Atlanta Property Management Blog

'Safe at Home Act' passes in Georgia House, gives more rights to renters and tenants

System - Monday, March 20, 2023

ATLANTA — Georgia House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that aims to provide renters with more protections while "also preserving the rights of landlords." 

House Bill 404, also known as the “Safe at Home Act,” passed on Thursday. It was sponsored by State Representative Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton).

“My family moved to 16 different rental properties throughout my childhood, so I understand the problems that many tenants face on a daily basis,” said Rep. Carpenter. “This legislation seeks to balance the interests of both the tenant and landlord, whose relationship sits on a foundation of livability. As a result, House Bill 404 would provide tenants with more opportunities to ensure their rental property is safe and stable. We need to start a conversation about the rights that tenants have and how to address the bad actors that give landlords a bad reputation.”

House Bill 404 requires rental properties to be “fit for human habitation” when the lease is signed, and landlords must maintain the property throughout the lease. Landlords are prohibited from turning off the air conditioning of a rental property before eviction proceedings to force tenants to move out. 

The bill limits landlords from demanding a security deposit that exceeds two months' rent. If tenants fail to pay rent or charges owed to the landlord, tenants would have three business days to receive a written notice before an eviction proceeding can be filed. Landlords are required to post an eviction notice on the tenant’s front door or deliver the notice according to the stipulations of the rental agreement.

The Safe at Home Act has been passed to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Carpenter's bill would bring changes to the rental industry that balance tenant protections and landlord rights in Georgia. The new legislation aims to improve the living conditions of tenants, allowing them to live safely and securely in rental properties while also protecting the interests of landlords.


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