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LANDLORD-TENANT OUTLINE

Dennis Goldstein and David Webster


(Last Updated: April 14, 2008)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................... 2
I. INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... 5
A. Relevant Statutes ..................................................................................................... 5
B. Other References ..................................................................................................... 5
C. Landlord-Tenant Relationship ................................................................................ 5
II. TENANCIES WITHOUT LEASE ............................................................................. 7
A. Tenancies at Sufferance .......................................................................................... 7
B. Tenancies at Will. ................................................................................................... 8
III.
CONSTRUCTION OF LEASES AND RENTAL AGREEMENTS...................... 8
A. Statutory Provisions ................................................................................................ 8
B. Rules of Construction ............................................................................................. 9
C. Lease Renewals v. Extensions (including tenancies at will) ................................ 10
IV.
TENANT'S RIGHT TO POSSESSION AND TO STATUTORY EVICTION
PROCESS ......................................................................................................................... 11
A. Tenant's Right to Possession ................................................................................. 11
B. Tenants Termination, Surrender and Abandonment............................................ 11
C. Requirements to Use Dispossessory Process ........................................................ 12
V. ILLEGAL EVICTIONS AND LANDLORD'S OTHER WRONGFUL ACTS ....... 13
A. Wrongful Interference with a Tenancy: ................................................................ 13
B. Causes of Action for Unlawful Eviction ............................................................... 14
C. Remedies ............................................................................................................... 16
VI.
DISPOSSESSORY (EVICTION) PROCESS ...................................................... 16
A. History and Strict Construction: ........................................................................... 16
B. Relationship requirement. ..................................................................................... 17
C. Procedure. ............................................................................................................. 18
D. Parties.................................................................................................................... 18
E. Legal Representation: ........................................................................................... 18
F. Landlord's Malicious Use of Dispossessory Process: ........................................... 19
G. Relationship of Dispossessory Proceedings to Superior Court Action ................. 19
VII. GROUNDS FOR EVICTION............................................................................... 20
A. Listing of Grounds. ............................................................................................... 20
B. Failure to pay rent when due (required action by landlord): ................................ 20
C. Holding over beyond term (or termination) of lease or rental agreement. ........... 20
D. Tenancy at Will. .................................................................................................... 22
E. Tenancy at Sufferance........................................................................................... 22
VIII. DEMAND FOR POSSESSION (NOTICE TO VACATE) .................................. 23
A. Statutory Pre-Filing Requirement. ........................................................................ 23
B. Requirements for effective demand ...................................................................... 23
C. Effect of Invalid Demand...................................................................................... 24
IX.
OTHER EVICTION PREREQUISITES; PENDING ACTIONS; PROPER
FILING ............................................................................................................................. 24
A. Foreign Corporate Landlord ................................................................................. 24

B. Regulatory Licenses .............................................................................................. 25


C. Prior Pending Actions: .......................................................................................... 25
X. SERVICE ................................................................................................................... 25
A. Means of Service. O.C.G.A. 44-7-51(a). .......................................................... 25
B. Where No Answer After Post and Mail Service. .................................................. 26
XI. ANSWER DEFENSES AND COUNTERCLAIMS .............................................. 26
A. Contents ................................................................................................................ 26
B. Answer Period ........................................................................................................... 27
C. Counterclaims ....................................................................................................... 27
D. Transfer to Another Court ..................................................................................... 28
E. Supplemental Pleadings: ....................................................................................... 29
XII. PAYMENT OF PAST DUE AND CURRENT RENT AND UTILITIES INTO
COURT ............................................................................................................................. 29
A. In order to prevent a writ of possession, tenant may have to pay both rent and
utility payments into registry of court. O.C.G.A. 44-7-54. ....................................... 29
B. Failure to Pay Ordered Money Into Court ............................................................ 30
C. Late Payments ....................................................................................................... 31
D. Withdrawal of Funds............................................................................................. 31
E. Constitutionality.................................................................................................... 31
XIII. DISCOVERY AND TRIAL ................................................................................. 32
A. Discovery Period ................................................................................................... 32
B. Expedited Trials, and Other Trial Considerations ................................................ 32
XIV. JUDGMENTS ....................................................................................................... 33
A. Scope of Action and Scope of Relief .................................................................... 33
B. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. ........................................................... 34
C. Judgment on merits: .............................................................................................. 35
D. Mootness: .............................................................................................................. 35
E. Modifying or Setting Aside .................................................................................. 35
F. Appeal (Note: this section deals only with appeals from State/Superior Court) .. 35
G. Res Judicata. ......................................................................................................... 37
XV. DISPOSSESSORIES IN MAGISTRATES' COURTS ........................................ 38
A. General Rights. See Magistrates Bench Book. ................................................... 38
B. Transfers to other courts ....................................................................................... 40
C. Appeals ................................................................................................................. 40
XVI. DEFENSES TO NON PAYMENT OF RENT ..................................................... 42
A. Definitions of Rent ................................................................................................ 42
B. Tender ................................................................................................................... 42
C. Partial Payments.................................................................................................... 43
D. Late Payments ....................................................................................................... 43
E. Other Waivers Through Rent Acceptance ............................................................ 44
F. Failure to Pay Rent Caused by Landlord's Conduct: ............................................ 45
G. Extinguishment of Rent Obligation ...................................................................... 45
H. Bankruptcy. ........................................................................................................... 45
I. Counterclaims. ...................................................................................................... 45
XVII.
LANDLORD'S DUTY TO REPAIR ................................................................ 46

