Georgia Eviction Help -- no rent payment

10 Replies

Hello! This is the first time I need to think about eviction (I haven't been a landlord for that long...) and definitely need some help.

A woman has been renting my condo. She usually has to split payments but was able to come up with the full rent amount in the end. I admit I'm a bit loose on the rules since I'm a mom myself and she's a single mom... But this time it's hard. She's lost her job 3 months ago and her unemployment benefit has ended this month. She hasn't found any job yet. I'm of course worried about how to get the rent. She's only renting month to month at this point. Is it easier to run an eviction? Or use a more polite way by saying I'm considering selling the condo and don't want to rent anymore, and therefore ask her to move out? My lease states there should be a 2-month notice so I'll have to wait a bit before she can move out. But at the same time I'm afraid of going to the court. Would Georgia law protect single moms more?

Any advice? Thanks!!

If she's not paying rent, then it shouldn't matter at all what her family status is. It has been 3 months and she still doesn't have a job? I could get a job within 1 hour by going to McDonalds. Something to pay the bills while I look for something else. I don't buy the excuse that she can't find a job.

If she hasn't paid rent, just give her the required notice to move out. 

I hate to say this, but if you don't have the stomach to evict someone for non-payment then you shouldn't be a landlord.  Do not let your emotion get in the way of the fact that you are running a business and not a charity.  Your tenants will try and get away with as much as possible, just like your kids.

H.C.

Your personal beliefs or preference to help has nothing to do with landlord tenant laws for GA.

If someone is current on the rent you can't just evict because you feel like it. The lease may or may not have provisions that are deemed unenforceable in court or against the law. Anything can be put in a lease but doesn't make it legal , enforceable, etc.

The county your property sits in for GA will make a difference on how long an eviction takes. Now just because the tenant is current on rent doesn't mean you couldn't evict for other violations found in the rental agreement.

If you give a 2 month notice now you are likely asking them to move right before Christmas. I do not see the tenant being happy about that. In GA it gets really cold over the next few months. If you tried to sell your property it's not a good time of the year to do it. It's better to wait until the warmer climate and holiday days are over.

Why are you wanting to sell your property?? If the tenant is able to come up with the rent every month and it doesn't snowball where some of the rent owed bleeds over into next month then you might want to keep the tenant for now.

Depending on which county in GA eviction from start to finish can take 30 days up to 4 months.

No legal advice.    

@H. C.   I know it's hard to hear that you have to be tough on your tenants, but unless you're going to give your tenant $500 (or whatever your rent is) of money out of your own pocket and are running a charity, then you're going to have to get this person out and get a tenant who will pay you for what you are providing (a place to live).

Has the tenant paid for October and it's November you're worried about or has the tenant not even paid October?  If they haven't paid October, then my advice to you is to serve the X-day notice (whatever your state uses) and let the tenant know that they need to pay or they need to find somewhere else to live.  You may want to consider hiring an attorney for your first eviction.

Hi Everyone, Thanks for your replies. The tenant hasn't paid Oct's rent. So looks like I'll have to learn about eviction. One more question, I just realized we don't really have a lease.... The tenant had a 1 year lease with me, from Aug 2013 to Aug 2014. And the lease stated we can do month to month after a full year. But we didn't sign a renewed lease after Aug. Will that cause me trouble in court?

Originally posted by @H. C. :

Hi Everyone, Thanks for your replies. The tenant hasn't paid Oct's rent. So looks like I'll have to learn about eviction. One more question, I just realized we don't really have a lease.... The tenant had a 1 year lease with me, from Aug 2013 to Aug 2014. And the lease stated we can do month to month after a full year. But we didn't sign a renewed lease after Aug. Will that cause me trouble in court?

Take it to an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law and evictions. They will have no trouble in doing what needs to be done. Whether you have a new lease or not, you do have an agreement that you have been operating under.... the terms of the old agreement  which has now converted to a month-to-month. Move forward... don't delay.

Also, I found this statement on the internet.... which I believe would come into play if you never had a lease agreement.

"Some landlords choose to forgo signing lease agreements with their tenants. All rental situations without written agreements in the state of Georgia are considered a tenancy at will. Georgia law offers tenants without lease agreements 60 days to vacate after being asked to leave by the property owner. Georgia landlords desiring to evict tenants must file their intention to do so with the local justice sytstem regardless of the fact that no formal agreement exists."

You should read your lease, it probably has a provision outlining the month to month in some detail. You'll still need to evict. It's been a while since I've done one, but you need to provide notice, 3 days I think. Then file, then you'll usually get a hearing in 2 weeks and win and then they have a week to get out (over simplified, but that's the general timeline around here). There are guys in court with half the docket, they do lots and lots of them, you may want to go watch court one day.

You can always bribe them to leave. "Hey, I'm about to file an eviction, that'll cost me $100 and go on your Record, etc. and it'll take 2-3 weeks before the sherif puts your stuff on the curb, but if want to save all that embarrassment and can be gone in a week and leave the place clean Ill give you. $200 when I get the keys and do my inspection" or whatever amount. I've paid $400 before, but usually $100-200 in moving money will get them to act fast and leave it clean when they don't have money coming in. You'd be surprised how well that works for just a few bucks. They may come up with the rent, too, you never know...

New Investor, First house bought at auction in Cobb County, GA Sept 2.  Unfortunately, purchased with the owner still there so had to do an eviction.  I made one error so guy is not out (although I think he should be, but that's another story).  I found the process to be relatively easy.  I got a dispossess in about 5 weeks due to service and answer lags.  I am from NY and GA is nothing like that.  We were in front of the judge for about 30 seconds and it went something like this: No rent, ok you have 7 days to move.  End of story.  I couldn't believe it.

So, I wouldn't worry if you go that route.  Its great that you are sympathetic, but be careful because you are running a business.  The court clerks were very helpful also.