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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.