A. "Duty to repair" is a misleading phrase. The landlords duty to repair actually


includes a cluster of duties, each with different consequences. .................................... 46
B. Contractual Duty to Repair ................................................................................... 46
C. "Repair"................................................................................................................. 47
D. Tort Duty to Repair ............................................................................................... 48
E. Landlord for Tort Liability Purposes................................................................. 52
F. Knowledge and Notice Issues (may relate to contract or tort liability) ................ 53
G. Other Duties of Landlord ...................................................................................... 56
XVIII. TENANT'S REMEDIES FOR FAILURE TO REPAIR (CONTRACT
BREACH). ........................................................................................................................ 56
A. Tenant's Choice of Remedies:............................................................................... 56
B. Repair and Deduct................................................................................................. 57
C. Repair and Sue: ..................................................................................................... 57
D. Occupy Without Repairs and Claim Diminution. ................................................. 57
E. Housing Code Complaint ...................................................................................... 58
F. Constructive Eviction............................................................................................ 58
G. Lease Rescission: .................................................................................................. 59
H. Equitable Remedies: ............................................................................................. 59
XIX. FAILURE TO REPAIR CLAIMS ........................................................................ 60
A. Causes of Action ................................................................................................... 60
B. Damages ................................................................................................................ 60
D. Landlord's Tort Defenses ...................................................................................... 65
XX. RETALIATORY EVICTION ............................................................................... 68
A. Local Ordinance Protections ................................................................................. 68
B. Georgia Law.......................................................................................................... 68
XXI. MISCELLANEOUS RENT, FEES, AND DAMAGE ISSUES .............................. 69
A. Rent Increases ....................................................................................................... 69
B. Liquidated Damages v. Penalties .......................................................................... 69
C. Late Fees and interest on late payments. .............................................................. 70
D. Retention of Tenant's Property. ............................................................................ 71
E. Future Rent: .......................................................................................................... 71
F. Landlord Has No Duty to Mitigate by Reletting Premises: .................................. 71
G. Tenants Have Duty to Mitigate Damages: ............................................................ 71
XXII. SECURITY DEPOSITS ......................................................................................... 72
A. Security Deposit Act, O.C.G.A. 44-7-30 et seq. ................................................ 72
B. Remedies for Landlord's Noncompliance. ............................................................ 72
TABLE OF CITATIONS ................................................................................................. 74

I. INTRODUCTION
A. Relevant Statutes
1. Landlord and Tenant: Official Code of Ga. Ann. Chapter 44-7, Articles 1 4
2. Other Laws
a. Appeals: O.C.G.A. Title 5, Chapter 6
b. Contracts: O.C.G.A. Title 13
c. Magistrate Courts (civil): O.C.G.A. Chapter 15-10, Article 3

B. Other References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Dawkins, Ga. Landlord and Tenant Breach and Remedies (3rd ed.)
Pindar, Georgia Real Estate Law (3rd ed.), especially Chapter 11
Cobb & Eldridge, Ga. Law of Damages (3rd ed.), especially Chapter 28
Georgia Jurisprudence - Property: Chapters 26, 27, 28 and 31
Encyclopedia of Ga. Law, Vol. 19 Landlord and Tenant
Magistrates Bench Book
ALAS Significant Housing Memos. The most important and timely are on the
ALAS Intranet. Others are available in Dennis Goldsteins files. See David
Webster.

