Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the nation's largest cities and brings thousands of new residents to the southern state every year. Spreading out from the state's metropolitan center, competitive real estate markets can be found near the Florida and Alamaba borders, on the coast, and north near the mountains. In addition, real estate investors love Georgia for its relatively lax renting laws. Still, before investing in Georgia, you must understand the limits of your lease agreement.
General Precepts for Renting in Georgia
Georgia leases are enacted once a landlord starts accepting payments for rent, regardless of a written or oral agreement. While these lease structures are informal, they protect both tenants and landlords in certain aspects. For example, tenants can deduct repairs from their rent due to unresponsive maintenance requests from landlords. However, there are protections for landlords, ensuring the right to receive rent promptly. Georgia also has a relatively straightforward eviction process. Leases in the state can either be written or oral.
One tenant-friendly element in Georgia law is its security deposit policy. If a security deposit is not lawfully returned, the landlord is liable for three times the original amount.
Rent Increase Laws
Georgia has no statewide rent control policies, and the state law actually prohibits cities or counties from enacting their own rent control policies. This gives landlords the freedom to price however they see fit and sets a competitive market for real estate in all sectors.
Landlords can also charge however much they wish for late fees and security deposits but are limited to $30 or 5% of a check amount for bounced check fees.
Rent Control Attempts in Georgia
Georgia state law precedes city or county rights to regulate rent in their municipality. However, because of Atlanta's increasing growth over the years, several local legislators have tried to change this policy to benefit renters.
In 2020, Atlanta City Councilman, Antonio Brown attempted to change state laws and allow certain metropolitan areas like Atlanta to enact rent control policies in order to protect a precarious housing market during COVID-19. However, his attempts were unsuccessful, as Georgia still prohibits rent control at the state level.
Average Rent in Georgia
Even though Georgia does not have rent control, the state enjoys a relatively stable rental average, ranking only 35th highest in the country for rental prices. Fair market rents range from $648 to $1,185 for a 2-bedroom unit, depending on the location. The Atlanta metro area has the highest rental rates in the state, with an average of $1,016 per month for studio apartments and $1,823 per month to rent a house or 4-bedroom apartment.
Price Smarter With RentSpree
RentSpree can help you price your rental in any Georgia real estate market. Our Rent Estimator tool uses your location, unit features, and market factors to determine ideal amounts for any property. This helps you keep a competitive edge with your pricing strategy that will help you succeed in any Georgia city.
To learn more about RentSpree's features and benefits, contact us to schedule a demo.