Legal FAQs for Renters in Georgia

This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.

This page was last updated on Jun 9th, 2024. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.

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Problem with your Landlord?


Can I break my rental home lease in Georgia?

You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.

You can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing.

Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease, in some cases penalty-free.

Find legal help to get advice for your situation.

What do I do if my landlord tries to evict me from my rental home in Georgia?

Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.

It is illegal in Georgia for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must file an eviction lawsuit against you, win the case, and get an eviction order from the court.

Legal aid groups might be able to provide you with full representation, or other legal organizations can give you information or brief advice.

Find legal help to protect your rights.

What if I need repairs to my rental home in Georgia?

Tell your landlord about any repairs needed, particularly if they affect your health and safety.

You should call your landlord to make the repairs as soon as possible.

Emergency repairs could be for problems with:

  • Running water or hot water

  • Heat

  • Stove, refrigerator, or oven

  • Electricity

  • Bathroom use

  • Missing doors, locks, or windows

  • Pests

If your landlord doesn't make the repairs promptly, send them a written letter or email about the need for emergency repairs and keep a copy of this communication.

Find legal help to get advice for your situation. You should also contact your local code enforcement department.

Behind on Rent?


Does immigration status matter for rent relief?

Many local Rental Assistance programs are open to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many programs do not even ask about immigration status.

Check with your local Rental Assistance program to make sure about eligibility rules and immigration. ****

Am I eligible for rent relief?

Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.

You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules. You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.

You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance. Check with your local Rental Assistance program to see if you are eligible.

Can a landlord apply for their renter, to get rental assistance?

Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply. Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.

The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.

Check with your local Rental Assistance program about the steps to follow to apply for rent relief.

Who can help me with rent that I owe?

If you are behind on rent, you can get help from your local Rental Assistance program. This is a government service to help people who owe rent or utility bills.

Especially if you are behind on rent because of COVID-19 hardships, your local Rental Assistance (or Rent Relief) program can help you.

Find your local Rental Assistance program at your Get Help page here.

Emergency Protections during COVID


Are eviction cases still proceeding through Georgia courts?

Eviction cases are proceeding in Georgia's courts.

Check the Georgia courts' website for updates.

Can my landlord evict me during the emergency?

Yes, you can still be evicted during the emergency in Georgia. Also check with your local government to see if they provide any additional local protections.

If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.

What do the protections mean for Georgia renters?

Since emergency protections have expired, then in Georgia:

  • Your landlord can still give you a notice to quit.
  • Your landlord can still file an eviction claim against you.
  • Hearings on eviction depend on local regulations, and the court may still hear an eviction case against you.
  • The court can still issue a new order, judgment, or writ of eviction against you.
  • Law enforcement can still enforce an existing eviction order against you, to remove you from your home.
Are there any special protections for Georgia renters during the COVID-19 emergency?

Georgia's statewide emergency protections have expired.

Landlords may now try to sue tenants to evict them. If you are worried about an eviction, reach out as soon as possible to your local legal aid group. The lawyers may be able to help you find protections and services to deal with your eviction.

The national CDC eviction ban expired on August 26, 2021.

Can my utilities be shut off during the emergency?

Georgia renters' utilities may be shut off if they don't make timely payments. Emergency protections against shutoff have expired.

If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.

Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.

Do I still have to pay rent during the emergency in Georgia?

Yes, your rent is still due in Georgia, and you can be evicted if you do not pay on time.

If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:

  • Apply for rental assistance immediately: If you need financial assistance for housing costs like rent or utility bills, you may be able to get help.
  • Communicate with your landlord: Send a written letter or email to your landlord as soon as possible. You can also try to negotiate with your landlord to make a payment plan or get a temporary rent reduction. Get help here for drafting and mailing a letter to your landlord. You can also use this letter-writing tool here.
  • Get written records of all communication: Keep copies of any letter or email you send, and any responses from the landlord. Keep receipts for any payments you make, that are signed and dated. If you make a payment plan or rent agreement, make sure to get it in writing.
  • Keep proof of COVID-19’s impact on you: Collect documents about your COVID-19-related employment problems, health care issues, or other issues that affect your ability to pay rent. This includes letters from your employer, doctor, insurance provider, child care provider, schools, etc.(https://legalfaq.org/covid/ga/getHelp/ga)

If you are worried about making rent in Georgia, reach out for help.

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