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Home  Georgia Landlord/Tenant


Prohibited Practices/Illegal Lease Clauses

GA Leases That Automatically Renew-Are They Enforceable? (Commercial Leases)
Perhaps not!

See also Repairs

See also Discrimination/Fair Housing

Where To Go For More Help (Legal Advocates)

 

 

 

 

 

 















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discrimination/Fair Housing

Questions Asked About Fair Housing (GA L/T Handbook 2017)
Search for the word "fair" using CTRL F or command F (for Macs)

Help Resources In Atlanta
Where to find help if you've been the victim of discrimination.
See also subtopic on "Legal Help".

http://tenant.net/otherareas/uscode/fair-hse.html
Learn what housing is covered, the types of discrimination that is prohibited and where to go for help.

Housing Exempt From The Fair Housing Act (Consumer-SOS)
Some housing can discriminate.  Find out which.

Discrimination In Advertising Related To Housing (Consumer-SOS)

What Is a Disability As Defined By The Fair Housing Act 
(Consumer-SOS)

Filing A Lawsuit Under The Fair Housing Act (Consumer-SOS)

Requirements For New Buildings (Built After 1991)

Procedures & Penalties For Violations (Consumer-SOS) 

www.accessut.state.ut.us/advobook.htm
Guide to finding accessible housing for people with disabilities. 

Where To Go For More Help

For More See Prohibited Practices/Illegal Lease Clauses 

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Retaliation 

As of 2018, Georgia has no law to protect you from a landlord's retaliation. Unless your city or county housing codes give additional protections, (See Below) this means that once your lease expires, the landlord can refuse to renew it or raise the rent for almost any reason-even sheer spite.

But Federal law may protect you if the decision was based on your race, color creed, national origin, marital or family status or age if over 40. For details see Discrimination/Fair Housing.

If the landlord is punishing you for exercising your legal rights, you may have to sue in court.  For help, call your landlord tenant hotline, or get media support through your local TV, newspaper or radio station.

State By State Laws Against Landlord Retaliation (Nolo.com)
Not every state protects tenants from retaliation.

How The Various States Treat Landlord Retaliation
See Part 2 for the statutes and pro tenant case law on retaliatory conduct by landlords against tenants who exercise their rights under housing codes or other laws governing tenant rights. Each state varies with respect to the types of conduct landlords are prohibited from doing, the types of tenant activities that are protected, and the remedies available for a violation of the statute. And not all states are covered.  NOTE: for specific case law, search for key words by holding down the CTRL key and then press the letter F. Then search for your state by entering in the two letter abbreviation. Repeat search with full name (i.e. search for GA and also for Georgia).

City And County Housing Codes (All 50 States)
Check your city and county housing codes for further protection. Some expressly protect against retaliation for reporting a violation. Once on your code website, search for retaliat or retaliation.

If you still can't find help, Google your state along with the words Landlord and Retaliation. If you are in a big city, Google that as well.

Examples:

Georgia landlord retaliation
New York landlord retaliation
San Francisco landlord retaliation

Google Scholar
Do the same search above in Google Scholar for state specific case law. Repeat search choosing Articles.

Where To Go For More Help


For more help see Lawyers, Courts & Self Help

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Uninhabitable Premises/Constructive Eviction
Sometimes a landlord will create a nuisance or fail to make needed repairs. If such actions are drastic enough to make the premises unlivable, the law may permit the tenant to immediately move out and sue for "constructive eviction." 

Note a tenant cannot normally sue for such unless the problem caused them to move out before the end of their lease. GA courts will not find constructive eviction for minor matters, or even for important matters. It's got to be major. Mere discomfort is not enough. The test is if a reasonable person would be forced to leave the property and it's the landlord who is responsible.

The rules for constructive eviction vary from state to state. So be very careful about claiming constructive eviction without first seeking help from a local attorney.

If the tenant can show contructive eviction, damages can be collected for back rent, damage to furniture and other expenses.

Constructive Eviction An Uphill Battle In Georgia
First, the tenant must prove that the landlord’s failure to keep the rented premises in repair allowed the premises to deteriorate to such an extent as to make the rented premises unfit for the tenant to carry on business in a commercial lease or uninhabitable in a residential lease. See, Hightower v. Daniel, 143 Ga. App. 217, 237, 237 S.E.2d 688 (1977).

