Eviction (Dispossessory Proceedings) in Georgia

Gavel on Top of Judge's BenchWhen a tenant violates a section of a rental agreement or fails to pay rent, the landlord can demand possession of the rental property orally or in writing. Yet, surprising to some, he or she cannot file an affidavit for an eviction unless the tenant refuses to grant the landlord possession of the rental unit. Similarly, there is not a set time frame for how long the landlord must give the tenant before filing paperwork for eviction proceedings, as noted by NOLO. Thus, whether you are a landlord or tenant, it is important to understand the process of eviction (dispossessory proceedings)in the state of Georgia.

In regards to a lease agreement between a landlord and tenant, the law is black and white. As such, it is the landlord’s responsibility to repair, and it is the tenant’s obligation to pay rent. Thus, if a tenant loses a job, is seriously injured or if another misfortune comes into play, there are no legally acceptable reasons for failure to pay. Yet, there are complexities related to making timely repairs, and if a tenant can use a “repair and deduct” tactic to pay for repairs out of pocket and subtract what was paid from future rent. This is a dicey move, because a landlord can claim that they were not notified of the repair, and this would clearly backfire on the tenant.

In June of this year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution published details from a recent analysis of eviction filings in several metro-Atlanta counties. In short, more than one third of dispossessory filings had been submitted multiple times for the same tenant. The point is—in many cases, it is believed that landlords are using Georgia’s eviction laws as a first resort, not a last resort. Thus, they are more interested in collecting overdue rent than actually removing tenants. 

Given the complicated nature of the eviction process, landlords and tenants alike can benefit from trusted legal counsel at the law firm of Shepard, Plunkett & Hamilton, LLP. As a landlord/tenant litigation attorney with extensive experience at local, state and federal levels, Attorney Dan Hamilton is committed to helping clients obtain a favorable outcome in their case.

For focused attention to your landlord/tenant dispute, contact Attorney Hamilton at Shepard, Plunkett & Hamilton, LLP.

Posted on behalf of Shepard, Plunkett and Hamilton, LLP

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