C. Landlord-Tenant Relationship
1. Landlord-tenant relationship exists when person with an interest in real
property grants to another the right to possess and use it. O.C.G.A. 44-7-1. Neither
formal agreement nor any payment of rent is necessary. Rowland v. Colquitt, 214 Ga.
App. 544 (1994), rev'd on other grds., 265 Ga. 905 (1995); May v. May, 165 Ga. App.
461 (1983).
2. Landlord need not own the real property to create an effective lease. Johnson
v. Watkins, 26 Ga. App. 759 (1921) (landlord had only a one-third ownership interest in
premises). But "landlord cannot create any greater interest in his lessee than he himself
possesses, and the lessee takes subject to all claims of title enforceable against the
lessor." Kace Invests. v. Hull, 263 Ga. App. 296, 300 (2003).
3. Depending upon the facts, a tenant may claim multiple landlords. Pugh v.
Middlebrooks, 47 Ga. App. 528 (1933). Often tenant may sue, or be sued by, property
manager as ostensible landlord. Spence v. Wilson, 102 Ga. 762 (1897) (owner's agent
with whom tenant deals may sue tenant in agent's name, based on contract in agent's
name) (distress warrant); Wall Realty Co. v. Leslie, 54 Ga. App. 560 (1936) (tenant may
sue agent for damages where tenant rented from management, received rent receipts in
manager's name and was not told who real owner was).

4. Roomers and boarders are not tenants. See Bonner v. Welborn, 7 Ga. 296
(1849) (distinguishing innkeepers from landlords); Garner v. LaMarr, 88 Ga. App. 364,
365(4) (1953) (week to week rental not inconsistent with landlord/tenant relationship);
Financial Sec. Assur., Inc. v. Tollman-Hundley Dalton, L.P., 165 B.R. 698, 705-07 (N.D.
Ga. 1994), revd on other grds., 74 F.3d 1120 (11th Cir. 1996). Distinctions between
tenants and roomers/boarders, Memos 274, 342, and 505.
5. When occupant may assert promissory estoppel to enforce lease arrangement
in absence of valid written lease. 20/20 Vision Center v. Hudgens, 256 Ga. 129 (1986);
DPLM v. J.H. Harvey Co., 241 Ga. App. 219 (1999).
6. Subtenants or Assignees. If someone other than tenant or tenant's valid
assignee occupies premises and tenders rent to landlord as if subtenant, landlord may
expel as an intruder, Bass v. West, 110 Ga. 698, 705 (1900); Virginia Highland Assocs.
v. Allen, 174 Ga. App. 706 (1985); or may choose to treat as a tenant bound by the
original lease, in which case landlord may be estopped to deny tenancy. Block v. Brown,
199 Ga. App. 127 (1991). Landlord's acceptance of assignee or subtenant as tenant may
be implied from affirmative acts and conduct and does not require written agreement.
Allen v. Peachtree Airport Pk., 231 Ga. App. 549 (1998); Step Ahead, Inc. v. Lehndorff
Greenbriar, Ltd., 171 Ga. App. 805 (1984) (acceptance of rent alone insufficient); see
especially Draper & Kramer, Inc. v. Lerow, 143 Ga. App. 413 (1977) (landlord estopped
from arguing that lease assignment was made without landlord's consent; landlord
accepted tenant as assignee of departed spouse).
7. Occupant also may be estopped to deny tenancy. O.C.G.A. 44-7-9 (estoppel
to deny landlords title); Gentry v. Chateau Props., 236 Ga. App. 371, 372 (1999) (same);
Touch Indus., Inc. v. 75 Canton Bus. Park Ltd. Partnership, 202 Ga. App. 548 (1992)
(substitute tenant equitably estopped to deny tenancy).
8. Residents of cooperatives as tenants subject to dispossessory proceedings:
Jordan v. Placer Holding Co., 213 Ga. App. 218 (1994).
9. Mobile homes: A mobile home may be the subject of a tenancy (of
personalty). Goerndt v. State, 144 Ga. App. 93 (1977) (full court). Alternatively,
landlord-tenant relationship may be created as to realty if mobile home sits on rented
land. Gentry v. Chateau Props., 236 Ga. App. 371 (1999); Branch v. WESAV Fin. Corp.,
198 Ga. App. 347 (1991). But landowner who leases out land on which mobile home sits
does not assume special responsibilities of a residential landlord. Crowder v. Larson, 236
Ga. App. 858 (1999) (mobile home was rented from another).
10. Co-occupants: no landlord-tenant relationship created between them absent
agreement by one to rent from the other. As to agreements by unmarried roommates to
share living expenses, see Liles v. Still, 176 Ga. App. 65 (1985) (unenforceable if object
is meretricious relations).

