State Landlord-Tenant Laws For Georgia



  • Not required, but recommended.
  • No limits on security deposits.
  • Landlords have 30 days to return the security deposit after a tenant moves out.


  • No rent control laws.
  • Landlords are required to give written notice before raising rents of at least 60 days.


  • Tenants have a right to privacy as covered in the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.
  • Although there's no specific statute, landlords should give reasonable notice (at least 24 hours) before entry and only enter during reasonable hours (9am to 5pm).


  • No statute.


  • Rental agreements are required for leases  1 year or longer.


  • Late fees must be written into the lease agreements.
  • No grace period requirements.


  • No statute.


  • Landlords can charge pet fees and deposits as long as it is written into the lease.


1. Georgia Landlord-Tenants Rights & Responsibilities

According to Georgia state law, there are a number of guidelines and standards that both tenants and landlords must abide by.

Below is a comprehensive explanation of some of Georgia's laws pertaining to landlords and tenants.

Georgia Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities

  •  A tenant has the right to possess and enjoy the use of the rented house without any disturbance from the landlord for a fixed period agreed in the lease. (Section 44-7-1)
  • A tenant cannot transfer his/her rights to another person without the consent of the landlord. (Section 44-7-1)
  • A tenant has the right to insist on a signed lease for rental agreements that’s one year or older. However, oral agreement is allowed for shorter terms. (Section 44-7-2)
  • A tenant’s rights cannot be waived even if the signed lease includes wording that’s intended to do so. (Section 44-7-2)
  • A tenant is entitled to fair legal fees in the event of a broken lease agreement. (Section 44-7-2)
  • A tenant is required to pay rent as and when due, as stipulated in the lease agreement. (Section 44-7-5)
  • A tenant has the right to habitable housing, which means landlords are mandated to ensure rented properties are in decent condition before leasing. (Federal Fair Housing Act)
  • A tenant should not make any repair, improvement, or upgrade to the rental property or features without the approval of the landlord. (Section 44-7-11)
  • At the end of the lease period, the tenant is expected to deliver possession to the landlord. If the tenant fails to comply, the landlord can legally start the process of evicting them. (Section 44-7-10)
  • Tenants are liable for any damages to the rental property due to their negligence or other activities. (Section 44-7-14)
  • If a fire destroys the rental property or a non-landlord-caused casualty results in the tenant losing ownership of their belongings, they are still responsible for paying the rent. (Section 44-7-15)

Georgia Landlord’s Rights and Responsibilities

  • A landlord (or their representative) is required to disclose his/her contact information before or at lease signing. In the event that there’s a change in contact information, the landlord is required to update the information within 30 days. (Section 44-7-3)
  • In the case of rent default, a landlord can sue the tenant for rent. (Section 44-7-5)
  • A landlord must ensure that he/she keeps the rental property in good repair. (Section 44-7-13)
  • Any damages resulting from maintenance neglect or pre-existing conditions are the landlord's responsibility. (Section 44-7-14)
  • Unless the tenant has been formally evicted, landlords are not allowed to purposefully and without good reason switch off the essential utilities (heat, light, and water) in a tenant's apartment. Violation of this law can attract a penalty of up to $500. (Section 44-7-14.1)
  • A landlord can charge tenants who default on rent dues interest on the amount they owe. The leasing agreement will typically include the interest rate. (Section 44-7-16)
  • Landlords are not subject to local government limitations when setting the rent for their single-family houses or apartment buildings. (Section 44-7-19).

Required Notices Before Entry

Are landlords in Georgia required to give notice before entering the property?

Yes, landlords in Georgia are required by law to give tenants one to two days' notice before entering the property. However, there's an exception when there's an emergency. 

A landlord entering the tenants rental unit without permission or at odd hours would count as violation of the terms of the lease.

Are landlords allowed to enter the property to conduct maintenance and repairs?

Yes, Georgian landlords are entitled to access their rented property for purposes such as inspections and repairs that are connected to the rental agreement. It's also important to note that a landlord is free to impose his/her own terms and conditions on the lease that enables them to enter a rented property, under certain conditions. 

Source:Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook


2. Georgia Rent Increase Laws

The state of Georgia does not have rent control laws. Additionally, local governments and localities are prohibited by state rules from enacting their own rent control measures. (Section 44-7-19)

Generally, landlords are free to increase rent for any reason and by any amount, however, they are required to give tenants enough notice. 

Notice Required to Raise Rent in Georgia

Under Georgia law, landlords are required to give a 60 days written notice before the rent increase goes into effect. This is true for month-to-month and fixed term leases. Property owners and landlords cannot increase the rent during the lease term.

