You are here

COVID-19 Information for Georgia

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

State Legal and Regulatory Information

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Shelter in Place

Effective Thursday, April 30, 2020, Georgia “Shelter-in-Place” order expired, although businesses across the Peach State must continue to operate with strict social distancing and sanitation rules to keep customers and employees safe through Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Effective Thursday, May 14, 2020, Governor Kemp signed Executive Order 05.12.20.02, which extends and amends business safety guidelines through Sunday, May 31, 2020.

State of Emergency

Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on March 14.

Eviction

Order of Judicial Emergency

  • Action: State Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton has extended the statewide judicial emergency until Friday, June 12, 2020. Under the new extension order, all criminal and civil jury trials will continue to be suspended, and courts will be barred from summoning and impaneling new trial and grand juries. Since the first emergency order on March 14, 2020, the Chief Justice has required Georgia’s courts to remain open to handle critical and essential court services. Under the new extension order, courts will be urged to develop plans for building back non-critical operations that can be conducted remotely by videoconferencing or by maintaining adherence to public health guidelines. The order will urge courts to increase the use of technology to conduct remote judicial proceedings where legally permitted as a preferred alternative to in-person proceedings. All this is necessary to help limit the backlog once the emergency is terminated.

  • Additional Commentary: The Chief Justice will create a special task force to assist courts in conducting remote proceedings and to develop plans for the safe resumption of more extensive in-court proceedings, including jury trials and grand jury proceedings. The task force will include judges representing every class of court, who will obtain input from prosecutors and public defenders, civil trial attorneys, court clerks, and sheriffs.

    • The order also will direct each court to develop guidelines for in-court proceedings to protect the health of all those who enter the courthouse. Once completed, the guidelines should be prominently posted at courthouse entrances and on court and government websites.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

No statewide emergency rental assistance for Georgia

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by Georgia Code § 44-7-19.

Price-Gouging Law

Under Georgia Code, § 10.1.393.4, it is unlawful for any individual to sell or offer for sale any goods or services identified by the Governor during a declaration of emergency for prices higher than immediately prior to the declaration. So far, rental housing has not been identified by the Governor as a service falling under the price gouging statutory language.

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Athens-Clark County

Shelter in Place

Governor Kemp issued an executive order on Thursday, April 23, 2020 that, among other things, provides details and requirements to previous executive order allowing some previously-closed businesses to reopen on Friday, April 24, 2020 for Minimum Basic Operations (defined in the order), as well as requirements for Friday, May 1, 2020 – Sunday, May 31, 2020. The statewide order suspends the Athens-Clarke County local ordinance approved by the Mayor and Commission on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Atlanta

Shelter in Place

Governor Kemp issued an executive order on Thursday, April 23, 2020 that, among other things, provides details and requirements to previous executive order allowing some previously-closed businesses to reopen on Friday, April 24, 2020 for Minimum Basic Operations (defined in the order), as well as requirements for Friday, May 1, 2020 – Sunday, May 31, 2020. The statewide order suspends the Atlanta local ordinance approved by the Mayor and Commission on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Eviction

Executive Order

  • Action: On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order implementing an eviction moratorium for the next 60 days (May 17, 2020). No updated order has been released.

  • Scope: Prohibits the termination of tenancies for nonpayment of rent only.

  • Additional Commentary: Applies to properties sponsored or funded by the following organizations: Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta Beltline Inc., Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority, Invest Atlanta, Partners for Home, and the City of Atlanta’s Department of Grants and Community Development

  • Late Fees and Other Charges: Prohibited.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Housing (AH) CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. announced several rent relief efforts for seniors, families, and other residents who live in AH-owned or subsidized units and have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes Housing Choice Voucher Program participants. 

Those residents suffering a loss of income due to COVID-19 can certify their current income and upon approval, receive a rent reduction, up to 100 percent of the contract rent, for two months, covering the months of April and May 2020, with AH making payment directly to the property owner or management company. More information on resources for renters can be found here.

Additionally, an Atlanta not-for-profit, Star-C, has established an Eviction Relief Fund. It is a rent matching scholarship that helps qualified residents timely pay their rent and continue to raise their children in their same school. The program is administered through landlords that operate apartments at rents below 80% AMI in low-performing school districts. Participating landlords are willing to forgive a portion of the rent, waive late fees, and an agreement not to evict in exchange for Star-C paying a portion of delinquent rent.

Blakely

Shelter in Place

Governor Kemp issued an executive order on Thursday, April 23, 2020 that, among other things, provides details and requirements to previous executive order allowing some previously-closed businesses to reopen on Friday, April 24, 2020 for Minimum Basic Operations (defined in the order), as well as requirements for Friday, May 1, 2020 – Sunday, May 31, 2020. The statewide order suspends the Blakely local ordinance approved by the Mayor and Commission on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Carrollton

Shelter in Place 

Governor Kemp issued an executive order on Thursday, April 23, 2020 that, among other things, provides details and requirements to previous executive order allowing some previously-closed businesses to reopen on Friday, April 24, 2020 for Minimum Basic Operations (defined in the order), as well as requirements for Friday, May 1, 2020 – Sunday, May 31, 2020. The statewide order suspends the Carrollton local ordinance approved by the Mayor and Commission on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Savannah (Chatham County)

Shelter in Place

Governor Kemp issued an executive order on Thursday, April 23, 2020 that, among other things, provides details and requirements to previous executive order allowing some previously-closed businesses to reopen on Friday, April 24, 2020 for Minimum Basic Operations (defined in the order), as well as requirements for Friday, May 1, 2020 – Sunday, May 31, 2020. The statewide order suspends the Savannah local ordinance approved by the Mayor and Commission on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.