Are you a landlord who’s planning to close your rental property or remove your tenants permanently due to misbehavior? Being a landlord is not as easy as many would think. While you are indeed the property owner, your tenants are the ones living in it, and by that, they have earned some rights. One of which is the right not to be hastily and forcefully removed from the property without due cause.
Whether your renter is under a lease or a tenancy at will, you must follow due process to get them out legally. This article will give you the steps to evict your tenants when they refuse to do so.
Legal Grounds for Evicting a Tenant in Georgia
Remember that your tenants have rights. If your reason for evicting them is merely because you want to sell the property, convert the property, or for any other reasons not associated with any illegal activities by the tenant, you have to respect the contract and wait until it expires. An exemption to this is only when there’s a clause in the contract that allows you to terminate it before it expires.
If the reason for eviction is because of the tenant, you have the right to seek the court’s help to remove them legally. Typically, the court handles tenant eviction cases only when the tenant:
- Refuses to pay rent
- Violated any term on the lease and refused to take responsibility
- Placed the property and its residents at risk
Common Reasons Why Tenants Refuse to Leave
We know how stressful it is to deal with tenants who disagree with you, especially when they start to act like they own your property. However, we do encourage our landlords to handle the situation humanely. Avoid talking to your tenants with a combative tone; instead, try to put yourself in their shoes — why can’t they understand and continue to refuse no matter how much you explain? Well, here are their reasons, most likely:
- They think the reason for eviction is not legally or morally right
- They want court mediation
- They can’t afford to relocate, or they have nowhere to go
- They need more time to find new housing or find the budget to relocate
- They’re just enveloped with anger and need to calm down first
Process for Eviction
After you’ve done all that you can and still don’t receive an amenable response from your tenant, this is what you should do:
1.Give Notice That Rent is Due or Delayed
Write an official notice informing your tenants of their delayed payment or anything that needs immediate action. State a deadline as well. Have them sign the document to acknowledge they received it.
2. Give Notice of Eviction
If your tenant fails to act on your notice even after they were informed, you can now start legal action with an eviction notice.
There are two types of eviction notices. The first is the eviction notice with cause, and the second is the eviction notice without cause. If your eviction is without cause (no harm done by tenant), you are required by law to give your tenants a grace period of 30 days. If it’s an eviction notice with cause, you have the option to terminate the contract sooner than 30 days.
Although you can find plenty of templates online to draft the notice of eviction, we suggest you work with a lawyer when your start this process — a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant rights in the State of Georgia.
3.File A Lawsuit in Court
When a tenant is served with an eviction notice, the law typically gives them seven (7) days to leave voluntarily. If they still refuse to go, you and your lawyer can already file an affidavit in your local court.
The affidavit will mark the start of the dispossessory proceedings. Once the court approves your affidavit and finds that you’ve presented a legitimate reason, they will summon your tenant. Your tenant has seven (7) days to respond to the summons or pay whatever damages they caused before the court proceeds to the next step.
If your tenant fails to respond to the summon or file a counter-affidavit, the court has the right to issue a writ of possession immediately. This writ of possession orders the sheriff to remove your tenant from your property.
On the other hand, if the tenant can respond to the summons, the court may have to conduct a hearing where you and your tenant have to settle in court.
4.Court Will Give the Final Verdict
In some states, if the defendant wins the case, the court must pay their trial fees and allow them to remain on your property. In Georgia, though, if the defendant wins the case, the court has the power to decide what to grant the tenant. You, the landlord, may be required to waive the payments or damages you seek from the tenant or pay additional damages to the court or your tenant.
However, should you, the landlord, win the case, the court automatically issues a writ of possession, which gives you the power to evict your tenants forcibly.
Let Spire Help You!
Disputes handled in court will most likely run for months. If you need to evict your tenants asap because you need to sell your property now, talk to us at Spire Property Solutions. You won’t have to force your renters to move out anymore because we buy houses in Georgia as is!
You read that right! We will buy your property even with the tenants and pay you in cash!
Call us at (678) 318 – 1801, and let’s talk.