If your tenant stopped paying rent in Atlanta, GA, it’s important to start the eviction process right away. Many landlords put off any pursuit of eviction because they dread the outcome and don’t understand the process. Remember to screen your tenants really well so you don’t run the risk of having to evict.
Timing is Important
You don’t want to allow a tenant to continue falling behind in rent payments. It will only become more difficult for that tenant to catch up and pay you what is owed. That’s why you want to act immediately. When your rent due date is the first of the month and it still hasn’t been paid by the fifth of that month, you need to initiate the eviction process. Landlords need to minimize the money and time that will be lost if the eviction isn’t started right away.
Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
Serving the tenant with a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit is the initiation of the eviction process, and you should file it as soon as you can, if the tenant has not paid and won’t respond to your calls or messages. The tenant will have a specific number of days to pay the overdue rent.
If the notice period comes and goes without any payment, you need to file a Dispossessory with the courts. At this point, it becomes a legal matter and everything is done through the judicial system. Be careful with your paperwork and documentation. If anything is missed or you make a mistake on the forms you need to file, the case will be invalid and you will need to start over. Talk to an eviction attorney or a property manager if you’re not sure about something; mistakes will cost you time and money.
Eventually, your claim for dispossessory will get to court and the judge will often recommend mediation, in which you and the tenant try to work out a payment arrangement. If you’d rather just have the tenant evicted, the judge will rule on your behalf and the tenant will have seven days to move before facing physical removal. Tenants don’t usually want to see their belongings placed outside, so they will move or pay you all the rent and fees that are due in order to stay.
In Georgia, the eviction process moves pretty quickly as long as you are following the required procedures. Contact ALH Podland if you have any questions or need any help.