Georgia Tenant Rights Laws

Although Georgia state law doesn't address as many tenant rights as other states, there are still many protections on the books, as well as federal, local, and contract law. So, if you're facing issues within your landlord-tenant relationship, knowing the law can often help you resolve those problems more efficiently. Read on to learn more about Georgia tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights: Discrimination, Security Deposits, and More

Like other states, Georgia has fair housing laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, disability, familial status, and other protected characteristics. This means, among other things, that it's illegal to refuse to rent to someone or discriminate in the terms and conditions of a rental based on those protected traits. And the consequences for committing a discriminatory housing practice are substantial.

Additionally, although Georgia has no statutory maximum for what a landlord may charge for the security deposit, there are strict rules about refunding that deposit. For example, after a tenancy has ended, the landlord has just three days to complete an inspection, list all damages beyond wear and tear that warrant a deduction from the deposit, and refund the remaining balance. If your landlord is submitting a full refund, they have one month to return it to you.

These and other laws like those regarding the implied warranty of habitability and tenant evictions are designed to protect you against unfair practices within the landlord-tenant relationship.

Georgia Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The following chart provides a summary of Georgia state laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • Limit: No statutory maximum
  • Cannot be nonrefundable
  • Must return security deposit within one month if no deductions are made
  • If deductions are made, landlord must inspect premises, complete comprehensive list of damages and estimated dollar value, and refund remaining balance within three days after termination of occupancy
  • Reasons security deposit may be retained include:
    • Unpaid rent, pet fees, or utility charges
    • Damages beyond normal wear and tear
    • Abandonment of premises
    • Damages caused by tenant's breach of the lease

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. a one-year lease) unless lease allows; may raise rent upon lease renewal

Living Conditions

  • Landlord's right to enter unit governed by terms of lease; may enter in emergency
  • Landlord must keep premises in repair and in compliance with housing codes

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability or handicap, familial status, or national origin

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give 60 days' notice to terminate tenancy at will
  • No notice required for rental agreement with fixed end date
  • Landlord may file for eviction based on unpaid rent, but tenant has seven days to submit payment to avoid eviction
  • Eviction: writ of possession required

Retaliation

  • No state law prohibiting landlord from retaliating against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Georgia Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

Receive a Free Evaluation of Your Tenant Issue

Resolving landlord-tenant issues can be a daunting, uncomfortable task, especially given the amount of federal, state, and local housing laws. But you shouldn't feel like you're simply at the mercy of whatever terms your landlord is dictating. Receive a free case review today to better understand your rights and options under Georgia's tenant rights laws.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.