Georgia Counties Face Increased Squatter’s Rights Issues

eviction-bartow

Court discussing eviction case

home owners needs to be reassured that this is their property and they have rights too

In Georgia there is a growing trend where a tenant lets another person stay on the property, oftentimes without the landlord’s knowledge or consent. This is almost always a violation of the homeowner’s rights. However, they still must be careful to follow the proper procedures in removing the person otherwise they could end up paying damages themselves.

What are the options when this happens? Homeowners often find themselves in a legal quandary. Can this person continue living there even after the tenant moves out? What happens if the landlord accepts rent from this person? What if they cause damage to the property…can the landlord sue the tenant or do they have to sue the so-called “subtenant?” Both? What if the tenant shuts off the utilities…is the landlord required to turn them on for the sub-tenant, or worse yet, a trespasser?

Blair Chintella of Chintella Law is experienced in these types of cases. According to him, what your rights are heavily depends on the facts of the situation.

“There are generally three types of tenancies in Georgia: regular tenants, tenants at will, and tenants at sufferance. Regular tenants are on the property pursuant to a lease (written or verbal). Similarly, tenants “at will” are typically tenants who have stayed beyond their lease term but with the landlord’s knowledge and consent. Tenants at sufferance are those that originally occupied the property legitimately but no longer have a right to be there. The typical example is where a homeowner occupies their own house that is foreclosed on and remains after the foreclosure sale.”

If the person is not a tenant at all they are considered a “trespasser.” Either way, however, a landlord must use certain procedures to get them off the property, otherwise, they could find themselves facing liability.

Attorney Blair Chintella has been fighting these types of cases, and others, for over ten years and offers support for his clients to quickly remove the squatters. “At the end of the day, home owners needs to be reassured that this is their property and they have rights too.”

“Having a knowledgeable lawyer in your tenant/landlord dispute is really key to winning your case cheaply and quickly” according to Mr. Chintella.

Blair Chintella can be reached for further comment at bbc(at)chintellalaw.com or 404-556-7057 or through his website at http://www.chintellalaw.com.

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