georgia landlord tenant law repairs

Georgia Landlord Tenant Law on Repairs: What You Need to Know

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Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Kelvin Nielsen

If you’re a landlord or tenant in Georgia, it’s important to understand the state’s laws on repairs. In Georgia, landlords are required to maintain their rental properties in a habitable condition, meaning that the property must be safe, clean, and free from any hazards that could harm the tenant.

This includes ensuring that all repairs are made promptly and correctly.

A landlord fixing a leaky faucet in a rental unit, following Georgia landlord tenant law on repairs

Under Georgia law, landlords are responsible for making repairs to their rental properties, including fixing any issues with plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. Tenants are responsible for keeping the property clean and reporting any issues to their landlord in a timely manner.

It’s important for both parties to understand their responsibilities when it comes to repairs in order to maintain a healthy and safe living environment.

Landlord’s Obligations and Tenant’s Rights

Implied Warranty of Habitability

As a landlord in Georgia, you have an implied warranty of habitability that requires you to maintain your rental property in a habitable condition.

This means that you must ensure that the rental unit meets the habitability requirements and health and safety standards set forth by Georgia law.

Required Repairs and Maintenance

You are responsible for making all necessary repairs and maintenance to the rental property, including those related to plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems.

You must also keep the rental property in good repair, which means that it must be safe, clean, and free from hazards that could harm your tenants.

Emergency Repairs

If your tenant experiences an emergency repair issue, such as a broken water pipe or a gas leak, you must respond promptly and make the necessary repairs within a reasonable time.

According to Georgia law (44-7-13 O.C.G.A.), you must respond to emergency repair requests within 24 hours.

Tenant’s Right to Repair and Deduct

If you fail to make necessary repairs to the rental property, your tenant has the right to make the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from their rent. However, this right is only available if the tenant follows the proper procedures, such as providing you with written notice of the needed repairs and giving you a reasonable time to make the repairs.

Legal Procedures and Protections

Notice Requirements and Constructive Eviction

As a tenant in Georgia, you have the legal right to a safe and habitable living space. If your landlord fails to make necessary repairs, you may be able to withhold rent or file a lawsuit.

However, before taking any action, you must provide your landlord with written notice of the problem and a reasonable amount of time to fix it. Failure to do so may result in a claim of constructive eviction, which could lead to legal liability.

Security Deposits and Withholding Rent

Under Georgia Code Section 44-7-13, landlords are required to return your security deposit within one month of the end of your lease.

However, if your landlord fails to make necessary repairs, you may be able to withhold rent or deduct the cost of repairs from your security deposit. It is important to keep detailed records of all repairs and expenses in case of legal action.

Retaliation and Discrimination

Georgia law protects tenants from retaliation by landlords who attempt to evict or otherwise punish tenants for asserting their legal rights. Additionally, landlords cannot discriminate against tenants based on race, gender, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristics.

If you believe you have been the victim of retaliation or discrimination, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek legal remedies.

Legal Actions and Remedies

If your landlord fails to make necessary repairs, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages or to force the landlord to make the repairs. Additionally, you may be able to withhold rent or deduct the cost of repairs from your security deposit.

It is important to consult with a lawyer or seek legal advice before taking any legal action to ensure that you are fully aware of your rights and obligations under Georgia landlord tenant law.

Sources:  GA Code Title 44 Chapter 7, Georgia Warranty of Habitability

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