must. Not only that, but you should also be aware of the eviction laws and legal procedures.

Let’s take a look at the different eviction laws in the state and how you can avoid breaking them.

 

Evictions in Georgia

In Georgia, there are a variety of reasons that a landlord can evict a tenant. These mainly include nonpayment of rent and breaking the terms of the lease.

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Before the landlord can actually evict their tenant, the tenant has to be given notice and the chance to come into acquiescence with the rental terms indicated in their lease agreement. If the tenant still does not follow the terms in the lease agreement, the landlord can file an eviction suit in court.

 

When Tenants Can’t Get Evicted

A landlord cannot evict a tenant if he or she does not have a cause or a legal reason to do so. By law, a landlord is required to give their tenant a written copy explaining where they violated their agreement and the chance to redeem themselves. Again, this also depends on the severity of the cause.

If:

  • The cause is very serious they can be evicted within 24 hrs.
  • There is no apparent reason that the landlord wants to evict the tenants, he or she must wait until the rental lease has ended before the tenant is required to move out.
  • The eviction is not urgent and there is no proper cause under the landlord and tenant agreement, the landlord legally has to give his or her tenant a written 60-day notice of eviction.

According to Nolo, a publishing company, “A landlord must never attempt to force a tenant to move out of a rental unit. The only legal way to remove a tenant is for the landlord to file an eviction lawsuit in court and win it. Even after the landlord wins the lawsuit, only a sheriff or constable is allowed to remove or evict, the tenant. Illegal Eviction Procedures in Georgia have more information on illegal eviction practices.

The landlord may find that the tenant has left personal possessions at the rental unit after moving out. If the tenant moved out of the property at the natural end of the tenancy, and not because of an eviction, state laws don’t give any guidance as to what the landlord should do with the found possession. The best practice will be for the landlord to try to contact the tenant and return the property, especially if it is something of value.”

 

Importance of a Good Screening Process

A landlord must abide by all the rules and regulations by law when evicting a tenant. For this reason, it’s important to have a good screening process in place to select only the best prospective tenants to rent your property. A good tenant is one that will pay the rent on time, respects the property, and abides by the terms listed in the lease agreement.

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If not, your chances of selecting a problematic tenant, who doesn’t pay rent and who doesn’t respect the terms of the lease or the rental property rise significantly. This could result in your needing to settle the matter in court.

 

What You Should Include in an Eviction Notice

According to Georgia law, there are certain situations where you must serve a notice to the tenant. An eviction notice should include the following:

  • The date the eviction notice was served to the renter.
  • The full name of the tenant and address of the property.
  • The main cause why the tenant is being removed.
  • The sum of the over-due rent charges.
  • A declaration that the renter has a precise time to recompense the rent or you will begin the Georgia eviction process.
  • A declaration of how the eviction announcement was served to the tenant.

According to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook, “the Georgia landlord-tenant laws do not specify how long you should wait before filing a suit in court. You have the option to give the tenant a period of 24 hours to 10 days to comply with the notice. If the tenant refuses to comply, you can go ahead and file an eviction lawsuit.”

Always remain as respectful as possible in this type of situation and understand what both parties are going through. Some landlords are not compassionate and forget that everyone is fighting a different battle. If you need to evict your renters sooner than later, try talking with them and settling a mutual agreement.

Just because your renters are allocated a 60-day notice, does not mean that they will stay that long. You can offer a rental break if they can move out early. As long as you have a good relationship with your tenant this can be a possibility.

 

The Bottom Line

The aforementioned points are all important to consider if you’re a landlord in Northwest Georgia or plan on being one in the near future.

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If you would like a professional property management company to handle the Georgia eviction process for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at HAAS Properties.