A Georgia lease agreement is a legal contract binding a lessor (landlord) and lessee (tenant) to their tenancy agreements. A properly drafted lease agreement protects the interest of the landlord and tenant and helps reduce conflicts that may arise in the future. Before agreeing, the landlord and tenant must agree with a written term explaining the roles and responsibilities of both parties regarding bill management and any other vital information.
Types of Georgia Lease Agreement
The most commonly used Georgia rental agreements are:
Association of realtors’ agreement
A Georgia association of realtors’ agreement is a legal document used by a certified realtor to manage rental arrangements between a landlord and tenant. The realtor often represents the landlord in the primary stages of the agreement before any document is signed. First, they go with the prospective tenant to inspect the home. Once the tenant shows interest, they verify the financial credibility of the tenant through a rental application form. Upon confirmation, the realtor writes a lease agreement and both parties sign the document.
Commercial lease agreement
A Georgia commercial lease agreement signed by both the landlord and tenant to grant the tenant rights to use the property for office or industrial use. A commercial lease agreement will usually span three years, but both parties could negotiate the duration. This kind of agreement tends to be more complicated than the residential agreement. Hence, the essential terms and conditions serving both interests must be stated in the contract. Potential tenants are usually screened to ensure they are eligible for a long-term agreement. It is also customary that the tenant pays a security deposit fee to protect the landlord’s interest should they back out on the agreement before the lease expiry date.
Month-to-month lease agreement
A Georgia month-to-month lease agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions guiding a landlord and tenant every month. The landlord or tenant may issue a cancellation notice within thirty days of the next renewal date. Since the tenant retains the same rights and obligations as a long-term tenant, the landlord must verify their ability to keep up with the rent using a rental application. The law guiding the month-to-month lease agreement can be seen in the § 44-7-7 code of Georgia.
Rent to own lease agreement
A Georgia rent-to-own lease agreement is a contract that commits the potential tenant to rent a property for some time, with the option of purchasing it before the lease expiry date. Once the tenant shows interest in purchasing the property and meets the eligibility requirements of the rental application form, a document for purchase is drawn up to indicate the agreements. However, the tenant will have no choice but to vacate the apartment should the tenant fail to purchase
Roommate lease agreement
A Georgia roommate lease agreement is a legally binding contract between roommates that expresses the rules governing their stay in an apartment, both as individuals and collectively. This agreement is different from other lease agreements, such that it is strictly between the roommates without having to include the landlord. However, the landlord will only acknowledge the lease of the tenant who signed such a contract with the landlord. The differences between co-tenants and roommates should also be discussed and sorted out in this agreement before signing the document. The landlord will also have to verify the tenants’ financial capacity to pay for the rent through a rental application form.
Standard residential lease agreement
A Georgia standard residential lease agreement is a legal document that establishes the relationship between the landlord and a tenant. The tenant must pay a certain amount of money (monthly or at the start of the lease) in return for occupying the property. Once the tenant shows interest, the landlord will verify their background information and credentials via a rental application form. Other landlords may also request security deposits to account for potential damages done by the tenant.
A Georgia sublease agreement is the legal transfer of tenancy from an existing tenant (sub lessor) to a third party (sub lessee) for some time. Before a sublease agreement is approved, the landlord must allow the original tenant subletting their property, according to the laws and regulations of the state of Georgia. However, payment of rent will be the sole responsibility of the original tenant or sub lessor and other contractual obligations.
These are documents that contain information about the condition of a property and its possibility of negatively affecting the impact of the property. Georgia requires landlords to pass on the following required disclosures to tenants to avoid misunderstandings between landlord and tenant that could call for legal action.
