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that

they

are

moving

and

explain

why.

Sometimes,

tenants

m tvewithout

telling

the

landlord. In this sitution the tenants are consiered to have abandoned the rental unit. Often

tenants will leave personal items in the unit when they leave. A landlord must be cautious in

declaring rental property abandoned and taking possession. If a landlord mistakenly declares the

unit to be abandoned and removes the tenant's poperty, the landlord may be held liable for the

items

the

tenant

lost

and

for

a

wrongful

evoni.

While

the

tenant's

property

may

not

seem

valuable to the landlord, the tenant may considerit to be very valuable and could sue to recover

for its loss. A landlord should not consider pr erty abandoned while rent on the unit is paid.

The landlord should also determine if the tenant isstill paying to have utilities furnished to the

unit.

The

safest

course

of

action

is

for

the

lordl to

wait

until

renis

past

due

and

file

a

dispossessory affidavit and obtain a court order f r possession of the property. This will protect

the landlord from liability if the tenant claims they had not abandoned the unit and their personal

items. If the landlord does remove the tenant’sproperty without a court order, it is a good idea

for the landlord to take pictures of the property disposed of in case the tenant raises a claim

against the landlord.

I do not have the money to pay my rent. My landlord says my furniture will be placed on the street if I don't pay the rent by the due date. Can my landlord do this?

No,

the

landlord

cannot

puyour

possessions

on

the

streewithout

a

court

order.

A

dispossessory proceeding can be brought by the landlord that could result in your being evicted.

A sheriff, marshal, or constabe would then remove your propertyfrom the premises, if a court

has ordered that they may do so. Your landlor cannot file a dispossessory for nonpayment of

rent until the rent is past due.

My landlord removed all my possessions and changed the locks on the apartment. He did not give me any warning or go through the courts to evict me. What can I do?

Self help evictions, including changing the locks, are illegal in Georgia. You may file a

55

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