11. Person not signing lease, occupying premises with permission of tenant but
not landlord, is not self a tenant. Braddy v. Dessau Realty & Ins. Co., 148 Ga. App. 589
(1978) (separated spouse denied intervention in dispossessory; continued occupancy did
not create new tenancy).
12. Roommate who cosigns lease is bound as a tenant. Biggs v. Long, 212 Ga.
App. 195 (1994) (co-occupant signing lease as one of two tenants, and occupying for
about 1 month, is tenant even though not named in printed and typed portion of lease).
13. Employee tenants: Mackenzie v. Minis, 132 Ga. 323 (1900) (live-in employee
is not a tenant); Crossgrove v. Atlantic Coast Line RR. Co., 30 Ga. App. 462, 465
(3)(1923) (but employee may have a lease too); see Pertillo v. Forest Ridge Ltd., 166 Ga.
App. 552 (1983) (demand).
14. Prospective owner in occupancy as tenant subject to dispossession: Hallisy v.
Snyder, 219 Ga. App. 128 (1995).

II. TENANCIES WITHOUT LEASE


A. Tenancies at Sufferance
1. Defines tenancies where occupant acquired possession by lawful means, but
holds over wrongfully, without landlord's assent. Stanley v. Stembridge, 140 Ga. 750,
755-56 (1913). Includes tenant holding over after lease expiration or termination. Willis
v. Harrell, 118 Ga. 906, 909 (1903). Tenant at sufferance liable for reasonable rental
value, Bible v. Allday, 93 Ga. App. 231 (1956).
a. Includes former mortgagor whose property has been foreclosed.
Hunter v. Ranitz, 88 Ga. App. 182 (1953); see also Beneficial Fin. Co. v. Young,
167 Ga. App. 743 (1983) (property foreclosed by holder of second security deed).
b. Includes former owner after fi.fa. sale. Hill v. Kitchens, 39 Ga. App.
789, 790(6) (1929).
c. Includes family of tenant at sufferance, after tenant's death. Teston v.
Teston, 135 Ga. App. 321 (1975).
d. Includes lessee after property sale or foreclosure of security deed, if
the deed predates the lease. Lunsford v. Income Props., Inc., 254 Ga. 55 (1985).
But if the later security interest is a consolidation or renewal of a previous interest
held by the same lender, it may take precedence over the lease. Id. at 56. As to
sublessee, see Hand v. Pelham Banking Co., 186 Ga. App. 520 (1988).
e. Does not include tenant who is in possession of property before sale or
encumbrance by landlord. Tenant retains rental rights under original landlord.
Subsequent purchaser takes subject to those rights. Turner Comms. Corp. v.

Hickcox, 161 Ga. App. 79 (1982); Blanton v. Moseley, 133 Ga. App. 144 (1974).
But tenant may modify this priority by contract. Lease may subordinate tenants
rights to subsequent sale or mortgage. Raiford v. Department of Transportation,
206 Ga. App. 114, 117-18 (1992).
f. Not converted to a tenancy at will (see below) where tenant at
sufferance was told "you will have to pay rent," but landlord constantly requested
possession and did not consent to occupancy. Hill v. Kitchens, 39 Ga. App. 789
(1929).

