As a Georgia landlord, LandlordStation.com hopes you understand that Georgia landlord tenant law gives both you and your tenant certain privileges and obligations. However, thorough knowledge of both Georgia tenant rights and responsibilities and your own as landlord could potentially make you better at your job? In fact, even a general understanding could boost your ability to anticipate and troubleshoot problems. Landlord Station provides an overview for informational purposes – this should not be considered legal advice. For specific and in-depth legal advice regarding your circumstances, contact an experienced attorney.
It is important to note that Georgia laws do not regulate every detail of each landlord-tenant relationship; there are several federal laws also involved in the rental process. Georgia law does, however, set forth the general rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant. These Georgia rental laws can be found in The Official Code of Georgia, Title 44, Chapter 7. You can also consult the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook.
While Georgia landlord tenant law allows for a tenancy-at-will without a written lease agreement, it is highly recommended that you provide, and have your tenant sign, such an agreement. A written lease contract that covers every detail of your agreement helps protect you and your tenant. It is important to understand that a written lease agreement does not, and cannot, supersede the rights and responsibilities of landlord and tenant under Georgia rental laws.
In general, rental laws require you, the landlord, to be reasonable in money matters and to maintain the rental unit in a safe and habitable condition. Other examples of your responsibilities as landlord under Georgia law include:
• Lawful selection of tenants (including avoidance of discrimination)
• Collection of rent from tenants
• Following obligations as set out in lease agreement
• Ensuring all necessary repairs are made
• Making certain that rental unit follows and continues to follow all applicable local housing codes
• Provision of smoke detectors
• Notification to tenant of any propensity for flooding
• Notification to tenant of any lead paint in the rental unit
Naturally, under these same rental laws you also have rights as a landlord. Your rights under Georgia landlord tenant law usually pertain to items like your control and access to the property once it's leased, what fees you can charge, and the right to evict if needed. Landlord rights also include the following:
• Right to tow improperly parked vehicles
• Right to declare a repeat visitor an unauthorized occupant
• Right to create occupancy limit, without discrimination against families with children
• Right to charge application fee
• Right to require renter's insurance
• Right to enter rental unit to resolve a dangerous condition, prevent damage to premises, or respond to an emergency
• Right to refuse tenant access to files kept on rental unit
• Right to enforce terms of lease at any time
• Right to hold tenant responsible for remaining rent when tenant vacates property prior to lease ending
Fully comprehending these rights and responsibilities as a landlord is essential to performing your job correctly. Taking it one step further and learning Georgia tenant rights and responsibilities can help you enhance your job performance by giving you the tools you need to anticipate, prevent and even peacefully resolve any issues or conflicts that arise.
Tenants also have responsibilities and rights under Georgia law. In broad terms, a tenant is responsible for his or her half of the lease agreement. This includes paying the agreed amount of rent in full and on time, maintaining smoke detectors in good working order, obtaining permission for major changes to the property, notifying the landlord of intent to vacate the premises, and duty to prevent any damage to the rental unit by the tenant or his or her visitors.
Renters rights in Georgia are usually more detailed and extensive. Examples of Georgia tenant rights include:
• Right to use, occupy, and enjoy rental premises in accordance with lease
• Right to know details of property's past
• Right to refuse entrance of landlord onto rental property with the exception of lease provisions or specific circumstances
• Right to notification of changes to or termination of lease agreement
• Right to the name and address of property owner of rental unit
• Right to peaceful enjoyment of the rental premises, free from the disruptive, inconveniencing, or damaging behavior of other tenants
• Right to utilities, even when behind on rent payments
• Right to returned security deposit within 30 days of rejected application
• Right to repair and deduct- meaning the right to have a required repair made after landlord's refusal to make repair and the right to deduct the cost from rent for said repair
• Right to avoid eviction upon full payment of rent and any legal fees
Knowing both sides of the equation when it comes to Georgia landlord-tenant law helps you empower yourself and your tenant to avoid any potential tension or conflicts. It also gives you the information you need to protect yourself legally on either the offense or the defense. Landlord Station hopes the preceding information has given you a better understanding of Georgia rental laws and how they apply to you and your tenant, but it is not legal advice. For specific legal advice regarding your case, contact an experienced Georgia lawyer.
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