Georgia Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

State laws regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants, which primarily involves a contractual agreement between the two parties. Georgia's lease and rental agreement laws are fairly standard, at least compared with other states, but Georgia has not signed onto the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (a piece of model legislation adopted by most U.S. states).

Lease terms typically run for about a year, and payment of rent after the expiration of a one-year lease implies a one-year renewal of the lease. Therefore, you will need to draft a new agreement -- in writing -- if you wish to rent for a shorter period. In fact, all terms and requirements must be in writing in order to be legally binding.

Georgia law also requires security deposits to be held in an escrow account, as opposed to being deposited into the landlord's own account. Any damages will be subtracted from the deposit, with the balance to be paid within 30 days of the lease termination.

While the state prohibits discrimination against tenants on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin, the statute does allow discrimination within the scope of providing affordable and/or accessible housing for "older people."

The basics of Georgia's lease and rental agreement laws are listed in the following section for your review. For additional information, see FindLaw's extensive Landlord Tenant Law section, which includes articles on rental and lease agreements.

Code Section 8-3-201, 202; 44-7-31
Terms of Leases Rent accepted after expiration of 1 year lease implies renewal of lease for another year (Allen v. Montgomery, 105 S.E. 33)
Deposits Deposit must be deposited in escrow account and held in trust for tenant; any damages subtracted must be itemized and deposit must be returned within 30 days of termination
Discrimination No discrimination on basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin; allowable housing for "older people" included in statutes
Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted? No

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Georgia landlord-tenant attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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