ATLANTA – Legislation guaranteeing new rights to renters in Georgia passed the state House of Representatives unanimously this week.

Capitol Beat News Service
This story also appeared in Capitol Beat News Service

House Bill 404, which now moves to the state Senate, would require rental properties to be “fit for human habitation” upon signing a lease, and landlords would be required to maintain their properties throughout the lease.

State Rep. Kasey Carpenter

“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. Kasey Carpenter, R-Dalton, the bill’s chief sponsor.

“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.”

Carpenter’s bill also would prohibit landlords from turning off a rental home’s air conditioning prior to an eviction to force tenants to move out.

It would limit landlords from requiring a security deposit that exceeds two months’ rent. If a tenant fails to pay rent or charges owed to the landlord, the tenant would be guaranteed written notification at least three business days before an eviction proceeding could be filed.

Landlords would be required to post an eviction notice on the tenant’s front door or deliver the notice based on the stipulations of the rental agreement.

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, an initiative of Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

Dave Williams is bureau chief for Capitol Beat News Service, a service of the Georgia Press Education Foundation.