Landlords are required to state the precise amount of the rent increase and the effective date of the higher rental rate in the rent increase notice. Also, notices must be given to tenants in the form of a written notice; verbal notices are insufficient. 

Limitations on Rent Increases in Georgia

Although there are no statewide controls or limitations on the amount of rent increases allowed by landlords in Georgia, there are several guidelines provided by Georgia rent increase laws that they must adhere to: 

  • A lease cannot have its rent increased in the midst of its term. The rent is fixed for the whole time of the lease agreement if the renter signed a 6-month or 1-year agreement. In order to increase the rent, landlords have to wait until the conclusion of the lease. 
  • Raising rent in a retaliatory manner is prohibited. The landlord is not allowed to raise the rent on a tenant who has complained to the landlord or asked for repairs. It is forbidden to raise rent in retaliation in this way.
  • Anti-discrimination legislation cannot be broken by raising rent. Rent increases are prohibited by law on the grounds of a tenant's race, gender, religion, family situation, handicap, etc. Rent increases imposed on members of protected categories would be considered discrimination.

Source: Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook


3. Georgia Rental Agreement Laws

According to Georgia law, a lease agreement is recognized as a legal contract that outlines the parameters that govern a landlord-tenant relationship. 

The following should be included in the leasing agreement: 

  • the process of leasing the asset, such an auction or competition. 
  • the property's contents and cost
  • the intended use of the property
  • the length of the lease, the rent amount, and the mode of payment
  • the parties' rights and obligations
  • the terms for granting the property on lease and returning it after the lease expires.


Get a free state specific residential lease agreement


4. Georgia Security Deposit Laws

Maximum Deposit Allowed In Georgia

There is no legal cap on security deposit amounts in Georgia. Georgian landlords are not restricted in how much they can ask a renter for a security deposit.

Are Pet Deposits Allowed in Georgia?

Landlords can request additional pet deposits from their; however, this is not required by Georgia tenant deposit laws. The only exception is a disabled person requiring emotional support animals or service animals. Due to the equal housing rights of people with disabilities, landlords are not allowed to charge extra for service animals. 

Nevertheless, the renter will be responsible for paying all or a portion of the security deposit if the service animal harms the rented property in any way.

What Can Landlords Deduct From the Deposit in Georgia?

In Georgia, landlords can legally deduct some amount in a tenant’s security deposits to compensate for specific circumstances that qualify as "damage." The following expenses may be covered by the deposit, according to Georgia tenant deposit laws: 

  • unpaid rent, utilities bills, or pet fees.
  • fixing damages that go beyond typical wear and tear. 
  • any losses incurred by the property management as a result of the tenant's departure from the rental. 

How Must Landlords Hold Deposits in Georgia?

Landlords are required by law to keep their tenant's security deposit in an escrow account, that is a state or federally licensed depository. They also have the obligation to inform the tenant about where this deposit is kept. 

Alternatively, landlords can choose to post a surety bond for $50,000 or the full value of the security deposit, whichever is less. Tenants and landlords are required to engage with a licensed surety firm. The surety bond must be deposited with the local Superior Court Clerk, who will charge a $5.00 filing and recording fee.

It's crucial to remember that, in accordance with Georgia law, the landlord forfeits any right to withhold the tenant's security deposit if they fail to adhere to these holding guidelines.

When Must Landlords Return Deposits in Georgia?

Georgia landlords have up to thirty days from the day the tenant vacates the property to return the deposit via first-class mail along with an itemized list of deductions. 

If the landlord wishes to make an itemized inventory of damages, they must inspect the unit within three business days of the lease expiration. In addition, the tenant must check the property within five business days to make sure the aforementioned items are present.

The list will be accepted as proof of damages if the renter accepts the specified damages, and the landlord will be authorized to deduct the damages from the security deposit. However, the tenant must list every item and ask for a court case if they wish to contest any or all of the damages. 

Furthermore, the landlord may be taxed up to three times the amount of the security deposit that was sought, in addition to attorney fees, if they do not return the deposit within the allotted time.

Lastly, the security deposit will be lawfully forfeited if the renter ignores the written notification requesting return of the money and the landlord makes no attempt to find them. The security deposit will belong to the landlord after ninety-nine days, and the renter will not be allowed to contest it.

Do Landlords Need To Pay Interest on Security Deposit in Georgia?

Georgia law states that landlords are not obligated to pay interest on a security deposit. However, landlords have more leeway because they are not compelled to send the tenant any receipts for the security deposit.

