Georgia law gives county and city governments the authority to order repairs, close or demolish structures which are unfit for human habitation and dangerous or detrimental to health and safety. The county or city government may exercise this authority by establishing local ordinances. You should contact the county government for a copy of their housing code. Georgia law recognizes the following conditions as threatening health and safety:
When a county or city has enacted a housing code, it can also establish ordinances outlining how the code is enforced. Georgia law requires that the owner receive notice of the housing code violation and an opportunity for hearing. If violations are found, the owner can be ordered to repair, vacate, close or demolish the property. If the owner fails to comply with the order to remedy the code violations, the local government may condemn the property declaring it unfit for human habitation and prohibiting its use as a residence. A tenant living in condemned property would likely be justified in treating their lease as in default and moving from the premises. The tenant should keep proof of the property`s condemnation and write to the landlord declaring the lease in default, prior to moving.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified landlord tenant lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact an attorney in your area from our directory to discuss your specific legal situation.