Landlord Tenant – Lease Termination – Georgia
(a) In all cases where a tenant holds possession of lands or tenements over and beyond the term for which they were rented or leased to the tenant or fails to pay the rent when it becomes due and in all cases where lands or tenements are held and occupied by any tenant at will or sufferance, whether under contract of rent or not, when the owner of the lands or tenements desires possession of the lands or tenements, the owner may, individually or by an agent, attorney in fact, or attorney at law, demand the possession of the property so rented, leased, held, or occupied. If the tenant refuses or fails to deliver possession when so demanded, the owner or the agent, attorney at law, or attorney in fact of the owner may go before the judge of the superior court, the judge of the state court, or the clerk or deputy clerk of either court, or the judge or the clerk or deputy clerk of any other court with jurisdiction over the subject matter, or a magistrate in the district where the land lies and make an affidavit under oath to the facts. The affidavit may likewise be made before a notary public, subject to the same requirements for judicial approval specified in Code Section 18-4-61, relating to garnishment affidavits.
(b) If issued by a public housing authority, the demand for possession required by subsection (a) of this Code section may be provided concurrently with the federally required notice of lease termination in a separate writing.
(a) When the affidavit provided for in Code Section 44-7-50 is made, the judge of the superior court, the state court, or any other court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or the judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of the magistrate court shall grant and issue a summons to the sheriff or his deputy or to any lawful constable of the county where the land is located. A copy of the summons and a copy of the affidavit shall be personally served upon the defendant. If the sheriff is unable to serve the defendant personally, service may be had by delivering the summons and the affidavit to any person who is sui juris residing on the premises or, if after reasonable effort no such person is found residing on the premises, by posting a copy of the summons and the affidavit on the door of the premises and, on the same day of such posting, by enclosing, directing, stamping, and mailing by first-class mail a copy of the summons and the affidavit to the defendant at his last known address, if any, and making an entry of this action on the affidavit filed in the case.
(b)The summons served on the defendant pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall command and require the tenant to answer either orally or in writing within seven days from the date of the actual service unless the seventh day is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, in which case the answer may be made on the next day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday. If the answer is oral, the substance thereof shall be endorsed on the dispossessory affidavit. The answer may contain any legal or equitable defense or counterclaim. The landlord need not appear on the date of the tenant’s response. The last possible date to answer shall be stated on the summons.
44-7-52. In an action for nonpayment of rent, the tenant shall be allowed to tender to the landlord, within seven days of the day the tenant was served with the summons pursuant to Code Section 44-7-51, all rents allegedly owed plus the cost of the dispossessory warrant. Such a tender shall be a complete defense to the action; provided, however, that a landlord is required to accept such a tender from any individual tenant after the issuance of a dispossessory summons only once in any 12 month period.
Sixty days’ notice from the landlord or 30 days’ notice from the tenant is necessary to terminate a tenancy at will.