Sources: Section 44-7-31, Section 44-7-32, Section 44-7-33, Section 44-7-34



5. Georgia Eviction Laws & Notices

Grounds for Eviction in Georgia

Before beginning the eviction procedure in Georgia, landlords must have valid reasons for the tenant's eviction. According to Georgia eviction law, a landlord may evict a tenant for the following reasons:

  • Nonpayment of Rent: The landlord has the right to issue a demand notice for overdue rent to a tenant who neglects to pay their rent on schedule. Eviction is justified if the renter fails to make payment within the allotted notice period, which is typically seven days. Even after leaving, the tenant will still be responsible for the unpaid rent. 
  • Lease Violations: The landlord has the right to provide notice that a tenant has broken the terms of the lease if they include things like bringing guests or pets into the apartment or making unauthorized changes. The landlord has the right to evict the tenant if they do not correct the infringement within the allotted notice time.
  • Damage to Property: The landlord has the right to remove a tenant after providing notice if they cause damage to the leased property. This covers harming shared spaces or the apartment itself. 
  • Illegal Activity on the Property: In Georgia, landlords have the right to remove renters right away if they use their rental property for illegal activities, such selling drugs. In certain situations, no notification is necessary. 
  • False Information on Rental Application: According to Georgia law, giving false information on a rental application may result in an early eviction. Lying about one's income, renting history, or criminal history are a few examples.

Georgia Eviction Notice Requirements

Before pursuing an eviction, landlords are required to give tenants the required Georgia notice to quit. The type and duration of notice needed varies according to the grounds for eviction and type of lease agreement:

  • Notice To Terminate Due to Nonpayment of Rent: The landlord is required to give the tenant seven days' notice to pay the rent or evacuate if the tenant does not pay on time. This provides the tenant with seven days to either pay the entire rent due or leave the property.  (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-52)
  • Breach of Lease: In the event of a breach of the lease, the lessor is required to provide the tenant seven days' notice to either comply or vacate. Tenants have seven days to either fix the infraction or leave the property. 
  • Notice to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy: Landlords are required to provide month-to-month tenants without a lease a 60-day notice period to quit. The month-to-month tenancy has ended. (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-7)
  • Notice to Terminate a Tenancy at Will (a Lease with No End Date): 60 days’ notice if the landlord is giving notice; 30 days’ if the tenant is giving notice. (O.C.G.A. § 44-7-7)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No Statute. Typically no notice is needed as the lease simply expires.

After a Georgia eviction notice period has passed and the tenant has not complied, the landlord may proceed with filing an eviction suit in court. 

Georgia Eviction Process

In Georgia, a landlord may initiate an eviction action by filing a "dispossessory affidavit" with the magistrate court. This action is recommended if a tenant disregards a Georgia notice to quit and does not comply with it within the stipulated deadline. 

When filing a dispossessory affidavit, the following is needed:

  • the grounds for eviction, 
  • a declaration that the landlord has sought possession of the property, and 
  • an affirmation that the information in the affidavit is accurate to the best of the landlord's knowledge. 

The tenant will receive a summons from the court requiring them to respond to the allegation within seven days of the landlord filing the dispossessory affidavit. This is when the Georgia eviction process starts.

The landlord may file a default judgment to regain ownership of the property if the tenant does not file an answer within 7 days. Also, the court will set a trial date within 15 days of the tenant filing an answer if the tenant chooses to do so. 

Both the landlord and the renter will have the chance to provide testimony and supporting documentation during the trial. A jury trial may be requested by either party, or a bench trial may be presided over by the judge. 

The judge or jury will decide the eviction case after considering all the facts. A writ of possession returning the property to the landlord will be issued by the court if the landlord successfully argues their case for eviction.

Afterwards, if the renter doesn't leave, the sheriff can then enforce the writ and have them evicted.

Source: (Section 44-7-50)


6. Georgia Rental Application Laws

The state of Georgia requires landlords and tenants to have a signed lease, which serves as tangible documentation of all the terms that were agreed upon by both parties. 

Both the landlord and tenant are only required to provide the description of the rental property and the contact details of all parties for Georgia rental application. However, most Georgia landlords usually include comprehensive information in their lease agreements to prevent disagreements in the future.

Below are some of the most typical terms that landlords put in Georgia rental applications: 

  • the length of the lease
  • provisions requiring rent payments 
  • deposits for security
  • utilities 
  • entry rights of the landlord
  • upkeep of the rental property, and 
  • subleasing provisions. 



7. Breaking a Lease in Georgia

Georgia Laws Around Breaking a Lease for Landlords and Tenants

Tenants must give a 30-day notice to terminate their lease in accordance with Georgia law. They are still required to pay their rent until the end of that time, though. When it comes to property owners, a landlord has to give a 60-day notice before ending a lease.

