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No. A landlord may legally remove a tenant and the tenant's property from rented premises only under the dispossessory procedure. If a landlord uses self-help to evict a tenant without a dispossessory warrant, it is a tort for which the tenant may recover damages in a civil action, and a landlord who cuts off utilities may be subject to misdemeanor prosecution under OCGA 44-7-14.1.
While you may file a late answer, it will not prevent a Landlord from contacting the Magistrate Court`s office about presenting the writ of possession to a judge for signature.
The Landlord is responsible for service of the dispossessory action on the tenant. Personal service on the tenant of the dispossessory warrant must be attempted and may be made by the Sheriff or Marshall by payment of the service fee with the warrant filing fee to the Clerk of Court. The Clerk will forward the service fee to the Sheriff/Marshall. In the event the Sheriff or Marshall cannot serve the tenant personally, service may be sui juris, that is, to any person residing at the premises of suitable age and discretion. If the Sheriff is unable to obtain personal or sui juris service of the dispossessory warrant, it may be delivered by tack and mail, that is, posted on the door of the premises. On the same day of posting, the sheriff must mail a copy of the dispossessory warrant to the tenant at the tenant's last known address.
Upon service of a dispossessory warrant, the tenant has seven (7) days to file an answer with the Magistrate Court. Failure to file an answer within seven days of service of the dispossessory warrant may result in a writ of possession being issued against the tenant.
If the tenant fails to file an answer with the Magistrate Court within seven (7) days from service of a dispossessory warrant, the landlord may request a writ of possession by paying the sheriff's service fee to the Magistrate Court. After the Judge has signed the writ of possession, the landlord may contact the Sheriff's Office to set up a time for the eviction. Please see the list of filing fees for the fee for this service.
Courts in Georgia have held that when a landlord fails to respond to repair requests after a reasonable time, tenants can hire a competent repair person to perform the needed repairs. The cost must be reasonable, and the tenant may deduct the cost from the rent. It's a good idea to put your request in writing, keep all receipts and invoices, hire licensed workers if possible, and perform only needed repairs, not upgrades.After the Tenant has given reasonable notice of a defect to the Landlord, and the Landlord has failed to make the repair within a reasonable time, the Tenant may make reasonable repairs and deduct the reasonable cost from the rent, or the Tenant may file a lawsuit against the Landlord for damages arising from the failure to repair.
Along with your Answer, you can file what is called a Counterclaim, which is, essentially, a Statement of Claim filed by the Tenant against the Landlord. If your Counterclaim exceeds $15,000, the jurisdictional limits of the Magistrate Court, the case will be transferred to a court that does have jurisdiction. Usually the entire case will be transferred. However, there may be some cases where the Landlord`s claim will remain in Magistrate Court and the Tenant`s counterclaim will be transferred separately.
When the last day to file an answer falls on a weekend or a legal holiday, the answer may be filed with the Magistrate Court by close of the next business day.
When an answer is filed, a court date is given for the following week. The tenant will be given a court date at the time the answer is filed. The notice of the court date, along with a copy of the tenant's answer, will be mailed to the landlord by regular mail.
A landlord/tenant relationship must exist between the parties. The tenant must be either a tenant holding over, a tenant at will, a tenant at sufferance, or having failed to pay rent as it becomes due. The landlord must have made a demand for possession of the premises prior to commencement of the proceedings. Please see the list of filing fees for the fee for this service.
You should bring with you all persons who have direct knowledge of the facts related to your case and any documents, photographs, repair bills, receipts, or other physical evidence which you feel would help the Court better understand your case.
A dispossessory warrant should be filed in the county where the rental property is located.
An appeal will only stop an eviction if there is an order to require the payment of rental or market value of the property into the registry and the defendant complies with that order every month as long as the appeal is pending.
It is possible. The Court does not report information to credit reporting agencies, but the Court's records are public records and the agencies have access to the records.