Eviction is a very misunderstood process where renters often feel they are at the mercy of their landlord. Mainly because in the movies someone always comes home to find their locks changed or everything they own out on the front lawn. It is not quite that easy to kick someone out of their home in Georgia. They must follow by the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook rules.
Under Georgia law you can only be evicted if you:
- Don’t move out when your lease ends
- Break you lease for some reason
- Stop paying your rent
If you do any of the above then the landlord does have the right to evict you but he has to follow a procedure. He can’t:
- Change your locks when you are away
- Remove anything from your home, even if it is to put it outside
The only thing he has a right to do is take you to court. Once your landlord starts the eviction process there are 5 basic stages:
- You will have a dispossessory lawsuit filed against you. You will be notified by a sheriff bringing an eviction notice to your home and if you’re not home, it will be left on the door. You will also get a copy by mail.
- You then have seven days to file an answer with the court. This gives you the opportunity to explain why you should not be evicted. If you miss the seven day window the sheriff can and will put you out of the home. You can get an answer form at your local county clerk’s office.
- After the answer is filed, you and your landlord will start laying claims and counterclaims against each other. This opens up the negotiation phase. At this point either one of the parties may decide to give in to the other’s requests and make payments, do repairs, fix damage, etc. If the two parties agree then the eviction process may end and never go to trial.
- If no agreement is reached, you go to trial. Each side will present their case with any evidence they may have.
- The court reaches a decision and both parties are bound by it.
If you are facing an eviction let the attorneys at Slepian, Schwartz & Landgaard help to make sure none of your rights have been violated under the Georgia law and that your landlord follows the proper eviction process. Call 770.486.1220 to speak to an attorney today to discuss your legal matter and receive the exceptional representation that you deserve.