Georgia Eviction Notices
Georgia eviction notices either inform the tenant that they have violated their lease, by non-payment of rent or other violations, or the landlord intends on terminating their month-to-month rental agreement. If it is the latter, the tenant will have no option but to move out of the property within sixty (60) days.
Under Georgia law, a landlord may file a dispossessory action without giving any warning to the tenant. If the landlord does give the tenant notice through a notice to quit, he or she is giving the tenant fair warning before a lawsuit is filed. Although, the tenant is able to be in compliance with their rental agreement if they pay the rent in arrears as well as reimburse the landlord for the court costs within the time-frame granted by the municipality.
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
There are limited eviction laws in Georgia which allows the landlord to submit a filing the day after rent is due, upon a lease violation, or if the tenant has stayed beyond the term of their rental agreement.
Step 1 – File the Dispossessory Complaint
Once a violation has been discovered the landlord has the option of giving the tenant notice to cure the issue or vacate. If the landlord does not have a good relationship with the tenant or the tenant has not responded to the notice the Dispossessory Affidavit (File Complaint Online) will need to be filed with the Magistrate Court. This “all-in-one” form includes the Summons and Writ of Possession.
Filing Fee ($) – The fee for filing a dispossessory ranges from $1 to $62. Check with the county the property is located.
Step 2 – Serve the Dispossessory Complaint
As part of the filing fee the clerk of the court will forward the dispossessory complaint to the local Sheriff. From there, an attempt to personally serve the tenant will be made. If the tenant is unreachable, then the Sheriff will post the notice on the door.
Step 3 – Wait 7 Days
After the tenant has been served the tenant will have the option to file the Dispossessory Proceeding Answer (File Answer Online) . In addition, if the tenant files the form with all back-rent to the clerk of the court the rental agreement will automatically be in compliance once again.
At this point the landlord may only cancel the agreement if it has been at least the second (2nd) occurrence in the last 12 months of late rent.
Step 4 – Judgment
If Tenant DOES File the Answer – If the tenant files an Answer then a court hearing will usually be scheduled for the following week. Both parties will be required to attend and bring any information about the tenancy that they feel will help them in front of the judge.
If Tenant DOES NOT File the Answer – The landlord may use file the Default Writ of Possession Online or use the PDF Forms and file in-person Default Writ of Possession (for non-payment of rent) or Default Writ of Possession (for all other violations)
Step 5 – Writ of Restitution
Once the Writ of Restitution has been filed and processed by the clerk it will be forwarded to the local Sheriff who will give twenty-four (24) hours notice to the tenant to leave the premises. If the tenant remains on the property the landlord may change the locks and physically remove their personal items from the property.
Step 6 – Optional (Wage Garnishment)
If the tenant owes the landlord money after the eviction the Wage Garnishment Judgment may be filed online and submitted using the information from the judgment of the eviction case. There is a good chance that unless the landlord files for this garnishment they will never be paid-back for the back-rent by the tenant.