I Own Rental Property. I Have Been Notified That The County Government Has Declared My Property Unfit For Occupancy.

Georgia law gives county and city governments the authority to order repairs, close or demolish structures which are unfit for human habitation and dangerous or detrimental to health and safety. The county or city government may exercise this authority by establishing local ordinances. You should contact the county government for a copy of their housing code. Georgia law recognizes the following conditions as threatening health and safety:


  • Defects which increase the hazard of fire, accidents, or other calamities.
  • Lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities.
  • Dilapidation, disrepair and structural defects.
  • Uncleanliness.

When a county or city has enacted a housing code, it can also establish ordinances outlining how the code is enforced. Georgia law requires that the owner receive notice of the housing code violation and an opportunity for hearing. If violations are found, the owner can be ordered to repair, vacate, close or demolish the property. If the owner fails to comply with the order to remedy the code violations, the local government may condemn the property declaring it unfit for human habitation and prohibiting its use as a residence. A tenant living in condemned property would likely be justified in treating their lease as in default and moving from the premises. The tenant should keep proof of the property`s condemnation and write to the landlord declaring the lease in default, prior to moving.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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