How to Evict a Tenant in Georgia

By George Lawrence
Follow, Georgia's eviction procedure, you, the tenant
cabin rental image by Cindy Haggerty from Fotolia.com

You are a landlord in Georgia and a tenant of yours has either failed to pay rent, has stayed beyond the term of his or her lease, or has broken one of the rules written in the lease (and the lease warrants eviction if such a rule is broken). You may want to physically and immediately remove that tenant. You may want to change the locks when the tenant is away. However, you can't. You must follow proper procedure to evict a tenant. Failure to do so could result in your tenant's remaining in the apartment or your forgiving whatever the tenant owed you to begin with.

Review the lease agreement you and the tenant signed to determine whether you have grounds to evict the tenant and how much time you must give the tenant to either comply or be evicted. The lease terms may, for example, require you to give the tenant 60 days to pay you the rent owed (plus any rent that becomes due during this period of time) before you formally initiate the eviction proceedings.

Notify the tenant in writing that he or she has violated the lease agreement and that you will initiate eviction proceedings unless the tenant cures this breach. In the notice, inform the tenant that he has until the 10th of the month to remedy the breach or you will file an eviction action with the Magistrate Court.

Wait until the 10th of the month to see if the tenant cures her breach. If not, file an affidavit stating the rent owed and the grounds for eviction in the Georgia Magistrate Court located in the county where the tenant is residing. You will have to pay a filing fee of as much as $120.

Wait for the court to serve the tenant with a summons to appear and answer your eviction claims. Typically, the court will set a hearing date within 14 days after you file your notice.

Accept the rent or the cure from the tenant. Landlords are required to accept a tenant's rental payment or a cure of the breach in the agreement once during a 12-month period; if this is the second time the tenant has committed this breach or if the tenant failed to answer and appear, skip this step and continue to Step 6.

File a Writ of Possession with the Magistrate Court. This document is the tenant's last warning that he is going to be evicted. This document will inform the tenant that within the next two to seven days the sheriff will evict the tenant unless the tenant answers. If the tenant answers this writ, a trial will be scheduled.

Argue your case to the Magistrate Judge if the tenant answers the Writ of Possession and a trial is scheduled. If you prevail at trial, judgment will be entered in your favor and the tenant will be evicted 10 days after the judgment.