Renting in Atlanta: 3 Laws You Should Know

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Wherever you find yourself a renter, it is important that you be read of on local landlord tenant law in order to protect yourself and your rights. When renting in Atlanta, it is consequently important that you know the Atlanta landlord tenant laws, especially the ones laid out here.

1. There Is No Lease Cancellation Period

In some cities and states, when you sign a lease agreement, you are allowed to rescind the lease within a certain number of days or hours. That means you are able to change your mind. It is important to know that when renting in Atlanta you are not allowed to do that. There is no rescission period. Once you sign that lease, you are obligated to the lease terms, including the early termination penalties in the event that you do change your mind.

2. When No Early Termination Rules Are Spelled Out, You Are Stuck with the Balance of the Rent

When renting in Atlanta, if your lease agreement does not have terms stipulating what to do in the event of an early lease termination, your landlord can hold you responsible for the balance of the rent. So, even if you are moving through no fault of your own, for example, a job transfer out of state, your landlord can still charge you each month’s rental payment until your rental period expires. That being said, the landlord is required to try to re-rent the property, and any rent that is collected from the new renter is credited against your obligation.

So, if your rent is $800 per month, and you move out early due to a job transfer, but the landlord can rent the apartment for $750, you are still stuck for $50 per month in rent. Don’t panic though. Speak to your landlord-he may let you out of the lease early if you give 30 days notice, or he may let you sublet out the unit.

All of the above, however, is not relevant if the tenant is on active military duty, and received a change of station or duty for a period of three months or longer. In such a case, the tenant is liable for 30 days rent after providing notice and proof to the landlord, but no more than that. The tenant must be released from further rental obligations.

3. Your Landlord Must Return Your Security Deposit within 30 Days

If you are renting in Atlanta, your landlord has 30 days to return your security deposit from the date of lease termination or move-out-whichever is the later date to occur. If the landlord retains any portion of the security deposit for damages to the unit, a written report of the damages must be sent to you, also within the 30 day period.

It is important to know this because some states and cities do not have such terms, or give the landlord more or less than 30 days. When you are renting in Atlanta, however, 30 days is the limit, so if you don’t get it back, you have a right to go to the courts for assistance.


Emily Gojko: I am a writer, marketer, and manager with a strong background in real estate development and management. I am also a native New Yorker with an obsession for home design shows, so I have personal and professional experience making the most of small spaces, and dealing with good and bad living situations.

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