Georgia Residential Lease
Georgia Residential Lease
Make Unlimited Leases for 1 Year
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Georgia landlord? Create a residential lease for your state
If you’re a Georgia landlord, you need a lease or rental agreement that covers Georgia-specific landlord-tenant laws. Nolo’s Georgia lease has been written to comply with state law.
In your legally binding lease or rental agreement, you’ll set out, in plain English, all the important terms of the tenancy, including who may occupy the unit, the rent, when rent is due and how it must be paid. It states the amount of the security deposit and explains how the law allows you to use it for damage, necessary cleaning, or unpaid rent. To set clear expectations, the lease explains your legal right to enter the unit, and the responsibilities of both tenant and landlord for keeping it safe and maintained.
You can also include other terms: for example, restrictions on guests, allowed uses of the property, and your policies on late rent and bounced checks. Finally, you can make legally required disclosures about environmental hazards or other issues.
To prepare your lease or rental agreement, just follow the step-by-step instructions, which clearly explain each clause and show you how to fill in required information.
Are you making a lease or a month-to-month rental agreement?
This rental form allows you to create either a fixed-term lease or a rental agreement.
- A lease runs from one specific date to another, and typically lasts for a year. The lease expires on its own; neither landlord nor tenant need give notice. The terms of the lease cannot be modified midlease unless both parties agree.
- A month-to-month rental agreement self-renews every month, unless landlord or tenant gives the required amount of notice. Landlords may modify the terms of the agreement using the same notice period.
By law in Georgia, landlords must give tenants at least 60 days' written notice to change or end a month to month tenancy. Tenants must give landlords at least 30 days to terminate a month-to-month tenancy.
For more information on Georgia law, see the Department of Community Affairs' Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook.
Are you renewing an existing lease you made with Nolo?
If you've made a lease using this platform and have an existing account, you can renew the lease by duplicating the old lease and entering any changed information. For example, make sure the contact information for you or the manager is current. (To duplicate your form, open the original lease and click "More" in the green menu bar. Then click "Duplicate.")
If you want to apply the security deposit you collected originally to the renewed lease, you'll have an opportunity to do so. You can either roll-over the amount you have on hand, or add to it. If you're paying interest on deposits, don't forget to calculate interest based on the new, higher amount if you've increased the deposit.
How do I establish a legal occupancy policy for this rental?
You may want to establish an occupancy policy for your rental, such as "suitable for four persons." State law in Georgia does not regulate the number of people who may reside in rental housing, though cities or counties may have such ordinances. In the absence of any regulation, a policy of two persons per bedroom is considered reasonable.
Be certain that you do not apply an occupancy policy in a way that discriminates against families with children. Be realistic -- a newborn or infant who shares the parents' bedroom usually will not create overcrowding.
What are the rules concerning security deposits?
Landlords who own more than ten rental units (includes units owned with a spouse and/or children), or who use a management company, must do the following:
- Deposit placement. Landlords must place deposits in a bank escrow account used only for security deposits. Alternatively, you may post a bond with the superior court of the county in which the rental property is located.
- Preexisting damage. Before collecting a deposit, you must give tenants a list of preexisting damage. Tenants must have an opportunity to inspect the unit to determine whether the list is complete. Tenants must sign the list and may specify in writing any items that are in dispute or not addressed on the landlord's list.
Landlords who are not subject to the preexisting damage rule will find it very helpful to follow it, because it will help avoid disagreements about the return of the deposit at the end of the rental term.
When the tenancy ends, you must return the deposit within one month; and you must itemize any deductions.
What does the "covenant of quiet enjoyment" mean for both landlord and tenant?
Your rental document requires both landlord and tenant to refrain from violating laws and causing disturbances, and to maintain the tenant's right to "quiet enjoyment." In particular:
Landlord. Your promise to give the tenant "quiet enjoyment" means that you will preserve the ability of the tenant to use and enjoy the rented premises. Examples include not allowing garbage to pile up, dealing with a rodent infestation, and controlling a neighboring tenant on your property whose constant loud music makes it impossible for other tenants to sleep.
Tenant. This clause also forbids tenants from interfering with other tenants' or nearby residents' ability to reasonably enjoy their homes. For instance, a tenant who hosts loud, late parties has interfered with others' quiet enjoyment. Serious and repeated violations of the covenant of quiet enjoyment on the part of the landlord entitle the tenant to break the lease and move out. Such violations on the part of the tenant allow the landlord to terminate the tenancy.
What are the rules regarding repairs and alterations?
Your tenant may not alter the premises without your consent. The clause's "except as provided by law" language refers to the fact that in certain situations, tenants have narrowly defined rights to alter the premises, as long as they follow proper procedures (and always with notice to you). Examples include:
Alterations by tenants with a disability. Under federal and state law, tenants with a disability may modify their living space to the extent necessary to make the space safe and comfortable, as long as these modifications don't pose an unreasonable burden on you.
Satellite dishes and antennas. Federal law gives tenants limited rights to install wireless antennas and small satellite dishes.
Repair and deduct. Georgia courts recognize a tenant's right to repair defects and subtract the cost from the rent. Tenants must first give landlords a reasonable amount of time to do the repair, and must spend no more than a reasonable amount, using qualified and licensed workers.
How do I supply legally-required lead-hazard documentation?
With some exceptions, all landlords must complete the federally required Lead Paint and Lead-Paint Hazards Disclosure form and give it to prospective tenants. Your lease includes a clause in which landlords who are not exempt from this requirement state that they have complied with the rule (exemptions are explained in the Help sections of the clause). You can download the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards from the EPA website. Fill it out by hand. Fill it out by hand. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.
Note that if you're renting a unit in a multitenant building, the requirement that you disclose information includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units, when such information was obtained as a result of a buildingwide evaluation.
If you are not exempt, you will also need to give your tenant a copy of the EPA pamphlet, Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home, available at the EPA website.