When a landlord files for a dispossessory action, or eviction, misunderstandings relating to the eviction process can easily lead to a nasty dispute. While the thought of “kicking someone out onto the street” may seem harsh, familiarity with the renter’s lease agreement and requirements for filing for eviction can benefit both parties.
If You Don’t Pay, You Don’t Stay
If you are a renter, you have an important responsibility—read your lease agreement. Essentially, everything stated in the lease is stacked against you, and it mostly boils down to “if you don’t pay, you don’t stay.” Failure to pay rent is the reason for the majority of evictions.
Particularly in the state of Georgia, legislation provides for a speedy eviction. For instance, if your rent is due on the first day of the month, you will likely receive a late letter within a few days if not paid. Without responding or contacting the landlord, a demand notice is typically received by the 10th day. This is a warning and a letter of intention, stating that the landlord is taking action to have you evicted.
At this point, a response in writing is required, and a court date is set.
Is Financial Hardship A Valid Excuse For Failure To Pay Rent?
Tenants should be prepared to provide a reason for failure to pay rent on the court date. Unfortunately, financial hardship is not a legally acceptable excuse. This is because the law is very clear concerning the landlord-tenant relationship. Simply put, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair, and the tenant’s responsibility to pay.
In cases where hardship has fallen on the tenant, a sympathetic judge may suggest mediation as a means to generate a payment schedule. Even so, the landlord has the right to refuse this, demanding monies to be paid in full.
When it comes to dispossessory and eviction processes in Georgia, there are tenant’s rights and certain procedures required by landlords that are not always clear. Whatever side you’re on, it’s in your best interest to seek counsel to avoid the frustration and strain that a legal dispute will bring.
For active, diligent, and experienced representation in eviction proceedings, you can count on Attorney Dan Hamilton at Shepard, Plunkett, and Hamilton, LLC. Mr. Hamilton has the unique ability to provide clients with results-driven legal services, based on his extensive practice at the local, state, and federal levels. Contact Shepard, Plunkett, and Hamilton, LLC, today, and ask for Attorney Dan Hamilton.
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