A reference of Georgia Eviction Laws, and steps of the Georgia eviction process for landlords and renters, updated 2021.
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Georgia eviction laws?
- What notice do Georgia eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 0-day notice to the tenant and can immediately go before the judge or clerk and make an affidavit to begin an eviction case. (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-50). If the rental property is rented by a public housing authority, the landlord must provide the notice that is required by federal law. (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-50(b)).
- For evictions based on lease violations, the landlord must give a 0-day notice of non-compliance and can immediately go before the judge or clerk and make an affidavit to begin an eviction case. (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-50). If the rental property is rented by a public housing authority, the landlord must provide the notice that is required by federal law. (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-50(b)).
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, the landlord must provide a 60-day notice to end the tenancy. (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-7).
- Do Georgia eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
- No. Georgia law forbids landlords from using self-help eviction methods.
Eviction Process in Georgia: Step-by-Step
The landlord must complete the following steps to carry out the eviction process in Georgia:
- Serve the Eviction Notice. To initiate the Georgia eviction process, the landlord must provide the eviction notice to the tenant. The tenant can pay rent and the cost of the dispossessory warrant within seven days of receiving the eviction notice and the landlord is required to accept this payment unless the tenant has already done the same once within the last twelve months. (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-7-52).
- File the Dispossessory Affidavit and Other Court Documents. The landlord begins the judicial eviction process by filing a Dispossessory Affidavit and Summons with the court in the county where the property is located. This document sets out the pertinent information about the parties and the case, including the amount of overdue rent. If the judge believes the action is warranted, the judge will sign the summons.
- Wait for the Tenant’s Answer. The landlord must legally serve the documents on the tenant. The tenant has seven days to respond with a Dispossessory Answer that sets out his or her defenses and counterclaims. If the tenant responds, the court sets a hearing date within 10 days and provides a Dispossessory Notice of Trial Date to both parties.
- File for a Default Judgment or Attend the Hearing.If the tenant did not provide a timely answer, the landlord can file an Application and Order for Default Writ of Possession. If the tenant is challenging the eviction, the parties appear at the date and time provided in the notice of trial and present their case. If the landlord wins, they prepare a Dispossessory Default Writ Tack and Mail for the judge to sign.
- Give the Writ to the Sheriff. The landlord provides the writ of possession to the sheriff. The sheriff can post the writ of possession on the tenant’s property notifying them to vacate the property. The writ gives the tenant 10 days to move out. If the tenant does not leave, the sheriff can forcibly remove them.