Free Georgia Rental Lease Agreement


Georgia Rental Lease Agreement

Before you sign a rental lease agreement in Georgia, you need to be aware of the rules and the landlord-tenant laws. In this article, we have an outline of all the laws that govern lease contracts, and we believe that you should go through them before signing our rental lease agreement form.

  • Official Rules, Regulations, and Guides

    • Landlord and Tenant – Georgia Code Ann. §§ 44-7 –

    • Georgia Landlord and Tenant Handbook

    • Georgia Courts – Landlord and Tenant Benchbook

    • Georgia Landlord’s Guide to Section 8 Housing

Security Deposit

What is the security deposit maximum?

There is no statute

What is the deadline for returning the security deposit?

The landlord has 30 days to return the deposit unless the landlord is withholding or claiming part of the deposits for the damages then, the remaining balance should be given back to the tenant within three days.

What are the allowable deductions?

  • The landlord can deduct from the security deposit monies for:

    • Non-payment of rent or fees for late payment

    • Abandonment of the premises

    • Non-payment of the utility charges

    • Unpaid pet fees

    • Repair work and cleaning contracted by the tenant with third parties

    • Actual damages caused by the tenant’s breach.

Is there a security deposit interest applicable?

The landlord doesn’t have to keep the security deposit in an interest-bearing account, nor does the landlord have to pay the interest to the tenant.

Should the landlord have a separate security deposit bank account?

According to the laws, the landlord has to keep the security deposit in an escrow account and to notify the tenant in writing about the location of the escrow account. But, this doesn’t apply to owners and family members who collectively have less than ten rental units.

Are non-refundable fees allowed?

Yes, but they shouldn’t be part of the deposit.

Are the application fees?

Yes.

Are there pet deposits and additional fees?

Yes.

Do you require a written and a signed move-in checklist?

In case the owner owns a maximum of ten rental units, then, before collecting the security deposit, the owner gives the tenant a comprehensive list of existing damages to the property. According to the lease contract, the tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises to confirm the accuracy of the list before assuming occupancy.

Do you require an itemized list of the move-out damages and charges?

Yes, within three business days, after termination of the occupancy, the landlord shall inspect the premises and compile a comprehensive list of any damages done to the premises – this is the basis for any charge against the security deposit, plus the estimated dollar value of the damages.

The tenant will also have the rights to inspect the premises within five days after the termination of the occupancy to ascertain the accuracy of the landlord’s list.

Should there be record keeping of all deposit withholdings?

The state of Georgia has no statutes on this.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

The landlord would forfeit any right to withhold deposits if the money wasn’t initially deposited in an escrow account. Or, if the landlord doesn’t provide move-in or move-out inspection lists. Any landlord intentionally and wrongfully withholding deposits may be liable for up to three times the total amount withheld plus the attorney fees.

Lease, Fees, and Rent

When is rent due?

There is no statute.

Is there any stature for rent increase notices?

No

Any statutes for rent’s grace period?

No

Are the late fees charged?

No.

Any prepaid rent statutes?

No.

Is there a limit on the rent amount?

No. No country or even a municipal corporation has the right to enact, enforce, and maintain any ordinances for the regulation of the amount of rent charged in privately owned, multiple or single-unit residential property for rent.

Are there returned check fees?

Yes. However, according to the rental lease agreement in Georgia, the fee shall not exceed 5 percent or $30 of the face value of the financial instrument – whichever is higher. The fees also include the amount of fees charged to the holder of the instrument by the bank.

Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for the failure to provide essential services?

No statute

Are tenants allowed to repair and then deduct rent?

No statute

Can the landlord recover the court and the attorney fees?

Yes

Should the landlord make attempts to mitigate the damages caused by the lessee?

Yes. However, there is no statute requiring the tenant to look for new tenants.

What happens in case of abandonment of personal property?

The landlord can remove the tenant’s abandoned property after getting a formal writ of possession issued by the court.

What are the circumstances for the termination of a service member?

Special rules applicable: the landlord must follow a specific process for the termination of the lease of an active duty member of the reserve or the regular component of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Coast Guard, and the Georgia National Guard and the Georgia Air National Guard on an ordered federal duty for 90 days or longer.

Limited liability: the liability of a Service Member for rent under the lease shall not go over 30 days’ worth or rent once the written notice and proof of the assignment they are on are given o the landlord. The cost of repairing damaged to the premises caused by an act or even omission of the tenant.

Notice and Entry

What is the duration of the notice to terminate the tenancy at will for leases with no end-date?

60 days’ notice from the landlord and 30-days’ notice if from the tenant.

What is the duration of the notice to terminate a tenancy in fixed-end-date leases?

No statute exists.

What is the duration of the notice to terminate a tenancy in month-to-month leases?

60 days’ notice and a 30-days’ notice for tenants

What is the duration of the notice to terminate a tenancy in week-to-week leases?

No statutes.

Any notice given for date/ time of move-out inspections?

No statutes

Any notice of termination for all non-payment leases?

Immediate lease termination and the landlord can also file for immediate eviction though the tenant has to file for eviction immediately.

What is the statute for the termination of violated leases?

None

Is notice required before entry?

There is no statute, but in the Georgia rental lease agreement, it recommends 24 hours.

Is entry allowed with notice for non-emergency repairs and maintenance?

Yes, but the landlord must give prior notice, often 24 hours.

Is emergency entry allowed during the client’s extended absence?

No statute

Is entry allowed for showings?

Yes, but the landlord has to give prior notice.

Is emergency entry allowed, without notice?

Yes.

Is entry allowed during the tenant’s extended absence?

No statute

Is notice given to tenants for pesticide use?

No statute

Are lockouts allowed?

No

Is utility shutoff required?

No, and if the landlord discontinues heat, water, or electricity services, he’ll be punishable by a fine not exceeding $500

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes

  • This section of the lease agreement covers

    • Special rights and restrictions for tenants

    • Landlord’s responsibilities and liability

    • Name and addresses

    • Destruction of dwelling in case of fire or floods

    • Lead disclosures

    • Flooding disclosures

    • Retaliation

    • Domestic violence situations

Court and Legal Issues

You’ll pay $15,000 for Georgia Small Claims Court Limits

Eviction cases are acceptable in the small claims

  • More details:

    • Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts

    • Georgia Small Claims Court

    • Georgia Attorney General

    • State Bar of Georgia

    • Georgia Local and Voluntary Bars

    • GeorgiaLegalAid.org – Housing and Landlord-Tenant Information

    • Low Income Legal Aid

Business Licenses

Are business licenses a requirement?

No, there are no state-wide statutes on this, but the local counties could have regulations and requirements for business licenses.

If you are satisfied with this process, you can fill in our rental lease agreement form here for an expedited process.