The Georgia residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a written contract for the exchange of the temporary use of the residential property for regular, periodic payments (“rent”). The parties involved in the agreement are known as the landlord (“lessor”) and the tenant (“lessee”).
Georgia Lease Agreement Disclosures
The following disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Georgia.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Georgia.
Providing the landlord’s name and address creates a line of communication between the landlord and tenant for important questions, notices and demands. Landlords or any authorized individual acting on behalf of the landlord should provide their contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.
Flooding Notice Disclosure
Applicable to any property with a history of flooding (at least three instances of damage within the past five years) in Georgia.
Landlords must provide notice of prior flooding if the property has flooded at least three times within the past five years. The notice must include all damage the flooding caused to the living space in the unit. If a flooding notice is not provided, the landlord may be liable for damages.
Applicable to all rental units that charge a security deposit in Georgia.
Georgia landlords that intend to charge a security deposit are required to provide an inventory of the rental unit’s condition in the form of a move-in checklist. This checklist may be separate from the rental agreement.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
United States federal law requires a landlord to disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints in any home built prior to 1978. This law requires landlords in Georgia to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Georgia law. However, these disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs||If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Late/Returned Check Fees||Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Georgia there are no limits on late fees. There is a $30 limit on returned checks if the check amount is less than or equal to $600 or a 5% limit on returned checks if the check is greater than $600.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Non-Refundable Fees||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Shared Utilities Arrangements||For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.|
|Smoking||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.