Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Georgia

I'm a landlord and owner of a house that's being rented by tenants. Tenants have been there almost a year. Lease automatically renews July 1st with higher rent. I agreed to keep the rent the same if they pay before the first of every month, but only if they sign their renewal docs and pay a Pet Fee for dogs they insist on keeping for their relatives.

Tenants already signed their Intent to Renew/Vacate letter indicating their intent to renew at the planned increased rate.

Tenants have ignored my recent text reminders, though, to meet with me to sign their actual lease docs before July 1st, even after I informed them that if they don't meet me & sign their lease and pay Pet Fee before July 1st, the rent will increase as stated on the renewal letter and they will be fined if I catch dogs on the premises again.

If everything is in writing, what actions should I be taking in the meantime to protect myself just in case they are secretly planning to abandon the property? What rights and privileges do I have to enforce the rules I set forth in my lease?

Asked on 6/25/13, 10:49 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glenn M. Lyon, Esq. MacGREGOR LYON, LLC, Business Attorneys

Your rights are generally set out in the lease (the one actually singed). Otherwise, be prepared to deal with the tenants as you normally would. If they abandoned the property, take back possession, asses damages and return the security deposit or retain it and send notice of such retention as required by law with in one month of the move-out date. It's unlikely it would be worth pursuing the tenants for anything more unless you know where they are located and have assets to satisfy a judgment.

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Answered on 6/25/13, 11:23 am

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