Don’t let an abusive landlord bully you into leaving the property you are renting before your right to occupy that property has expired!
Your Rights as a Renter
A renter who has paid his or her rent on a monthly basis must be given proper notice that the landlord wishes them to leave the premises. If you have a current lease that gives you the right to stay in a property, then your rights to stay in that property will be determined by that lease to the extent that it does not violate Georgia Landlord/Tenant law.
If your lease has expired, and you are still paying rent to the landlord your lease will continue on a month to month basis with your having the status of a Tenant at Will. The landlord is required under these circumstances to give you 60 days notice before they can have you evicted.
If you do not pay your rent while you are a Tenant at Will or otherwise violate the terms of your implied lease, then the relationship changes to a Tenancy at Sufferance where the landlord can evict you with with no notice. The landlord will still have to prove that you have not paid rent or otherwise violated your lease in a dispossessory proceeding in court, as there are no “self help” evictions in Georgia.
The Eviction Process
The eviction process requires that the landlord give you a Demand for Possession prior to the initiation of dispossessory proceedings. Depending on your relationship status with the landlord, you may have up to 60 days before you have to vacate the premises, regardless of what the landlord asserts in their Demand for Possession.
After the demand is given, the landlord must file a dispossessory action in magistrate court in the county where the property is found, and serve notice of this action to the tenant. The tenant must then file an answer to that action within 7 days or be in default in the action. The tenant can file a late answer to the action within 14 days, but it will require the payment of court costs to open the default. A hearing will be set sometime after the 14 day period, and if the case is in default at that hearing, no defense to the action will be possible in the hearing. At that hearing, you can present your defenses to the eviction and the court will determine if a Writ of Possession will be issued.
If a Writ of Possession is issued by the court, the tenant will be required to vacate the premises on the date stated in the Writ.
Hire the Right Lawyer
Roy Yunker was a landlord for over 4 years prior to attending law school in 2005, and graduating law school in 2008. He understood Landlord/Tenant law well before he became licensed to practice law, and can help you protect your rights as a tenant, even against an ornery and uncooperative landlord. Don’t let someone state what they think the law is, hire Roy Yunker Law and find out what your rights actually are!