B. Tenancies at Will.
1. Tenancy at will arises where landlord agrees to tenants possession expressly
or implicitly, but no time is specified for expiration or termination of tenancy. O.C.G.A.
44-7-6; Gentry v. Chateau Props., 236 Ga. App. 371 (1999).
a. Includes person with right to occupy until happening of specified
contingency. Anthony Shoals Power Co. v. Fortson, 138 Ga. 460 (1912); Heaton
v. Fulton Nat. Bank, 46 Ga. App. 773 (1933).
b. Some recent cases suggest oral agreements will be treated as tenancies
at will. See, e.g., Gu v. Liu, 262 Ga. App. 443 (2003). But see O.C.G.A. 44-72(a) (allowing parol contracts for lease for up to one year); Roland v. Floyd, 53
Ga. App. 580 (1936) (enforcing executory oral lease of one years duration).
2. Demand for or receipt of rent, or anything that indicates landlord's permission
for tenant to remain in premises, may convert tenancy at sufferance into tenancy at will.
Willis v. Harrell, 118 Ga. 906, 909 (1903) (landlords silence, neglect or laches not
enough); Diner One, Inc. v. Bank South, 219 Ga. App. 702 (1995) (tenant could not
disclaim lease after new landlord acknowledged it); Pace v. Radcliff Mem. Presbyterian
Church, Inc., 76 Ga. App. 840, 846 (1947) (landlord bound by acceptance of rent). But
see Solon Automated Servs., Inc. v. Corporation of Mercer Univ., 221 Ga. App. 856,
859-60 (1996).

III. CONSTRUCTION
AGREEMENTS.

OF

LEASES

AND

RENTAL

A. Statutory Provisions
1. General provisions for construing contracts, O.C.G.A. 13-1-1 et seq., apply
to leases/rental agreements.
2. Some statutory requirements effectively become part of residential
leases/rental agreements. See, e.g., O.C.G.A. 44-7-13 (landlords repair duty), 44-722 (termination rights of certain service members).

3. Residential leases/rental agreements are constrained by nonwaiver provisions


found in O.C.G.A. 44-7-2; 44-7-22(f).

B. Rules of Construction
1. Absent ambiguities, construction of lease/rental agreement is question of law
for court. O.C.G.A. 13-2-1; International Indus., Inc. v. Dantone, 147 Ga. App. 247
(1978).
a. Even if some measure of ambiguity, no jury question posed unless
material ambiguity remains unresolved even after invocation of all applicable
rules of construction. Farm Supp. Co. v. Cook, 116 Ga. App. 814 (1967).
b. Three steps in contract construction process: (1) Court must first
decide whether contract language is ambiguous. (2) If so, court must then apply
any applicable rules of construction (O.C.G.A. 13-2-2). (3) If after doing so
court determines that an ambiguity still remains, trier of fact must then resolve the
ambiguity. Brannen/Goddard v. PNC Realty, 238 Ga. App. 387, 89 (1999).
2. Ambiguous terms in lease/rental agreement are construed against interests of
landlord, unless tenant prepared or supplied the contract. Peachtree on Peachtree
Investors, Ltd. v. Reed Drug Co., 251 Ga. 692, 695 (1983); Shiflett v. Anchor Rome
Mills, Inc., 78 Ga. App. 428 (1948); See also Stern's Gallery of Gifts, Inc. v. Corporate
Prop. Investors, Inc., 176 Ga. App. 586, 593 (1985); Parkhill Trust Fund, Inc. v. Carroll,
115 Ga. App. 108 (1967). Specifically, in construing uncertain provisions relating to
renewals, tenant is favored. Thornton v. Ellis, 184 Ga. App. 884 (1987). See also
Travelers Ins. Co. v. Linn, 235 Ga. App. 641 (1998) (court leans toward construction of
covenant (of good condition of premises, upon tenants surrender) which does not impose
liability on the tenant).
3. If lease is incomplete and ambiguous, parol evidence is admissible to ascertain
intention of parties and to explain lease terms, despite an entirety/merger clause in lease.
Judge v. Wellman, 198 Ga. App. 782 (1991).
4. Specific terms in lease ordinarily control, as against general terms. Tower
Projects, LLC v. Marquis Tower, Inc., 267 Ga. App. 164 (2004).
5. Law favors construction of language that will uphold lease as a whole, and
the whole contract should be looked to in arriving at the construction of any part.
O.C.G.A. 13-2-2 (4); Asian Sq. Partners, L.P. v. Cuong, 238 Ga. App. 165, 167 (1999).
6. Absent contrary provision, exercise of right or duty to notify other party in
writing pursuant to lease/rental agreement is effective upon receipt. Turman v.
MacLachlan, 257 Ga. 69 (1987); Anthony v. Ausburn, 254 Ga. 472 (1985); Evergreen
Props. v. Stafford, 190 Ga. App. 659 (1989).

