When you’re handling a tenant eviction in Atlanta, GA, it’s a good idea to seek professional help from an attorney or a property manager who has been through the process before. There are specific costs, procedures, and deadlines that will need your attention, and even the most minor mistake will set you back. Eviction is also different in each Georgia county, which means you’ll need to be familiar with the jurisdiction in which your property is located.
Attempts to Collect Late Rent
Most evictions are the result of a tenant not paying rent. Before you head to court, contact your tenant to try and collect the amount that’s overdue. If you are unable to get in touch, or they don’t pay you, then you should begin the eviction proceedings. You’ll need to file in the county that your property is located. You may need to go to the courthouse in person, but check to see if you can begin the process online. It depends on the county. You’ll need to pay a fee to get the eviction started, and the amount of that fee also depends on the county.
Serving the Tenant
After you file your eviction, it’s your responsibility to serve your tenant with the appropriate court documents. You can use a private processor or the court process server. It might be a deputy sheriff or a constable who will serve the tenant with the papers. When the tenant is not served in person, the notice will be posted on the door of the property and also mailed.
Court Hearings and Judgments
After a tenant is served, Georgia law allows that tenant seven days to file a response. Once an answer is filed, the court will schedule a hearing. Depending on the county, that hearing can take place in a matter of days, or you’ll have to wait a month or two. If the tenant does not respond within the seven days, you will receive a default judgment from the court. Once you receive that default judgment or you win your case after a hearing, you’ll be awarded a Writ of Possession. This gives you the authority to take your property back from the tenants.
Because evictions are complicated and location-specific, it’s always in your best interests to work with a qualified eviction attorney or a property management company. For help with Atlanta evictions, contact Title One Management.