Consumer-SOS Legal Help and Consumer Advice

Contact Us 

Accidents & Injuries
Bankruptcy
Banks & Credit Unions
Business
Cars & Motor Vehicles
Charities
Children & Parents
Colleges/Grants&Loans
Contracts
Credit & Debt
Crime Victims Domestic Violence
Criminal Justice&Police Misconduct
Disabilities
Divorce & Marriage
Food Matters

Government 
& Gov. Assistance

Health & Medical
Health Clubs

Homeless

Home Matters
Immigrants/Refugees
Insurance
Internet
Landlord/Tenant

Lawyers/Cts/Self-Help
Mail & Postal
Money & Investments
Occupational- 
Licensing Boards

People Search

Phone & Utilities

Privacy/IdentityTheft
Public Records

Refunds, Repairs & Replacements
Scams & Cons
Seniors
Support Groups
Taxes
Travel
Wills, Probate & Estates 
Work/The Wk Place

Home  Georgia Landlord/Tenant


Repairs

(GA Laws 44-7-1,44-7-11,44-7-13, and 44-7-14)  

For More In-depth Answers  See the GA Court Manual on How State Court Judges Should Handle Various Landlord Tenant Matters.

THIS INFORMATION IS FOR FOR RESIDENTIAL LEASES ONLY
DIFFERENT LAWS APPLY FOR COMMERCIAL LEASES
 

Landlords have a non-delegable duty to make repairs which result from normal wear and tear.  The tenant, however, can always be held responsible for damage resulting from his own negligence.  If a residential lease provision makes the tenant pay for damages caused by normal wear and tear, it is legally invalid.  The landlord's duty to make repairs extends to fixing the plumbing, plugging leaks, carpet cleaning, painting, ...etc.

    Getting the Landlord To Make Repairs

a. See if the lease requires giving the landlord written notice of requests for repairs.

b. Send a dated written request anyway, or it's your word against the landlord's.  Keep copies of all correspondence between you and your landlord.

c. Allow a reasonable time for the landlord to make repairs.

For reasonableness, consider the nature and seriousness of the defect and how long it should take to arrange repairs. Serious defects that pose health and safety hazards should get prompt attention. (If your not sure how long to wait call up other management properties in the phone book and ask them how long it takes for them to repair these types of defects.)

d. If a reasonable time has passed, send the landlord a letter  stating the following.   "On such and such a date I wrote you that condition x needed repairs. (See prior letter enclosed). I have waited a reasonable amount of time but these repairs have still not been made.    If the problem is not fixed in _______ days I will exercise my rights under Georgia law 44-7-13 which allows me to make the repairs myself and then deduct these costs from next month's rent.  Please contact me before then so this won't be necessary."  

e. If the landlord is unresponsive, deduct the repair costs from your rent.  For your protection, you can take pictures of the defect before getting them fixed.  Make sure to make copies of the receipt for repairs and to give a copy to your landlord with your next rent check.  Do not hand over the original receipt unless you have a copy also!  

f. You can also report violations to your local Housing Code Enforcement Division.  They will send out an inspector to see if your apartment complies with applicable building codes.  Get copies of all reports listing each violation. Such may come in handy if you need to sue in court.  

See also

Georgia Landlord Tenant Law From A To Z With Georgia Case Law
The left hand index has all you want to know about security deposits, evictions, repairs, counter claims, summons, service ands more.

Back To Top 

  
 
Sample Demand Letter For Repairs[i]

NOTE: DO NOT BEGIN YOUR LETTER UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THIS LETTER COMPLETELY AND CIRCLED ALL YOUR OPTIONS.

