Tenant Not Paying Rent? The Eviction Guidelines for Landlords in Atlanta, GA

Tenant eviction in Atlanta, GA is not a favorite topic of any landlord or investor, but you need to understand the process. When your tenant stops paying rent, there are specific steps you need to take to get your property back.

Eviction Timeline

You’ll be happy to know that Georgia laws are sympathetic to landlords who are not receiving rent. In most counties, you can expect to spend 30 days evicting a tenant. In Henry County, it’s possible to start the eviction process online, and it should take about three weeks. If the volume of evictions is higher than normal, 30 days might turn into six weeks.

Three Day Letter

The first thing to do when rent is late is serve a Three Day Letter. This notifies the tenants that they need to pay rent or leave the property. The best scenario is that the tenants catch up with rent. It’s a good idea to call your tenants and let them know this is coming. That way, they know they still have the option to pay rent and avoid eviction. Communication is always going to be necessary, and you don’t want to make things unpleasant with the tenant who is still occupying your home.

Filing in Court

If the three days pass and you have not received the rent or a response, file for eviction in the courts. You’ll go to the local magistrate court in your county. There’s one page to fill out, and a fee of $100 to pay. It’s never fun to be at the courthouse, but the process is straightforward, and people are there to help you if you need it. Local law enforcement will file your notice and deliver it to the tenant. The sheriff showing up at a home to serve the notice or post it on the door usually results in your rent getting paid.

Court Hearings

After the eviction is served, the tenant can take a week to respond. Your court date will be set for the following week, and you can either represent yourself or work with an attorney. If the tenants still haven’t paid and you reach your court date, the judge will rule in your favor and give the tenants seven days to leave your home.

Stay in touch with your tenants and try to get the nonpayment of rent resolved so you don’t have to pursue the eviction. They might be willing to leave voluntarily. If you have any questions about evicting tenants in Georgia, please contact Lighthouse Property Management.

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