2018 Georgia Code
Title 44 - Property
Chapter 7 - Landlord and Tenant
Article 3 - Dispossessory Proceedings
§ 44-7-54. Payment of rent and utility payments into court; issuance of writ upon failure to pay; disposition of funds
(a) In any case where the issue of the right of possession cannot be finally determined within two weeks from the date of service of the copy of the summons and the copy of the affidavit, the tenant shall be required to pay into the registry of the trial court:
(1) All rent and utility payments which are the responsibility of the tenant payable to the landlord under terms of the lease which become due after the issuance of the dispossessory warrant, said rent and utility payments to be paid as such become due. If the landlord and the tenant disagree as to the amount of rent, either or both of them may submit to the court any written rental contract for the purpose of establishing the amount of rent to be paid into the registry of the court. If the amount of rent is in controversy and no written rental agreement exists between the tenant and landlord, the court shall require the amount of rent to be a sum equal to the last previous rental payment made by the tenant and accepted by the landlord without written objection; and
(2) All rent and utility payments which are the responsibility of the tenant payable to the landlord under terms of the lease allegedly owed prior to the issuance of the dispossessory warrant; provided, however, that, in lieu of such payment, the tenant shall be allowed to submit to the court a receipt indicating that payment has been made to the landlord. In the event that the amount of rent is in controversy, the court shall determine the amount of rent to be paid into court in the same manner as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(b) If the tenant should fail to make any payment as it becomes due pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section, the court shall issue a writ of possession and the landlord shall be placed in full possession of the premises by the sheriff, the deputy, or the constable.
(c) The court shall order the clerk of the court to pay to the landlord the payments claimed under the rental contracts paid into the registry of the court as said payments are made; provided, however, that, if the tenant claims that he or she is entitled to all or any part of the funds and such claim is an issue of controversy in the litigation, the court shall order the clerk to pay to the landlord without delay only that portion of the funds to which the tenant has made no claim in the proceedings or may make such other order as is appropriate under the circumstances. That part of the funds which is a matter of controversy in the litigation shall remain in the registry of the court until a determination of the issues by the trial court. If either party appeals the decision of the trial court, that part of the funds equal to any sums found by the trial court to be due from the landlord to the tenant shall remain in the registry of the court until a final determination of the issues. The court shall order the clerk to pay to the landlord without delay the remaining funds in court and all payments of future rent made into court pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section unless the tenant can show good cause that some or all of such payments should remain in court pending a final determination of the issues.