Evicting a tenant in Georgia begins with a landlord delivering either an Immediate Day Notice of Quit (Non-Payment) or a Month-to-Month Notice to Quit before filing for dispossessory action (eviction) in the Local Magistrate Court.
Laws – O.C.G.A. TITLE 44 Chapter 7
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Deliver a Notice to Quit
- Step 2 – File in the Local Magistrate Court
- Step 3 – Serve the Tenant
- Step 4 – Attend a Court Hearing
- Step 5 – Obtain a Writ of Possession
- Step 6 – Repossess the Property
The first step is to deliver one of the following notices to quit to the tenant based on which category the eviction falls under.
- Immediate Notice to Quit: Unlike most states, Georgia’s notice to quit takes effect immediately, requiring no specific compliance time or time to cure from the tenant before the landlord can take further legal action. This notice can be used for non-payment of rent or a breach of the lease agreement.1
- Month-to-Month Notice to Quit: A landlord who wishes to terminate their month-to-month lease agreement must give a tenant 60 days notice. The tenant is required to give 30 days’ notice to the landlord when terminating a tenancy at will.2
As mentioned, there is no statute that requires a compliance period or a timeframe for curing violations. A landlord may immediately go to their Local Magistrate Court and file:
- Filing Fee: $56.50 for filing / $25 for Sheriff’s Entry of Service (per defendant)4
- Where to File: Local Magistrate Court.
- Avg Processing Time: 4-6 weeks5
Once filed, the sheriff will be directed to serve a copy of the affidavit to the tenant personally. If the sheriff is unable to personally serve the tenant, they will deliver the summons to anybody living on the property of legal age. And finally, if the sheriff still can’t serve the affidavit to an individual on the property, it will be posted on the front door and another copy mailed.6 Once served, the tenant has 7 days to respond to the court in person or submit an Answer Form.7
Counterclaims presented by the tenant in court should match the claims made in the tenant’s written answer to the court.
If the eviction violation is non-payment of rent, the tenant may propose a counterclaim that they are withholding rent because of the landlord’s failure to make household repairs. This claim must prove that the landlord knew about the needed repairs and the damages must amount to more than the amount of rent owed.8
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord (plaintiff), they will issue a writ of possession along with all rents due and any other claims involved in the eviction.9
Unlike many states, a sheriff is not required to execute the writ of possession and remove a tenant from the property.10 The landlord has 30 days to execute the writ of possession or they must apply for a new one.11
Evictions in Georgia: Video
- § 44-7-50
- § 44-7-7
- § 44-7-50 (2018)
- § 44-7-51
- § 44-7-51
- § 44-7-55(a)
- § 44-7-55(e)
- § 44-7-55(d)