A Georgia (GA) eviction notice is a written demand from a landlord to repossess their property from a tenant. It states that the tenant is required to leave the premises by a certain date. The rental eviction process, known as a dispossessory proceeding, begins with an eviction notice or late rent notice. If a tenant fails to pay rent or leave the rental property, a landlord may file an eviction lawsuit to remove a tenant. The procedure begins with an affidavit filed with the court (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-7-51).
Georgia law doesn’t specify how many days the landlord must give notice, but general practice is three days.
For reference, a Georgia Eviction Notice is also referred to as:
- Georgia Notice to Vacate
- Georgia Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
- Georgia Notice to Quit
- Georgia Lease Termination
Georgia Eviction Notice Types
Georgia Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: This eviction notice is used by a landlord to notify their tenant that rent has not been paid and they’re being evicted. The landlord may extend a courtesy and offer a late rent notice to remind the tenant that rent is past due. If the tenant doesn’t pay, the landlord can then submit this eviction notice demanding possession of the property.
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Georgia Eviction Notice (Non-Compliance): This eviction notice, also known as a notice to quit for non-compliance, is used by a landlord to notify their tenant that they’ve violated the terms of their lease.
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Georgia 60-Day Notice to Vacate: This type of eviction notice, also known as a lease termination or 60-day notice to vacate, is used by a landlord who doesn’t wish to renew a tenant’s lease. Under Georgia eviction law, landlords are required to provide 60 days’ written notice with a specific end date for the lease termination. Alternatively, a tenant must give at least 30 days’ termination notice if they do not want to renew their lease unless otherwise specified in the rental agreement.
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Georgia Eviction Laws and Requirements
- Eviction Laws: Title 44, Chapter 7, Article 3 of the Georgia Code
- Grace Period for Rent Payment: Not required, but can be specified in the lease.
- Late or Non-Payment of Rent Notice: 0 days (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-50)
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 0 days (Ga.Code Ann § 44-7-50)
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 60 days for landlords, 30 days for tenants (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-7-7)
What is the Eviction Process in Georgia?
Step 1: Serve the eviction notice
After receiving the eviction notice, a tenant can pay rent and any additional charges up to seven days after receiving the eviction lawsuit papers (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-7-52), or they can move out. If the tenant neither pays nor moves out, the eviction process can be moved through the court system as follows:
Step 2: File the relevant documents with the court
The landlord files a dispossessory affidavit or dispossessory warrant with the court. These documents include the full names of the parties, reason for eviction, declaration that the landlord demanded possession of the property but was denied, and the amount of overdue rent.
Step 3: Await the court’s judgment
If the court decides in the landlord’s favor, the judge will issue and sign a summons to be served on the tenant. The sheriff personally serves the summons on the renter, leaves it with someone at the tenant’s residence, or posts it on the property and then mails the tenant a copy by certified mail (tack and mail).
Step 4: Wait for the tenant to respond
The renter has seven days to file a dispossessory answer to the summons in court or on their own. If the tenant timely answers, the court sets a hearing date within 10 days. If the tenant doesn’t answer, the landlord files a default and asks for a writ of possession.
Step 5: Allow the sheriff to serve the writ
The sheriff serves the writ of possession on the tenant who has 24 hours to move out. If the tenant refuses to move out, the court schedules a hearing.
If the tenant wins at trial, they may stay. If the landlord wins, the court orders a writ of possession giving the tenant 10 days to move out. If the tenant still doesn’t move out, the landlord can get the sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant.
Both parties can appeal the court’s ruling should they choose.
Related Georgia Court Forms
Dispossessory Proceeding Affidavit: To begin the eviction process in Georgia, the landlord provides the full names of the parties, reason for eviction, declaration that landlord demanded but was denied possession, and overdue rent amount.
Dispossessory Answer: The tenant files this form in answer to the landlord’s summons, and lists defenses and counterclaims.
Dispossessory Notice of Trial Date: A notice of the trial date issued from the court to the parties.
Application and Order for Default Writ: The court’s order that a default was entered against the tenant, and a writ of possession is issued with a directive to the sheriff to serve it.
Dispossessory Default Writ Tack and Mail: The court’s order that a default was entered against a tenant and a writ of possession is issued. This permits the landlord to post the writ of possession on the tenant’s property as notice to remove themselves and their property.
Eviction Information for Georgia Landlords and Tenants
While Georgia laws are non-restrictive on how far in advance a tenant must be served a notice before eviction, landlords and management companies may not evict a tenant on discriminatory grounds. It’s also illegal to evict a tenant by changing the locks and shutting off the utilities. It’s also illegal to evict a tenant by changing the locks and shutting off the utilities, unless the landlord has a dispossessory proceeding judgment first ruled in their favor. (Ga. Code Ann. § 44-7-14.1).
Additionally, when sending a written eviction notice, it must contain the following:
- The date of serving the notice: this is when the landlord personally gave or tack-and-mailed the notice.
- The method of serving the notice, i.e., personal or tack and mail.
- The tenant’s name and address: all tenants should be named.
- The amount of rent owed plus late charges
- The date by which the tenant must pay or leave
- Where to send payment
The answer to the Georgia eviction lawsuit allows the tenant to:
- explain why the landlord is not entitled to possession of the property
- assert any counterclaims for the landlord’s failure to make repairs.
They can also demand past-due rent deductions for the landlord’s damage to the tenant’s property.
Georgia’s Tenant Landlord Handbook is available on the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website. Resources from the appropriate agencies regarding discrimination or other violations of landlord tenant law are in The Georgia Landlord Tenant Act, Georgia Fair Housing Law, Federal Fair Housing Laws, as well as state and local ordinances.