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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.

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.

Reopening Order

Gov. Brian Kemp has extended social distancing and sanitization restrictions for businesses, gatherings. The latest order keeps in place a ban on gatherings larger than 50 people in Georgia.

Face Mask Mandate

Governor Kemp signed Executive Order 08.15.20.01, which extends present COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, and implements new provisions regarding mask mandates by local governments. 

State of Emergency

Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on March 14, 2020.

Eviction

Status: Eviction Cases Can Resume at Local Discretion 

Supreme Court Temporary Rule 11.1 (5/21/20)

  • Action: Announces that court will be reinstating deadlines (that were tolled under the judicial emergency) in almost all pending cases (from prior to 5/28). Effective 5/28, parties in pending cases will have the same amount of time to submit their filings as they had remaining at the time the emergency order first went into effect. This reinstatement does not revoke the extension of deadlines for initially filing new proceedings in the Court. in almost all new cases docketed in the Court on or after 5/28, the normal deadlines under the Court’s rules will be in effect and will not be subject to tolling or extension under the emergency order, although parties may seek extensions of time for good cause (related to COVID-19 or otherwise).
  • Duration: Through November 21, 2020.

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.

Business Liability Protections

On August 5, 2020, Gov. Kemp enacted protections for businesses against civil liability. Under the rules, businesses are protected against civil liability claims resulting from customer or employee exposure to COVID-19 while on premises if the business follows applicable federal, state, and local safety guidelines. 

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Atlanta

Face Mask Mandate

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ordered the wearing of face coverings inside any commercial entity or other building up to the public, or when in a public space. 

Eviction

Executive Order

  • Action: On 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.

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