If you are being evicted in the state of Georgia, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Georgia can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Georgia and how long each step will take.
A landlord may ask you to leave your property due to a breach of your lease or non-payment of rent. Either way, your landlord is required to serve you with a three-day notice that specifies the reason for the eviction and advises you on how to resolve the situation without going to court.
If the eviction process in Georgia is beginning for you because you have not paid rent, the notice gives you three days during which you can pay all late rent and associated penalties without facing eviction proceedings. If you have breached the terms of your lease agreement (by keeping a pet when it was not allowed on your property or allowing an illegal subletter, for instance), you will be given a three day notice that specifies how to cure the breach. If you cure the breach in three days or less according to your landlord's instructions, the eviction process in Georgia will stop.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not respond satisfactorily to the three-day notice within the three day time period, your landlord can file a complaint and summons with your local courthouse. A copy of the complaint and summons will be given to you by your landlord or a process server.
The complaint and summons will detail why you are being evicted and specify a date for an eviction hearing. In Georgia, an eviction complaint is called a “dispossessory warrant,” and the summons to court will be served to you within one to seven days.
If you are facing the eviction process in Georgia due to a failure to pay rent, you will have seven days from receiving the summons to pay your rent before eviction proceedings can continue. If you do not respond to the summons, eviction will continue with a writ of possession (explained below). If you do answer the summons, a hearing will be scheduled.
If your landlord has breached your lease agreement, you may be able to fight your eviction at the hearing. Consult with a landlord/tenant lawyer with experience in fighting the eviction process in Georgia in order to talk about your chances of winning in court.
Writ of Possession
Most of the time, landlords win eviction hearings. If your landlord is given a default judgment due to your failure to appear, or if he or she wins at the hearing, you will be served with a writ of possession. According to the terms of the writ of possession, you must leave your property within a specified amount of time or face forcible removal by the sheriff. Forcible removal is the final step of the eviction process in Georgia.
If you answered your landlord's complaint and participated in a hearing, you will have 10 days from the date the writ of possession is issued to leave before you can be forcibly removed. If you did not respond to your landlord's summons, your forcible removal will be scheduled for anywhere between two and seven days after the writ is issued.