I'm a Georgia landlord with a difficult tenant. I've given the tenant the proper Georgia termination notice, but he still won't leave. What next? What is the Georgia eviction process?
If you have demanded that your tenant leave the premises and the tenant refuses, you can now begin dispossessory proceedings with the Georgia Magistrate Court. You must file a dispossessory affidavit that states your name, your tenant's name, why you are evicting the tenant, the amount you are owed by the tenant (if any), and you must verify that you demanded the tenant vacate the property. The filing fees will usually cost you between $80 and $120. The Magistrate Court will then issue a summons to the tenant, who has 7 days to answer it. If the tenant does not answer, you will win by default, and the Magistrate will issue an order that allows you to remove the tenant's property. If the tenant answers, the Magistrate will set a date for a hearing where you and your tenant can both present your cases. If you win your suit against the tenant, you have to wait 7 days (to allow time for an appeal). If the tenant does not appeal, you will be given a writ of possession (a warrant stating your right to possession of the property). At this time you must remove the tenant's belongings from the premises (with the help of an officer), but place them somewhere nearby the property. If you keep the belongings in the rental or move them to a distant location, the tenant may be able to sue you for conversion (theft). You have no duty to protect the tenant's property from the elements.
If at any time you think you are in over your head, you can always seek the advice and counsel of a Georgia evictions attorney.