Atlanta, GA family law attorney Judith Delus Montgomery talks about how she represents landlords in different ways.
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You have a lot of landlords who have what’s called an income property. So maybe they’re not part of a big apartment complex, but they’re an individual who may have had a starter home and they have maybe expanded their family and went and bought another home. And now they’re using their, the first home as income property and they have, they’re renting it out to individuals or families. Well there will come time where the tenants are not paying rent for whatever reason, or withholding rent. Well we ensure that the landlords know what their rights are, right, in the state of Georgia.
That even if there is an issue in the property, let’s say for example the AC and in the dead of summer is not working. And so because of that the tenant now has decided they’re not going to pay the rent. Well the law says you don’t get to withhold rent. The duty to pay rent and the covenant that you have signed with the landlord to pay the rent is separate and distinct. So although the landlord has an absolute duty to repair, the tenant has an absolute duty to pay the rent each month, and they don’t get to withhold it because things aren’t going their way.
They still have a duty to pay that landlord, and if they’re withholding rent, not paying the landlord, overstaying their lease, causing damages to the landlord’s property. Bringing in folks into the property that are not on the lease, we have an opportunity to educate landlords and represent landlords in the eviction proceedings. A lot of times the tenant may file a counter claim, and so being that I’ve worked on both sides, we know what that counter claim is going to look like, and so we’re already prepared to respond to that accordingly for the landlord.