Category Archives for "Georgia Eviction Law"

Removing Tenant Property Could Be Illegal!

Gavel and Legal Court Order

What happens if a tenant who owes you money moves out of your Decatur rental property in the dead of night?

​You happen to stop by your rental property in Decatur shortly thereafter and discover an unoccupied home.  The place is in terrible condition with debris on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink and on the counters,  a filthy refrigerator with food inside.  Clothes and other items are strewn about.  The tenants also left numerous personal property items behind - some of value and some obviously trash.  Your tenants have definitely abandoned the premises and are long gone!

After you've calmed down, your first impulse might be to start clearing the property, disposing of items, and cleaning it up for the next tenants.

Before you fill up the trash cans, you may need to consider filing an Eviction Order with the Court to be safe, as there are eviction laws in most states that protect the personal property of tenants, even if it appears they have abandoned their personal property.

Once you have a Court Order giving you back possession of the rental unit, you​ can lawfully remove the tenant's belongings, according to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook published by the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs.  

If you have questions regarding the legality or eviction process, contact a qualified real estate attorney.​

Handling Tenant Evictions in Georgia – the Lease Rules!

Decatur woman writing check to property owner

Property managers who have worked with tenants for a number of years have quite a few interesting stories about evicting tenants!

We do extensive credit and background screening on our tenants, so the majority of them are credit-worthy, responsible renters, who pay their rent on time and take care of the property. Then, there is the exception –

One memorable tenant notified us 60 days prior to the end of their lease that they would not be renewing. We subsequently began advertising the property for new tenants, showed prospective tenants the property, completed the application and screening process, collected a Security Deposit and signed a Lease with new tenants.

Not so fast – first, our present tenant wanted an extension of two weeks to complete their move, then they complained that the movers wanted too much money so they couldn’t move. The property was in chaos with boxes everywhere and packed solid with personal items from the attic to the basement. Every day there was a new reason they couldn’t be out on time. Since we had already committed to new renters, we had no choice but to insist that they be out on the last day of their lease. We had doubts that they would ever vacate!

In Georgia, the Lease details all the terms, including when a tenant is in breach of contract. On the last day of the month before the tenant was to vacate the premises, we gave the tenant written notice they would be in breach of contract if the property was not vacated on time, and that we would file with DeKalb County Court for an Eviction Notice. Miraculously, the were out on the specified date and the need for an Eviction order dissolved.

If you are a Landlord in Georgia, the real estate laws provide for a quick Eviction process compared to other states. I would suggestion two things:

  • Have your tenant sign a comprehensive Lease and,
  • If you are faced with the possibility of evicting a tenant, check the Georgia law procedure on evictions before you do anything – a good real estate attorney can help.