In response to rising calls for action on tenant protections, House leadership has introduced the Safe at Home Act. House Bill 404 (The Safe at Home Act) was introduced on Tuesday, February 14, by Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton) and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill has bipartisan support. This legislation has a number of provisions that seek to reform portions of Tenant-Landlord law.
- Under this bill:
- Landlords would be required to provide rentals that are “fit for human habitation.”
- Tenants would have a guaranteed three-day grace period after missing a rent payment before an eviction proceeding can be filed.
- Landlords would be banned from cutting off air-conditioning prior to completion of an eviction action.
- Security deposits would be capped at no more than three times the monthly rent.
- The eviction process would be expedited for tenants who have recently been charged or convicted with certain crimes, including a violent felony or sexual offense, or has committed a crime threatening the health, safety, or welfare of others.
While these reforms are necessary, Georgia’s cities do not play a role in the establishment of lease provisions. GMA has and will continue to advocate for rental registries to identify rental properties in our communities statewide, as well as call for changes to the nuisance abatement process to allow municipal code enforcement officials to ensure tenable conditions are maintained in properties as safer housing means safer communities through improvements to public health, safety, and welfare.