Both a landlord and tenant in the state of Georgia have certain rights and responsibilities under Georgia law. Understanding these Georgia landlord-tenant laws properly can help both parties avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. You should also have a working understanding of the Georgia Squatters' Law so that you can handle a squatter should you ever end up with one on your property.

The following is an overview of Georgia landlord-tenant laws.

Required Landlord Disclosures in Georgia

The federal, state, and local laws usually require that landlords make certain disclosures to their renters regarding the rental properties. Below are some of the things that you should make your tenant aware of prior to having them sign the lease agreement or rental agreements.

  • The identity of you as the landlord or anyone acting on your behalf.
  • A list of preexisting damages to the rental. This is a must for any landlord that requires renters to pay a security deposit.
  • Details about the security deposit. For example, how much it is, how you will store it, and conditions for its return.
  • Details regarding the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and detectors.
  • Information regarding the local sexual offender databases.
  • Rights of domestic violence victims.
  • You must also disclose the presence of environmental and health hazards. For instance, bed bugs, radon, mold, and lead-based paint.

Georgia Tenant Rights & Responsibilities

Basic Renter's Rights in GA

Under the Georgia landlord-tenant law, Georgia tenants have some basic rights. These include:

  • Have repairs completed on the rental unit in a reasonable time frame once you are made aware of them.
  • Be notified when you want to make any alterations to the terms of the lease or rental agreement.
  • Receiving a receipt of rent payments.
  • Peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their properties.
  • A habitable home that adheres to Georgia’s basic health, safety, building codes, and the lease agreement.

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Georgia Tenant Laws

The following are the basic responsibilities tenants have in the state of Georgia under the laws. They have the responsibility to:

  • Pay rent when it’s due.
  • Keep the rental in a good state of cleanliness and sanitation.
  • Let you know whenever they are planning to leave for an extended period of time.
  • Provide you with the required notice when looking to move out.
  • Ensure they aren’t violating their neighbor’s peace and quiet by, for instance, throwing large, noisy parties.
  • Abide by all terms of the lease agreement or rental agreement. For example, not to sublet the property or keep pets when the lease does not allow it.

Landlord Rights & Responsibilities

Basic Rights

Under the landlord-tenant law, the following are the basic rights you have in the state of Georgia as a landlord. You have the right to:

  • Screen all prospective Georgia tenants that express interest to stay at your rental property.
  • Receive a notice when a tenant is looking to vacate the premises.
  • Collect rent and have their tenant pay rent. What’s more, you also have a right to collect any prearranged late fees for overdue payments.
  • Enter the premises to carry out crucial tasks. For example, to make necessary repairs, inspect the property, or show it to prospective tenants, buyers, or lenders.
  • Evict a problematic tenant, especially for serious lease violations like nonpayment of rent.
  • Use the tenant’s security deposit to cover for excessive property damages or unpaid bills.

Georgia Landlord Laws

As a landlord in Georgia, you also have some basic landlord responsibilities under the law. These include the responsibility to:

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  • Keep a safe and habitable rental unit as per state or local law.
  • Treat all tenants equally and fairly. Georgia, just like other states, has an anti-discrimination law in place.
  • Follow the right eviction process when evicting a tenant.
  • Make any repairs or maintenance to the property whenever requested.
  • Not disturb the peace and quiet of tenants.
  • Provide tenants adequate notice when looking to enter their premises.

Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Georgia

1. Landlord Right to Enter a Rented Unit

As a landlord in Georgia, you have the right to enter your rented premises under certain conditions. For example, in an emergency, to make agreed or needed repairs, due to a court order, or to show the property to prospective tenants, lenders, or buyers.

While the landlord-tenant law doesn’t mention how much notice to give tenants, you should include this in the lease. Generally, most landlords give their tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering their apartments.

The time of entry must also be within reason. For example, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM during weekdays, and between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM during weekends.

2. The Condition, Maintenance, and Repairs

In Georgia, a landlord is accountable for maintaining their property’s habitability. A habitable property is one that has:

  • Functioning locks.
  • Properly maintained floors, railings, and stairways.
  • Sufficient garbage receptacles.
  • Clean and vermin-free premises.
  • Up-to-code lighting, electrical, heating, and plumbing facilities.
  • Effective weatherproofing of the windows, walls, and roof.

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3. Anti-discrimination Laws

Georgia landlords should be aware that, unlike many states, the Georgia landlord-tenant regulation doesn’t have anti-discrimination laws in place. Georgia, instead, has a few statues that cover certain areas. The statutes include:

  • The Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act. This prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, disability, color, race, sex, age, or national origin.
  • The Georgia Equal Pay Act. This requires that employers pay their employees of the opposite sex equal wages for equal work. This applies to any employer, both public or private, with more than 10 employees.
  • The Georgia Equal Employment for Persons with Disabilities Code. This prohibits any form of discrimination for people living with disabilities. It applies to employers who have more than 15 employees.
  • The Georgia Age Discrimination Act. This prohibits discrimination against a person between the ages of 40 and 70.

Also, cities like Atlanta have their own anti-discrimination laws. The Atlanta Anti-Discrimination law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, creed, color, race, age, national origin, familial status, parental status, marital status, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Nevertheless, all citizens in Georgia are protected at the federal level. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against renters based on the 7 protected classes of color, disability, familial status, sex, religion, race, and national origin.

4. Georgia Security Deposit Laws

While not required by law, many Georgia landlords do collect security deposits. Requiring security deposits helps:

  • Georgia landlords can fix excessive property damage caused by careless tenants using a security deposit.
  • A security deposit can compensate for excessive cleaning costs when a tenant moves out.
  • Remedy defaults in rent payments using a security deposit.

5. Rent Withholding

There's no Georgia law on rent withholding or repair and deducts remedies at the moment. However, the courts recognize a tenant’s right to repair and deduct.

6. Small Claims Courts

The small claims court, also called the Magistrate court, can help solve conflicts against Georgia landlords and tenants. The amount in contention must be $15,000 or less.

Bottom Line: Georgia Landlord-Tenant Laws

We hope this post about the Georgia landlord-tenant laws has served you well. This information is important for both a landlord and a tenant! For more information or questions, contact us today.

Disclaimer: This blog is only meant to be informational and isn’t a substitute for legal advice. If you have more questions, want legal advice, or require further clarification, please consider hiring professional attorney services.