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A tenant must answer a dispossessorywithin seven days of service. A tenant has until

the close of business on the seventh day to fithe answer. You need to contact the court in

which

dispossessory

affidavit

wasfiled

to

determine

their

businss

hours.

Some

courts

have

business hours other than the traditional nine-ot-five each day. Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §1-3-1)

provides the method for counting the seven day T. he first day (the da of service) is not

counted but the last day is cound. If the last dayfalls on Saturday or Sunday, the party has

through the following Monday. When the last daprescribed for such action falls on a public

and legal holiday, the party has until the next business day.

My landlord has filed a dispossessory action against me. The landlord has failed to make repairs to the leak in my ceiling and my furniture and rugs were damaged. I would like to sue my landlord for the damage to my property. How can I do this?

Your answer to the dispossessory must contain any legal or equitable counterclaims you

have

against

the

landlord.

If

the

tenant

has

ay

claims

against

the

landlord

for

damage

caused

by the landlord’s breach of the lease or failure to perform his responsibiliies those claims must

be

put

in

the

answer

aa

counterclaim.

If

a

tenant

fails

tput

in

their

answer

any

logically

related claims, which she has against the landd,r the tenant may not beable to raise those

claims later in a separate action. This means thaif a tenant has a damage claim for failure to

repair

it

must

be

raised

as

aounterclaim

or

lost.

In

addon,

a

party

seeking

to

have

any

potential judgment for the landlod reduced by previously paid rnt deposits must raise such a

claim

in

their

answer

or

it

is

lost.

Even the

dispossessory

action

is

dismissed

or

a

writ

of

possession issued before a final judgment, ttenant is still entitled to a hearing on their

counterclaims.

My landlord filed a dispossessory against me. I have paid my rent on time and have not violated my lease. I am going to file an answer. Can I ask for damages for my landlord’s wrongful conduct in filing a dispossessory against me for no reason?

Yes.

In

your

answer

you

will

need

to

request

the

court

award

you

such

damages

and

59

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