Have your tenants been very unruly and irresponsible with your Warner Robins property? Or perhaps, you’ve come to a point where you want to move on from being a landlord? Either way, there are multiple means to resolve your concern without going through too much stress. One of which is to sell your Warner Robins house for cash with the help of a professional home buyer.
But before doing that, you first have to decide whether you want your tenants out of your home or sell the house without evicting them. Homeowners who go with the first option are usually owners with bad tenants — late payments, destruction of property, etc. On the other hand, homeowners who sell their houses while retaining their tenants typically don’t have any problems with the tenants.
And yes, if this is your first time hearing it, you don’t have to evict your tenants to sell your Warner Robins home. That’s considering that your buyer is willing to handle your tenants. But since the eviction process is more complex than just selling your home with your tenants in it, this article will tackle what the eviction process is like in Georgia.
Court Dispossessory Process
To put it directly, no one can evict their tenants without passing through court. This is mandatory even if your tenant has violated your lease terms. You’ll find everything you need to know about tenant-landlord responsibilities in the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook. However, to save you time, here is a summary of the entire eviction process.
1.Review The Lease
If you’re planning on evicting your tenants, the very first thing to do is review your lease agreement, particularly your break clause. Your break clause gives you and your tenant the right to end a fixed-term tenancy before the contract expires. This is where you can find the terms/reasons for ending a contract before it supposedly ends.
For example, your break clause may state that “The Landlord holds the right to end this tenancy if rents are delayed for two consecutive or non-consecutive months. The tenant, in this case, will be given a written notice 30 days before the new lease termination date”
2. Demand for Repossession
Your written notice is also your “demand for repossession” notice. You have to tell your tenants to vacate your home permanently. There is no legal template for this. As long as there’s written evidence that your tenants have been informed, that’s all you need to proceed to court.
3. File Dispossessory Affidavit in Magistrate Court
You can file a dispossessory affidavit if your tenant refuses to leave after your demand for repossession. The filing is done in the county where your rental is located. In your case, the Houston County Magistrate Court.
4. Wait for Tenant to Receive the Dispossessory Affidavit
Once you’ve filed the affidavit, the court will have the county sheriff deliver the affidavit to the tenant. The tenant, likewise, is given seven days to respond (either written or verbal) upon receipt of the affidavit.
5. Court Hearing
If your tenant doesn’t counter-file a valid legal defense, the court can order your tenant to evacuate without a court hearing. Otherwise, if your tenant counter-files a good reason (e.g., a constructive eviction), then you’ll need to go through a hearing process with them.
Instances that can put a landlord at the edge of the cliff in these cases is when they fail to:
- Keep the house in a safe and habitable condition
- Keep all the utilities in working order
- Repair structural damages within a reasonable time
- Pay the utility bills they are responsible for (as stated in the lease)
- Follow other terms under the Georgia Fair Housing Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act
So before you go to court, make sure you’ve recalled all your shortcomings as a landlord as well, and prepare a valid defense in case they are raised in court.
6. Request Writ of Possession
If the court rules in your favor, the next thing is to apply for a writ of possession. This document legally requires the tenant to move out within seven (7) days and pay the rent owed (if there’s any). In addition, the Writ of Possession gives the Sheriff the right to help you remove your tenant if they still refuse to do so. You’ll have to shoulder the costs for the removal, though. This also includes the removal of your tenant’s belongings within your property.
On average, the eviction process can take between 5-12 weeks. If you think this is too long and you need to sell your Warner Robins home sooner, you can consider selling it to us at Spire Property Solutions. We buy houses as-is for cash, even with tenants on them. You don’t have to evict them and go through a potentially lengthy and costly court process to sell your home because we’re here to help you out. If you want to learn more about our programs and process, contact us at (678)318 – 1801 or send us a message through the form below.