Second, the tenant must prove that the rented premises couldn’t be restored to a fit condition by ordinary repairs that could be made without unreasonable interruption of the tenant’s business in a commercial lease or the tenant’s habitation in a residential lease.

Georgia Landlord Tenant Case Law
Once on page, search for the term constructive eviction.

E. Constructive eviction

1. Failure to repair property makes it unfit to live in or defeats the purpose in renting the property;

2. It could not be restored to a fit condition by ordinary repairs which could be made without unreasonable interruption of the tenant's business; and

3. Requires a grave condition of a permanent nature. see Delta Cleaner Supply Co. v. Mendel Drive, 286 App. 227, 648 SE2d 651 (2007); see Hightower v. Daniel, 143 App. 217, 237 SE2d 688 (1977), Alston v. Georgia Credit Counsel, 140 App. 784, 232 SE2d 134 (1976), Overstreet v. Rhoades, 94 App. 750, 96 SE2d 305 (1956) (rotten, severely leaking roof enough)].

George v. Hercules Real Estate Services, 795 SE2d 81 (Ga.App 2016)(The defense of constructive eviction cannot be premised upon the criminal act of a third party who is not the landlord).

4. Constructive eviction defeats claim for rent but tenant usually required to vacate the premises to assert constructive eviction. Alston v. Georgia Credit Counsel, 140 App. 784, 232 SE2d 134 (1976). 

State Habitability Statutes And Law Reference Guide (50 States)
Scroll down to your state and see what the remedies are for breach of habitability. If listed, this will show you what you need to prove for constructive eviction.  If the statute is silent, there still may be case law in your favor.  But be careful and talk to a lawyer if you can!  For case law, go to Google Scholar, and search for "constructive eviction" and your state.

Help Resources In Atlanta
How to deal with housing code problems, health and safety and finding legal help.

Where To Go For More Help

For More Help, See Repairs and Lawyers, Courts & Self Help

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Form Letters (Samples)

*For Repairs (GA)

*For Return Of Your Security Deposit (GA)

*Tenant Defenses Against Eviction (GA)

Where To Go For More Help

The Forms Below Are Generic & Not State Specific

FOR TENANTS

Tenant's Notice To End The Tenancy

Notice To Landlord To Make Repairs (Lawsmart)

FOR LANDLORDS

Amendment Of Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Assignment Of Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Sample Residential Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Consent To Assignment Of Lease (Lawsmart.com)

Sample Tenant Notice Invoking Option To Renew Lease

Landlord Demand Letter Informing Tenant Of Breach Of Tenancy And What Tenant Must Do To Make Amends

Landlord Notice To Terminate The Tenancy (Lawsmart)

Lease Termination Agreement (Lawsmart)

Memorandum Of Lease (Lawsmart) 

Notice Of Rent Increase (Lawsmart.com) 

Residential Rental Application (Lawsmart.com)

Notice To Tenant To Make Repairs (Lawsmart.com)

Where To Go For More Help


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Mobile Homes

GA Landlord-Tenant Handbook (2017)
see pp. 20,27 for repairs and repossession and disposal of personal property.

GA Landlords Right To Evict After Getting A Court Judgment

Mobile Home defined in 44-7-82.

Where To Go For More Help

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HUD/Public Housing

Public vs. Private Housing

Public housing differs from private housing in two important ways. In public housing, a family's rent is based on the family's income and size. In a private house or apartment, rent is set by the landlord. In addition to this, many of the rights and duties of public housing tenants are directed by federal law. In contrast, most rights and duties of private tenants are set by the landlord. In most cases, you actually have more rights in public housing than in private housing.

Grievance Procedure for Public Housing Tenant (GA)

Basics of Public Housing (Your Rights & Responsibilities) (GA)

Links To Local HUd Offices Throughout US

HUD Help
Federal laws and regulations protect you from discrimination, fraud, and unscrupulous practices in buying and renting a home. Know your rights.

http://tenant.net/Other_Areas/Public/butler.htm
Admission, rents and lease requirements, eviction and grievances procedures and help numbers.

State Housing Authorities (All 50 States, DC & US Territories)
State housing agencies may give money and advice directly to low- and moderate-income people to help with rent, utilities, repairs to remove health and safety hazards, accessibility for the handicapped, and becoming homeowners. They also may construct, own, and manage public housing, which usually includes providing social services for the residents.

