The Fair Housing Act was created in order to ensure that everyone is treated equally during the housing process. It protects tenants from discrimination when seraching for a rental property. At the federal level the Fair Housing Act protects the following classes…
- National Origin
- Familial Status
Learn about fair housing at the federal level here /landlord-must-know-fair-housing/
Georgia protects the same categories as federal law
(O.C.G.A. §8-3-200, et. seq. (1996).
- The collection of security deposits in Georgia isn’t required, but most landlords require them to prove a tenant’s financial stability and guarantee a payment for damaged property.
- The majority of renters collect a deposit that is equal to one month’s rent.
- The landlord is not required to place the deposit in an interest-bearing account, but the landlord must place the money in an escrow account. (handbook)
- The tenant must also be aware of the accounts location. (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-31)
- A landlord has 30 days from move-out to return the deposit. If he/she chooses to withhold some of the amount for damages, an itemized list of the cost of damages should be provided within 3 days. (O.C.G.A §§ 44-7-33 and O.C.G.A. § 44-7-34). The tenant is then allowed to inspect the rental property to confirm the accuracy of the charges. (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-33)
- If the landlord intentionally and/or wrongfully withholds a deposit, he/she may be liable for three times the amount withhold in addition to legal fees (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-35)
Rent and Late fees
- There are no statutes regarding rent increase notices, grace periods, when rent is due (at the beginning of the month or the end of the month), or late fees.
- There is no rent control for privately owned, single-family or multiple-unit residential rental properties (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-19)
- There is no statute regarding a tenant withholding rent for failure to provide essential services (water, heat, etc).
Notices and Entry
- If the rental agreement has no specified end date, a 60 day notice is required if the landlord is terminating the lease early; 30 days if the tenant is giving notice. (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-7)
- If the rental agreement has a fixed end date no notice is needed.
- If the rental agreement is a month-to-month lease, a landlord must notify a tenant 60 days prior to terminating a lease early; 30 days if the tenant is giving notice (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-7)
- There is no statute regarding a week-to-week lease.
- There is no statute regarding notices before entry, but 24 hours is recommended (see handbook, pg. 13)
- Emergency entry is allowed without notice (see handbook, pg. 13)
- If the tenant asks a landlord about prior deaths on the property, he/she must state the manner in which the individual died.
- A landlord is required to disclose any known presence of lead paint on the property. If there is a presence of lead paint in the unit or common area, the lease must include a federally-approved attachment on lead poisoning prevention.
- If there has been flooding on the property 3 times in the last 5 years, the landlord must disclose this to a tenant prior to signing a lease (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-20)
- When it is failure to pay rent, the tenant has 7 days to pay you otherwise the eviction notice can be filed with the courts.
- When there is another lease violation (e.g. subletting), there is no statute regarding time given to resolve the violation from the point that the eviction notice is served. Otherwise the eviction notice will be filed with the courts.
For more information on Georgia Landlord Tenant laws please visit their website here.