can you withhold rent for repairs in georgia

Can You Withhold Rent for Repairs in Georgia? Know Your Rights

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Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Kelvin Nielsen

As a tenant in Georgia, you obtain a smorgasbord of rights once you establish a lease with a landlord. For instance, you obtain the right to have needed or requested repairs made within a “reasonable period.”

Other rights you enjoy under GA Code Title 44 Chapter 7 include the following.

The following are answers to commonly asked questions regarding landlord repair responsibilities in Georgia.

Can You Withhold Rent for Repairs in Georgia?

Landlords in Georgia must make necessary repairs in a timely manner. If they don’t, you may be able to exercise a number of rights. Including, suing for the costs of resulting damage, forcing the landlord to make repairs through a court order, or doing the repairs yourself and then deducting the costs from future rent payments.

However, withholding rent isn’t one of the legal options you can take as a GA tenant. If you withhold rent for repairs, the landlord may be able to evict you from the property for lease violation.

What can I do if my landlord doesn’t fix things in Georgia?

As already mentioned, there are certain legal remedies you can take if the landlord fails or refuses to make necessary repairs.

One option is to repair the issue yourself and deduct the cost from the rent. To exercise this option, however, there are a couple of things you’ll need to do. Including:

  • Hiring a qualified professional to repair the problem.
  • Making sure the repairs are necessary for the unit’s habitability. You cannot “Repair and Deduct” for just any repairs.
  • Notifying the landlord in writing of your intention to repair and deduct.
  • Only deducting the appropriate amounts from the rent.

Another option is to take legal action against the landlord for any damages that may have resulted from their negligence. For instance, a water leak that resulted in the growth of mold leading to health issues.

The other option you have is to contact the local housing authorities. You can file a complaint with local housing code departments regarding your unit’s uninhabitability. They will investigate the issue and determine whether there are any violations that warrant a citation to your landlord.

You may also be able to break your lease without penalty. That said, the issue must be truly serious, such as a lack of essential services like running water; structural problems; mold growth; or severe pest infestations.

How long does a landlord have to make repairs in Georgia?

Georgia law doesn’t specify a set timeframe for landlords to make repairs. Instead, landlords are required to make repairs within a “reasonable” timeframe after being properly notified by the tenant.

But generally, for serious repairs affecting a tenant’s health or safety, the landlord must do them within a couple of days. For less urgent ones, you can expect them to handle them within a week or so.

Who do you call when your landlord will not fix things Georgia?

This will depend on your desired course of action. Basically, you’ll have three options to consider.

One is the local housing code enforcement agency. Most cities and counties in Georgia have housing code enforcement agencies. Once you report the issue, they will assess the situation and potentially issue your landlord with a citation.

Another option is Georgia Legal Services Aid. The agency offers free civil legal services to low income Georgians from 12 locations throughout the state. You can visit for a full directory of their assistance programs.

You could also hire a qualified lawyer to take legal action against your landlord. Ideally, you’ll want to pick one who specializes in landlord-tenant law.


So, can you withhold rent for repairs in Georgia? No! In Georgia, this legal right isn’t available for tenants under any circumstances. Fortunately for you, you may be able to exercise other options, such as suing the landlord, terminating the lease early without penalty, or repairing the issue yourself and making appropriate deductions to future rent payments.

If you have reasons to believe your rights to a habitable home have been violated, please consider hiring an expert landlord-tenant attorney for expert advice.

Sources: Warranty of Habitability in Georgia, Georgia Landlord Tenant Rights

Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.