|Flood Disclosure||§ 44-7-20||The law of Georgia demands all landlords to let potential tenants know if there have been three or more cases of flood in the last five years before they assume occupancy.|
|Identification||§ 44-7-3||Landlords are bound by the law of Georgia to avail the tenant of information about all managers, agents, or individuals who have access to the property.|
|Move-in/ Move-out Inspection Form||§ 44-7-33||Once the landlord accepts the security deposit from tenants, they are bound by law to give a list of all damages that have been done on the property.|
|Lead-based paint disclosure||42 U.S. Code § 4852d||The federal law enforces landlords to include this document in the rental contract of all residencies built before 1978.|
|Death/Disease disclosure||§ 44-1-16.||Tenants who ask for death or disease cases in the property or its environs must be given detailed information by the landlord. Cases of contagious diseases on the premises must also be made known by the landlord to the tenant, except for cases restricted by federal law.|
|Pre-existing defects||§ 44-7-33(a)||This code requires landlords to provide a list of defects or damages associated with the property before accepting security deposits from potential tenants.|
|Security deposit location||§ 44-7-31||The landlord must disclose the account location where the security deposit is being held to the tenant.|
The following disclosures are not enforced to include in the lease agreements by law in Georgia but may be added to avoid conflicts between landlords and tenants:
|Medical marijuana use||It is advisable to state whether medical marijuana will be allowed on the property or not. Landlords are allowed to limit marijuana use to non-smoking options or select spaces where its use won’t cause discomfort to other tenants.|
|Late and returned check fees||Late fee penalties and returned check fees are essential details in the lease agreement. While Georgia law does not place a cap on the limits of these charges, they should be decent enough to provide evidence of the landlord’s expenses resulting from late payment, which is mostly capped at 10% of the rent, and the greater $30 or 5% of the check balance. These charges can be added only when the stipulated date for payment has been exceeded.|
|Shared utility arrangements||Shared utility arrangements make it easier for tenants to know how their bills are calculated based on their usage, which is essential for reducing or eliminating conflicts between tenants.|
|Bedbug disclosure||The landlord should notify the tenant of previous cases of bed bugs and the procedures for controlling them on the property. This disclosure should also inform the client of their responsibility to call the landlord’s attention to any sign of a bed bug attack|
|Asbestos disclosure||This disclosure is essential for any property built before 1981, where asbestos was commonly used. Adding this detail will inform the client of taking some precautionary measures to prevent or reduce the effect of asbestos fibers on the property.|
|Mold disclosure||Landlords are advised to disclose the current mold status of their property in the contractual agreement with the tenant. Failure to include this, could make them liable for mold damages on the property.|
Download collection of free templates from our site:
Essential Landlord-Tenant Laws to Remember
Given below are the important Landlord-Tenant Laws to remember:
Security deposit maximum
Georgia laws do not limit how much security deposit should be charged.
Security deposit return
Georgia law code, as seen in § 44-7-34, enforces security deposit funds to be returned to the tenant within thirty days of contract termination.
There are no rules in Georgia’s laws that stipulate late rent graces or penalties. However, all rent-related agreements must be expressed in plain terms in the lease agreement before the tenant moves in.
Georgia does not impose the maximum amount a landlord can charge for a late rent fee. However, a late rent fee must be reasonable and stated in the lease agreement before the tenant’s occupancy.
When tenants issue a NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) cheque to the landlord, the law (§ 13-6-15 (b)) requires them to pay the landlord a fee of $30 or 5% of the total amount of the cheque, whichever is greater. In addition, any bank charges that might have been incurred while processing the NFS cheque are also paid for by the tenant.
The state of Georgia gives no allotted time for the landlord to enter the tenant’s premises. However, the conventional notice is 24 hours. Read more on the Landlord Access to Rental Unit Section.
Frequently Asked Questions
The maximum duration of a standard residential lease in Georgia is one year. Agreements more extended than one year must be put in writing with the consent of both the landlord and tenant.
No, lease agreements do not need to be notarized in Georgia. While some states may require leases to be notarized, Georgia laws do not enforce them.
Yes, a lease can be renewed automatically in Georgia. However, the tenant must notify the landlord if they wish to renew before the end of the lease agreement to avoid terminating the agreement at the lease expiry date.
Yes, a contract to lease is binding in Georgia. As long as the contract has been signed, it becomes legally binding between the landlord and tenant to obey all the terms and conditions stated.