------------------------------------------------------- 

   February 1, 2016

 

To: [Write in landlord's name and address]

 

From: [Your name and Address]

 

 

Dear X:

 

(OPENING PARAGRAPH)

 

I am writing about the ongoing maintenance problems in my apartment at [put in your address]            .  I first reported that [state your problem]          on [give the date you first told the landlord of the problem]. Since then I have requested [fill in how often you told the landlord: weekly, number of times, on what dates]        that the management do this maintenance.  Your response to my request has been [choose one of the following phrases: to promise you'd get to it; to ignore me; to do nothing; to tell me to fix it myself; to send a maintenance person around who looked it over, left and never came back; or write whatever fits your situation].  As of now, the problem [choose one of the following: has gotten worse; still exists; is spreading; or write whatever fits your situation].  Because the management has a legal responsibility for maintaining these premises, you must complete these requests by [write in a reasonable date, in most cases reasonable can be 5-10 days after the date in this letter] or risk further liability due to your failure to properly maintain the premises.  [If the condition poses a serious and immediate health and safety threat to small children, it may be reasonable to give the landlord just one or two days].

 

NOTE: If your apartment or trailer has more than one or two problems, don't describe them in this opening paragraph.  Instead, after the first sentence write:

 

Because of the number of repairs that my home needs, I am attaching a separate page detailing all of them. (continue with the last sentence of the opening paragraph which begins with "Because of management" [make sure to attach a page listing all needed repairs]

  (LEGAL BASIS PARAGRAPH)  

Your liability is well grounded in Georgia Law.  First, under Georgia Code §44-7-13 the landlord has a duty to maintain and repair rental property.  Under no circumstances can the landlord waive or avoid this duty. See O.C.G.A. 44-7-2.  Second, Georgia law §44-7-14 also provides that a landlord may be liable for any damages a tenant incurs due to the landlord's failure to do required maintenance.  [Continue paragraph by adding one of the optional inserts]

 

Optional Inserts Depending On Your Situation

 

1.   If your landlord tried to do repairs but the problem remains or has gotten worse, add to the letter: "Third, Georgia case law provides that the landlord has a duty to do repairs properly.  If this duty is breached, the landlord may be liable for any damages resulting from this failure."  

2.   If your lease says something about the management doing maintenance, even in the most general way, add to the letter: "Third/Fourth, under paragraph [X] of my lease, the management has the affirmative responsibility to do maintenance in a timely manner." [If you use insert #2, then also include the bracketed phrase in the next sentence about breaching the lease]  

Complete this paragraph with the following two sentence:

  "Because the management has failed to maintain these premises, even after receiving ample notice, you are in violation of Georgia law [and in breach of our lease].  To remedy these violations [and breaches], you must complete the requested maintenance by [either insert the date that you used at the end of the opening paragraph or write the dates on the attached page].  

CLOSING PARAGRAPH

  If you have not done the maintenance by that time, I will

     [choose one of the following options]

 

1.   complete the repairs myself, hiring the appropriate professionals when needed, and deduct the full costs of the repairs from next month's rent.  I will provide you with copies of receipts documenting the actual costs of repairs.  

2.    complete the repairs myself, hiring the appropriate professionals when needed, and file a claim against [write in the name of the apartment complex, the name of the realty management company, or the word "you" if your landlord is an individual] for the repair costs and all other damages that I may claim under law.

 

(If repairs are too costly to do yourself, Choose Options #3 or #4)  

3.   file a claim against [write in the name of the apartment complex, the name of the realty management company, or the word "you" if your landlord is an individual] for the repair costs and all other damages that I may claim under law.  

4.     request an inspection from Housing Code Enforcement and file a claim against [write in the name of the apartment complex, the name of the realty management company, or the word "you" if your landlord is an individual] for the repair costs and all other damages that I may claim under law.  

After inserting one of the 4 options, end this paragraph with the following:  

"I have consulted with an attorney [add only if true] and am aware of my legal rights and your legal responsibilities regarding maintenance.  I am ready, willing and able to take the legal action necessary to resolve this matter.  I hope such action is not necessary"

 

Sincerely,

 

                                              [your signature]

For More In-depth Answers  See the GA Court Manual on How State Court Judges Should Handle Various Landlord Tenant Matters.

Back To Top