Warranty of Habitability in Georgia

Last Updated: May 3, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

In Georgia, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Georgia Annotated Code, § 44-7-13. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability,” also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Water, Heat, Electricity
Time Limit for Repairs “Reasonable” Amount of Time
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No
  • Repair and Deduct: Yes

Landlord Responsibilities in Georgia

The implied warranty of habitability in Georgia does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Only if land and mobile home are owned by the same person.
Condos Yes
Hotels/Motels Not specifically addressed

Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.

Landlord Responsibilities in Georgia

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Georgia, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Not addressed
Provide working HVAC equipment. Heat
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Not addressed
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Not addressed
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Yes
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

Additionally, for multifamily properties, landlords are responsible for ensuring that any common areas are clean and safe.

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Repairs, Recourse and Retaliation in Georgia

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Georgia, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in Georgia

Georgia tenants must request repairs by notifying the landlord in writing about the issue that needs fixing. While it’s not a legal requirement, the Georgia Department of Consumer Affairs specifically recommends that tenants make, and keep, a copy of their dated written repair request.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Georgia

Georgia landlords get a “reasonable” time to repair issues after receiving written notice from the renter. If an issue isn’t fixed, the renter can repair and deduct, have a court order repairs or compensation, or in severe cases cancel the rental agreement. However, they aren’t allowed to withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in Georgia

Georgia landlords can’t retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction within 90 days of tenants taking one of these good-faith actions:

  • Complaining to landlord or government about habitability
  • Exercising rights under law or lease
  • Participating in tenant organizations on habitability issues

There’s an exception in Georgia law for non-retaliatory, good-faith motivations. For example, a proportionate increase in rent following an increase in property tax isn’t retaliation. On the other hand, a landlord who knowingly and willfully suspends cooling, heat, water, or light service is subject to additional penalties.

Tenants can respond to retaliation by suing for associated costs, including one month’s rent plus $500 for deliberate retaliation. Retaliation is also an eviction defense, and in some cases justifies lease cancellation.