Legal Information: Georgia

Georgia Housing Laws

Housing Laws

Basic info

What housing laws can protect me?

There are many different housing laws that involve rights of tenants and landlords. The housing law described in this section provides tenant protections for victims of domestic violence and stalking. The law allows you (the tenant) to terminate your lease before it expires if you are a victim of family violence or stalking and have a civil or criminal family violence protection order or stalking order.1

1 See Ga. Code § 44-7-23

Who is protected under this housing law?

You can get protection under this law if you have a family violence protection order or stalking protection order that protects you or your minor child. The order can be issued as part of a civil or criminal case.1

1 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(b)

What type of protection order would qualify me for protection under this housing law?

You are protected under this law if you have a civil or criminal family violence protection order or stalking protection order. The order must be issued to protect you or your minor child. You can be protected under this law if you are:

  • a tenant in the home; or
  • a joint tenant even if you are not required to pay rent to the landlord.1

A civil family violence order or stalking order includes:

  • a family violence protection order or stalking protection order issued after the abuser received notice of the case and had a chance to participate in a hearing; or
  • an ex parte, temporary family violence protection order or stalking order but only if you also have a police report related to the abuse.2

A criminal family violence order or stalking order includes:

  • a pretrial order of release issued after an arrest for family violence or stalking; or
  • a probation order issued after a conviction for family violence or stalking.3

1 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(b)
2 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(a)(1), (a)(2)
3 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(a)(3), (a)(4)

Breaking the lease

What documents or proof do I need to give to my landlord to get out of my lease if I am a victim?

When a civil or criminal family violence protection order or stalking protection order has been issued, you can end your lease by giving your landlord the following things:

  1. a written notice of termination. The notice should include:
    • the fact you are ending (terminating) your lease based on the fact that you or your minor child is a victim of family violence or stalking; and
    • the end date for your lease. The end date has to be 30 days away – it cannot be earlier than that;1 and
  2. a copy of:
    1. your family violence protection order or stalking protection order; and
    2. a copy of the police report if your order is an ex parte, temporary order.2

1 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(b)
2 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(c)

Am I still responsible for rent after I give my landlord notice?

For a place in which you currently live: After you give notice to your landlord, you are still responsible for any rent due up until the date your lease ends and for any late or unpaid rent. You are not responsible for any other rent, fees, or damages for ending your lease.1

For a place that you have not yet moved into: If you sign a lease but then you need to terminate it due to family violence or stalking, if you give your landlord the notice of termination at least 14 days before your lease is scheduled to begin, you cannot be charged any kind of money damages or penalties.1

1 Ga. Code § 44-7-23(d)

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