A Georgia lease agreement is a legal document that defines the rights and responsibilities of the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee).
It is usually made in written form and contains the following clauses:
Names and addresses of landlord and tenant
Information about the property
Rent amount and due date
Rights and duties of landlord and tenant
Aside from the above clauses, the landlord and the tenant can add any other clause that is not against federal or state law.
By drafting and signing the lease agreement, the landlord will have a way to protect his right to claim the rent. On the other side, the tenant will protect his right to use the leased property without being disturbed.
Georgia Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
For renters in Georgia, these disclosures are required to be included in the lease agreement. The requirements are set by federal and Georgia state laws and regulations.
Lead-based paint disclosure. The landlord must inform the tenant of any lead-based paint presence at the leased property. Federal law provides this as a mandatory disclosure for any property built before 1978.
Flooding disclosure. If the leased property has been flooded at least three (3) times in the last five (5) years, this fact should be disclosed in the lease agreement. (§ 44-7-20)
Identity information disclosure. The person signing the lease agreement as the landlord must include the following information in the lease agreement:
Name and address of the property owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf.
Name and address of the person managing the property. (§ 44-7-3)
List of existing defects. In case the landlord requires a security deposit, they should include a list of existing defects in the lease agreement before the tenant moves in. By signing this list, the landlord and tenant confirm the existing damages to the property made before the tenant moved in. (§ 44-7-33)
Georgia Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
The lease agreement can also include the disclosures listed below to safeguard both the landlord's and tenant's rights and prevent any future disputes:
Asbestos disclosure. This disclosure shall be included in the lease agreement if any asbestos is present in the construction of the leased unit. It will give the tenant guidance on all the necessary precautions that have to be taken in order not to disturb the asbestos fibers.
Medical marijuana use. This disclosure will inform the tenant if the usage of medical marijuana at the leased unit is allowed. Some states enable the landlord to limit the usage only to non-smoking methods or to provide designated smoking areas at the leased property.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
If the landlord fails to make a flood disclosure to the tenant, they will be held liable in tort for any damages caused to the tenant by the flooding.
The landlord may face civil or criminal penalties if the lead-based paint disclosure is not included in the lease agreement. The landlord can also be sued by the tenant and pay up to three (3) times what the tenant has suffered in damages.
Georgia Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
Georgia state law doesn’t set the maximum amount for the security deposit. In practice, however, the security deposit rarely exceeds the amount of two (2) months' rent.
Security Deposit Return
The landlord must give the tenant back the security deposit within thirty (30) days of the end of the tenancy.
The landlord may keep some of the deposit to pay for unpaid rent, late fees, unpaid utilities, cleaning, and repairs. If any amount has been retained, the landlord will have to send a list of all deductions made. (§ 44-7-34)
When is Rent Due in Georgia? (Grace Period)
The rent is due on the date provided in the lease agreement. For a long-term lease, it is usually at the beginning of the month. Therefore, it is up to the landlord and the tenant to provide such a date in the lease agreement before signing it.
Georgia state law doesn’t provide a grace period for the rent payment. Therefore, the landlord can charge the late fee or file for eviction as soon as the rent is due.
Georgia Rent Late Fees
The state law doesn’t set a cap for late rent payments. However, the tenant shall disclose in the lease agreement if any late rent fees will be applied.
The law mentions that the landlord can charge interest on the rent owed. The maximum interest rate is 16% per annum (§ 7-4-2(a)(2)).
Georgia NSF Checks
If the tenant uses the NSF (non-sufficient funds) check to pay the rent, they will have to pay the landlord the following:
Compensation for NSF Checks
The amount of the check
A fee that is no higher than $30 or 5% of the check value (whichever one is greater)
Any additional bank fees for the check processing
Georgia Landlord’s Right to Enter
There are no statutes that regulate the landlord’s right to entry. No formal requirement exists for the landlord to announce his entry to the leased property. In practice, the landlord would usually issue a 48-hour notice to the tenant before entering the leased property.
Colorado Lease Agreement FAQ
The lease agreement in Georgia is a legally binding contract. It can be made in writing or as an oral agreement between the landlord and the tenant.
In the case of a written lease agreement, it will be legally binding if both parties have signed it.
Some lease agreement clauses will not be binding if they are deemed illegal by federal or Georgia state law. However, this usually does not affect the validity of other clauses in the lease agreement.
Most of the lease agreements in Georgia contain the following clauses:
Names and addresses of the contractual parties
Details about the leased unit
Duration of the lease
Amount of the rent, methods of payment, and rent due date
Lead-based paint disclosure
The property owner and manager’s information disclosure
Flooding history disclosure
List of existing defects
Other rights and obligations of the parties
Date and place of the contract signature
Signatures of the parties
You can simply download the lease agreement template from the many provided here. Enter all the necessary details, and you will have the lease agreement ready to be signed.
Depending on the lease duration and type, you can choose between the following:
Long-term or month-to-month lease agreement
Residential or commercial lease agreement
Room rental agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After completing all the information in the lease agreement, make sure all the parties sign the lease agreement, and every one of them gets one signed copy of the lease agreement.
After signing the lease agreement, the landlord and the tenant can inspect the property before the tenant moves in. After they inspect the leased unit, they will both sign the check-in form. The form will list all the damages that were present before the tenant moved in. This will protect the tenant from any unfounded damage claims after moving out.