Where To Go For More Help

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Right To Tenant's Property Left Behind 

See Abandonment (Consumer-SOS)

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Crime Prevention

Getting Your Landlord To Prevent Crime (General)

Contacting Your Neighbors (Consumer-SOS)
Use Internet phone books and reverse lookups to find out who your neighbors are and contact them. Good to organize a neighborhood watch, or simply have them turn down the noise.

Where To Go For More Help

See Nuisances, Noise & Neighbors

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Help Agencies & Mega Sites


Financial Help

Can't Pay Your Rent, Mortgage or Utilities? (Consumer-SOS)
Step by step on what to do and where to go for assistance.

GA United Way Help Book
Online social service directory for Georgia.

Form Letters


Form Letters Written by Attorneys (Consumer-SOS)
Samples.

Legal Assistance From Lawyers & Other Advocates

Georgia Housing Code Problems (Consumer-SOS)

Atlanta Legal Aid (404) 524-5811
Will also direct to other legal aids if you're not in Metro Atlanta.

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (404) 521-0790
Volunteer attorneys help low-income tenants in Fulton & Clayton counties who face illegal evictions, unlawful withholding of security deposits, or abhorrent conditions that go unaddressed by their landlords. $ Qualifications: You must earn less than 200% of federal povety guidelines. As of 2016 (about 49k for household of 4, about 23k for an individual). They also help if you have unpaid wages due to you by your employer, regardless of whether you rent or own.

Metro Fair Housing Services (404) 765-3985
For help preparing a housing related complaint i.e. for discrimination against the handicapped.

Georgia Law Center For The Homeless (404) 681-0680  
100 Edgewood Avenue , Suite1625, Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Free civil legal services for low income individuals about to be evicted. With several lawyers on staff, they can represent you in court or refer your case to other attorneys.

Find Your Local AARP
The AARP offers legal advocacy for seniors and may also have state specific consumer brochures which are available to everyone.

Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select your state, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

Other Help Resources In Atlanta (Consumer-SOS)
How to find legal help and deal with housing code problems, discrimination, roommates, late rent and lack of money, finding an apartment, transportation, health & safety and more.

Landlord Tenant Rights For People In The Military (GA)
If a tenant is on active military duty and receives either permanent change of station orders or temporary duty orders in excess of three months, the tenant is liable for no more than thirty (30) days rent after the date he provides written notice and proof of assignment to the landlord. The tenant will still be liable for any damages above ordinary wear and tear. The landlord must still abide by the laws related to security deposits and move out inspections.

Help Resources (GA)
Legal Aids, mediation and Governor's Office Of Consumer Affairs.

Housing Help

Help For The Homeless (or Soon To Be Homeless) Georgia Assistance Directory (Georgia)
Are you about to be homeless? This site lists homeless assistance resources by Georgia county, including Homeless Prevention and/or Rapid Re-Housing resources.

Georgia Housing Code Problems

Housing Code Problems & Help#s (GA)

GA United Way Help Book
Online social service directory for Georgia.

Other Advocates and Free Legal Resources

Find The AARP In Your State
The AARP offers legal advocacy for seniors and may also have state specific consumer brochures which are available to everyone.

Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select your state, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

United Way Help Line  (For all 50 States, DC & Puerto Rico)
Choose your state, select your city, and look up help agencies galore!!! Their stellar search engine can lead you to any social service topic you can think of.  Just type in the words "housing rights" or "HUD" or "housing Authority" or "housing codes", etc.

National Help Orgs For A Variety Of Consumer Problems

The Elderly, Environment, Families, Fraud, Health & Safety, Insurance The Handicapped, Medical Problems, Telemarketing and more.



For More General Advice, See

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.

www.nolo.com


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Misc.

*Rental Property Management & The Law (GA)
Frequently asked questions about matters such as
Application fees, apartment occupancy limits, smoke detectors, your right to appliances, the legal differences between a tenant, guest and border and more.

Tenant's Rights In GA (Legal Aid Brochures)
Your rights as a tenant, guest or border; What you need to know before moving in; Repairs; Communicating with your landlord; What to do when you move out; and evictions.

Bad Checks-How To Prosecute In Georgia

Laws Enforced By The GA Office Of Consumer Affairs

Georgia Fair Business Practice Act (The Statute)

Flood Insurance Facts (GA)

Surviving Severe Weather (Tips)  (GA)

Find Your City's Municipal Codes
Learn how your city code treats, garbage, nuisance and safety hazards. If you can't find your city, follow their links to other code sites that can help you.

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