2021 Georgia Code
Title 44 - Property
Chapter 7 - Landlord and Tenant
Article 3 - Dispossessory Proceedings
§ 44-7-50. Demand for Possession; Procedure Upon a Tenant's Refusal; Concurrent Issuance of Federal Lease Termination Notice

Universal Citation: GA Code § 44-7-50 (2021)
  1. In all cases when a tenant holds possession of lands or tenements over and beyond the term for which they were rented or leased to such tenant or fails to pay the rent when it becomes due and in all cases when lands or tenements are held and occupied by any tenant at will or sufferance, whether under contract of rent or not, when the owner of such lands or tenements desires possession of such lands or tenements, such owner may, individually or by an agent, attorney in fact, or attorney at law, demand the possession of the property so rented, leased, held, or occupied. If the tenant refuses or fails to deliver possession when so demanded, the owner or the agent, attorney at law, or attorney in fact of such owner may immediately go before the judge of the superior court, the judge of the state court, or the clerk or deputy clerk of either court, or the judge or the clerk or deputy clerk of any other court with jurisdiction over the subject matter, or a magistrate in the district where the land lies and make an affidavit under oath to the facts. The affidavit may likewise be made before a notary public.
  2. If issued by a public housing authority, the demand for possession required by subsection (a) of this Code section may be provided concurrently with the federally required notice of lease termination in a separate writing.

(Laws 1827, Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 901; Ga. L. 1853-54, p. 52, § 4; Ga. L. 1853-54, p. 55, § 1; Ga. L. 1855-56, p. 268, § 1; Code 1863, § 3983; Ga. L. 1865-66, p. 34, § 1; Code 1868, § 4005; Code 1873, § 4077; Code 1882, § 4077; Civil Code 1895, § 4813; Civil Code 1910, § 5385; Code 1933, § 61-301; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1228, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 884, § 4-1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 892, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1446, § 9; Ga. L. 1995, p. 577, § 1; Ga. L. 2006, p. 656, § 1.1/HB 1273; Ga. L. 2016, p. 8, § 3/SB 255; Ga. L. 2018, p. 820, § 8/SB 194.)

The 2016 amendment, effective May 12, 2016, substituted "Code Section 18-4-3" for "Code Section 18-4-61, relating to garnishment affidavits" at the end of subsection (a).

The 2018 amendment, effective May 8, 2018, in subsection (a), substituted "such" for "the" throughout, substituted "when" for "where" twice in the first sentence, and deleted ", subject to the same requirements for judicial approval specified in Code Section 18-4-3" following "notary public" at the end of the last sentence.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Distress and Dispossessory Warrants in Georgia," see 12 Ga. B.J. 266 (1950). For article surveying real property law, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 255 (1982). For annual survey article on real property law, see 50 Mercer L. Rev. 307 (1998). For comment on Wilensky v. Agoos, 74 Ga. App. 815, 41 S.E.2d 565 (1947), see 10 Ga. B.J. 109 (1947).



  • General Consideration
  • When Remedy Available
  • Demand for Possession
  • Affidavit
  • Defenses
  • Tort Liability of Landlord
  • Procedural Matters
  • Miscellaneous Considerations

Magistrate court has jurisdiction to try cases and issue writs and judgments in dispossessory and distress warrant proceedings when the amount in controversy exceeds $3,000.00. 1988 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U88-18.

Location of property irrelevant.

- Landlord may institute dispossessory proceedings against a tenant by filing an affidavit with a judge of superior court or any justice of the peace demanding possession of the landlord's land and setting forth the facts which entitle the landlord thereto. This affidavit can be given before any justice of the peace regardless of the location of the property which is the subject of the affidavit. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U79-7.

Financial burden of physically removing a tenant's property may be properly cast upon the landlord. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U85-36.


16A Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Landlord and Tenant, § 105.


- 52A C.J.S., Landlord and Tenant, § 1373 et seq.


- Right of tenant holding over after termination of definite term of notice to quit, 19 A.L.R. 1405; 156 A.L.R. 1310.

Landlord's consent to holding over by tenant as essential to tenancy from year to year, 55 A.L.R. 286.

When landlord deemed to have assented to renewal by holding over, 64 A.L.R. 309.

Liability for rent accruing after landlord's institution of action or proceedings against tenant to recover possession, 93 A.L.R. 1474.

Dispossession without legal process by one entitled to possession of real property as ground of action, other than for recovery of possession or damage to his person, by person dispossessed, 101 A.L.R. 476.

Rent period as criterion of term implied by holding over after expiration of lease for a fixed term, 108 A.L.R. 1464.

Tenant's liability in damages for holding over after expiration of term as affected by reason or excuse for so doing, 122 A.L.R. 280.

Doctrine of breach by anticipatory repudiation of contract as applicable to lease, 137 A.L.R. 432.

Constitutionality, construction, and application of statutes as to the effect of holding over by lessee, or as to automatic renewal clauses in leases, 152 A.L.R. 1395.

Requisites and sufficiency of notice to quit as condition of summary proceeding to evict tenant, 169 A.L.R. 913.

Effect of tender of past-due rent after period prescribed by statutory provision for termination of lease for default in payment, 170 A.L.R. 1156.

Demand of rent due as prerequisite of enforcement of forfeiture or termination of lease providing for termination for nonpayment, 28 A.L.R.2d 803; 31 A.L.R.4th 1254.

Relief against forfeiture of lease for nonpayment of rent, 31 A.L.R.2d 321.

Right of landlord legally entitled to possession to dispossess tenant without legal process, 6 A.L.R.3d 177.

Waiver of statutory demand-for-rent due or of notice-to-quit prerequisite of summary eviction of lessee for nonpayment of rent - modern cases, 31 A.L.R.4th 1254.

Retaliatory eviction of tenant for reporting landlord's violation of law, 23 A.L.R.5th 140.

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