Legally Terminating the Lease

Tenants in Georgia may lawfully terminate a lease for a number of reasons, such as: 

  • when the rental property is not in a habitable condition, (The Fair Housing Act)
  • when the owner harasses the tenant,
  • when a renter begins active military duty, and (Section 44-7-22)
  • in situations involving domestic abuse.

Source:Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook


8. HOA Laws in Georgia

Georgia HOA laws are regulated by the Georgia Code, Title 44, Chapter 3, Article 6. Below are some of the acts that govern the activities of HOAs in Georgia.

Property Owners' Association Act

In Georgia, the formation, administration, powers, and operations of homeowner associations are governed by the Property Owners' Association Act. It is noteworthy to mention that associations may be established through the POAA or by applying common law principles. This Act shall not apply in such circumstances. An HOA can "opt-in" to this type of arrangement by registering (or amending) a declaration expressly electing to be governed by the POAA.

Georgia Condominium Act

Private condominiums constructed after October 1, 1975, or condominiums that have chosen to voluntarily engage into the act through official declarations (or updating pre-existing declarations) are governed by this legislation.

Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code

Georgia HOAs must establish themselves as either nonprofit organizations or for-profit companies prior to recording a proclamation. Therefore, the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code will apply to the association if it is organized as a nonprofit. For-profit businesses are governed under the Georgia Business Corporation Code. These statutes specify the internal operating procedures and corporate structure that must be followed by the association. 

Source: Georgia Code, Title 44, Chapter 3, Article 6


9. Squatters Rights in Georgia

According to Georgia's laws on adverse possession, a squatter may file a claim for adverse possession of a property after residing there continuously for a predetermined amount of time.

Georgia Adverse Possession Law

In Georgia, to claim adverse possession of real estate, a squatter must have lived there for at least 20 years. These 20 years cannot be interrupted for a few weeks or months in order for the property's legal title to be altered. 

With "color of title," however, that time frame can be cut down to just seven. Before squatters in the US can pursue a formal adverse possession claim and a change in the property's title, they must meet five prerequisites. 

To legally seize the land and submit a Georgia adverse possession claim, the following five requirements must be satisfied:

1. Continuous Possession of the Unit

In order to file an adverse possession claim, a squatter must have lived on the land for at least the required 20 years in a row. 

According to Georgia's laws on adverse possession, someone cannot claim ownership of a property if they vacate it for weeks or months at a time. This regulation is only broken if the squatter has paid all property taxes and possesses the color of title. 

As color of title is a legal technique, they merely have to have resided on the land for the required seven consecutive years.

2. Exclusive Possession of the Property

The property must be solely possessed by the squatter. This implies that they ought to be the only people with records of their tax payments and the only people occupying the land. Their claim of adverse possession would be void if they shared it with anybody else, including the owner or other renters.

3. Open & Notorious Possession of the Property

The fact that the squatter is occupying the property must be readily apparent to members of the public. It should be evident to even the legitimate owner conducting a reasonable investigation that there is a squatter residing there. 

A deliberate attempt to conceal their residence would render the squatter's allegation of adverse possession void.

4. Actual Possession of the Property

The adverse possession statutes in Georgia require a squatter to be physically present at the property. 

In order to file a formal claim, they must also handle the property as the real owner would. They can accomplish this by keeping a record of the upkeep or enhancements they make to the real estate asset. This would prove they have continued to have physical possession of the unit.

5. Able to Make a Hostile Claim

Lastly, a squatter must be able to establish a "hostile claim" to the property in order to file a Georgia adverse possession claim and pursue legal action. In this context, "hostile" can mean "aware of trespassing," "simple occupation," or "mistake made in good faith.”

How To Evict Squatters In Georgia

In the event that a squatter is already residing on your Georgia real estate, you are required by law to start the formal eviction procedure. This entails giving the renter a notice of eviction to vacate the property. Georgia doesn't say how long this notice must be given; it might be 24 hours or 10 days. 

File an aggressive detainer case as soon as possible if the squatter refuses to leave after the notification time has passed. The sheriff will be ordered by the court to carry out the eviction on your behalf if your trial is successful.

Source: Section 44-5-163, Section 44-5-164, andSection 44-5-161.


10. Georgia Landlord Tenant Legal Resources

Below, you’ll find some helpful Georgia landlord–tenant law resources:

Documents and Forms

Legal Resources

Georgia State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

This article is designed to convey information, and not to provide legal advice. You should not consider any information in this article to be legal advice. Readers should consider obtaining specific legal advice from an attorney for any decision or course of action contemplated.