During the past three years, rental prices in Georgia have risen above the national average, but does that mean landlords can raise them at any time?
Rent hikes are inevitable sometimes. Landlords should cover maintenance costs, accommodate tax increases, make more profits, or simply match market rates.
However, there are state-specific rent control laws that property owners should be aware of in order to avoid legal problems and make their rentals successful. Here's more information about them!
What Is a Rent Increase Notice?
This notice is, in essence, a letter that landlords must serve to inform tenants that there will be increases in rent charges.
Overall, Georgia landlords may provide this document to their lessees as prior notice that the rent will be increased, asking them for a response. Tenants can accept the increase or reject it.
Rent controls vary from state to state. However, under Georgia law, landlords' and tenants' rights are slightly different.
What Are the Basic Rent Control Laws?
Georgia has not imposed rent control laws to limit the amount property owners or managers can ask for rent.
Also, state laws do not allow local governments or cities to establish their own regulations to control rent.
However, there are still some questions about it. Can Georgia landlords increase rent at any time? When should they send the notice to tenants? Here are the answers!
How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Georgia?
The average monthly rent in Georgia is around $1,700/$2000 for a one-bedroom apartment. However, property owners can increase the rent by any amount and for any reason.
This state has not set a limit on how much a landlord can raise the rent. However, there are other regulations in place.
When Can Landlords Raise Rent in Georgia?
As mentioned, landlords can increase the rent for any reason. However, they must give the tenants proper notice.
In addition, rent increases are prohibited during a fixed rental period unless the original rental agreement allows for these changes. Moreover, Georgia landlords cannot increase rent for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.
In this regard, according to the regulations established in the Federal Fair Housing Act, property owners cannot discriminate against tenants for the following:
- Their age
- Their race
- Their gender or gender identity
- Their religion
- Their familial status
- Their origin or nationality
- Any disability
Additionally, Georgia law does not allow landlords to increase rent in response to tenants' actions, or when it is done in retaliation.
Any action by a property owner may be considered retaliatory if it occurs within three months after a tenant exercises a right established by law or granted by the lease agreement or request a repair.
A rent increase can also be retaliatory if it occurs within three months after a tenant joins or creates a tenant's group or files a complaint about the property's health and safety conditions.
Should Georgia Landlords Send Notices In Advance?
Under Georgia law, landlords are required to serve a 60 days written notice before the rent hike goes into effect. Property owners cannot increase the rent during the lease term.
How Should Landlords Send This Letter?
Landlords planning to send a rent increase notice to their tenants may consider in-person or mail deliveries.
If you want to serve the notice in person, you only have to hand the document directly to your tenants. In other situations, you can leave the letter at the front door.
Mail deliveries are also a good option. However, only use certified mail, as it allows you to obtain proof that the tenant received the notice.
What Happens When Tenants Reject the Rent Increase?
Tenants have the right to reject or challenge a rent increase for several reasons, including if they believe the landlord's actions are discriminatory or disagree with the hike.
In these cases, they must respond to the landlords' notice and inform them that they do not plan to renew the lease.
Landlords should always include a clause stating tenants' right to terminate the lease if they do not agree to the price hike.
Can You Evict Tenants If They Don't Accept?
Yes, you can! Georgia landlords can evict tenants for different reasons, including failure to pay rent on time. However, it's essential to understand local eviction laws to avoid legal problems during this process.
Find All the Rent Forms You Need Here!
Do you want your rental to be successful? Do you find the process difficult and time-consuming? DoorLoop can give you a hand! We offer all the free forms Georgia landlords need, including the rent increase notice.
Customize Your Own Form
You can also customize your own form to fit your specific case if you are in Georgia. Here's a comprehensive paid service that can help you! There's a template for this and any other state.
How Often Can Landlords Increase Rent in Georgia?
As long as they provide proper notice to tenants and the hike does not respond to the lessee's actions or is discriminatory, landlords can increase the rent as often as they want.
How Much Notice Must Landlords Give Before Increasing the Rent?
As mentioned, Georgia has set a legal notice period for these cases. Based on that, landlords must send a 60 days notice to tenants if they plan to increase rent charges.
Tenants can challenge the increase and take legal action against landlords if they raise the rent without proper notice.
Are There Any Limits To Rent Increases In Georgia?
No, they aren't. Landlords can increase rent prices as much as they want. Georgia has not imposed a cap on the amount that property owners can request for a rental unit.
When Can a Rent Increase Become Illegal in Georgia?
Rent increases are illegal if they violate local, state, or federal laws.
If the rent price hike violates the rental agreement, it's also considered illegal.
In this regard, Georgia considers rent increases to be illegal in the following circumstances:
- Landlords raise the rent in retaliation, responding to the tenant's exercise of their legal rights.
- Rent increases are discriminatory, which violates federal fair housing laws.
- The lease agreement has a fixed rent provision that does not allow increases until the rental period ends.
- Federal Fair Housing Act
- Restrictions on Rent Regulations by Local Governments
- Establishment of a Prima-Facie Case of Retaliation by Tenant Against Landlord; Elements; Exception; Remedies; Rebuttable Defense
- Tenancy at Will - Notice Required for Termination
- How Much Notice Must Landlords Give Before Increasing Rent?
- Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook