He said if you’re a tenant facing eviction, it’s best to try and mend the relationship with your landlord if possible.
ATLANTA — Thousands of renters around metro Atlanta, face evictions as months of unpaid rent piles up and landlords are being faced with whether to go forward with that costly legal practice.
Attorney Matthew D. McMaster in Marietta practices landlord and tenant law.
He said if you’re a tenant facing eviction, it’s best to try and mend the relationship with your landlord if possible. That’s likely the best path forward for many landlords also.
For tenants who can’t work out an agreement, McMaster said it’s best to offer to pay what you can and see if the landlord accepts the money for the month of August.
“Before COVID, Georgia law is that if the tenant pays any rent in the month that you file for the eviction, the landlord cannot move forward with the eviction because it’s the payment of rent and that gives the tenant the right to be there,” McMaster said.
That’s why it’s crucial for tenants to get the money from the pandemic rental assistance passed by congress, which President Biden is pushing state and local governments to do all that’s possible to get out immediately.
Some tenants have applied for the money and still haven’t received it.
“In order for a tenant to capitalize on these programs, they had to have a landlord make certain promises in agreement with that third party,” McMaster said.
He said for landlords, he recommends talking to tenants who are in a bind and working out an agreement because there’s still a lot of unanswered questions with the Delta variant.
“My advice to landlords is make sure you do everything properly. If you can do everything, cross your T’s and dot your I’s, and hold off on the evictions,” he said.