7. Discussion of distinction between condition precedent and condition


subsequent. Fulton Co. v. Collum Props., 193 Ga. App. 774 (1989).
8. Lease imposes upon all parties a duty of good faith and fair dealing in
performing their respective duties and obligations. Southwestern Composite Tech. Corp.
v. Americus Sumter Payroll Devt. Auth., 239 Ga. App. 342, 344(2) (1999).
9. Court will not superimpose a requirement of reasonableness on withholding of
consent, however, where lease does not require reasonableness in exercising this
privilege. Vaswani v. Wohletz, 196 Ga. App. 676 (1990). But where lease creates a
reasonableness standard as to consent, either expressly or impliedly, court will enforce it.
Sun Ins. Servs., Inc. v. 260 Peachtree St., Inc., 192 Ga. App. 482, 482-83(2) (1989);
Stern's Gallery of Gifts, Inc. v. Corporate Prop. Investors, Inc., 176 Ga. App. 586, 594
(1985). For review of out-of-state decisions, see id. at 594-96.

C. Lease Renewals v. Extensions (including tenancies at will)


1. Distinction: Generally, renewal contemplates a new contract, while extension
does not. E.G.L., Landlord Tenant, 35; Pitman v. Griffeth, 131 Ga. App. 489, 493
(1974); Chalkey v. Ward, 119 Ga. App. 227 (1969). See also Linch v. McNeil Real
Estate Fund, 146 Ga. App. 505 (1978).
2. Renewal document to be effective must specify renewal terms/conditions with
such certainty that court may determine what has been agreed upon. CM3, Inc. v.
Associated Realty Investors/Prado, 201 Ga. App. 428 (1991).
3. Where lease for stated period at stated rent contains a renewal option that fails
to state new term or amount of rent, option provides tenant right to renew for similar term
at same rent. Thornton v. Ellis, 184 Ga. App. 884 (1987).
4. Where tenant continues to occupy premises after expiration of lease, lease is
not renewed or extended. Tenancy at will ordinarily is created. Krueger v. Paul, 141 Ga.
App. 73 (1977) (tenant failed to invoke contractual right to renew for prescribed term).
But if landlord terminated lease on grounds other than nonpayment of rent, tenant holding
over is a tenant at sufferance, even if landlord continues to accept rent. Solon Automated
Servs., Inc. v. Corporation of Mercer Univ., 221 Ga. App. 856, 859-860 (1996).
5. Purported extension agreement that includes no definite term is ineffective to
extend the lease, thus creates only a tenancy at will. Mariner Health Care, Inc. v. Foster,
280 Ga. App. 406, 409 (2006).
6. Tenant at will by virtue of holding over after expiration of lease term is
subject to general terms and conditions in original lease, including rental amount, except
insofar as modified by mutual agreement. Gully v. Glover, 190 Ga. App. 238 (1989);
Colonial Self Storage Etc., Inc. v. Concord Props., Inc., 147 Ga. App. 493 (1978).

[G]eneral terms and conditions of a lease are those indispensable to a continuing


landlord/tenant relationship; at a minimum, provisions for rent and repairs. Mariner
Health Care, Inc. v. Foster, 280 Ga. App. 406, 409 (2006) (citation omitted) (provision
for right of first refusal in parties lease did not survive as a term or condition into postlease tenancy at will).

IV. TENANT'S RIGHT TO POSSESSION


STATUTORY EVICTION PROCESS

AND

TO

A. Tenant's Right to Possession


1. Tenant, by definition, obtains from landlord the right to possess and use real
property. O.C.G.A. 44-7-1.
a. Absent express disclaimer, lease creates an implied warranty from
landlord that premises are open for tenants entry. Jenkins v. Smith, 92 Ga. App.
296 (1) (1955).
b. Remedies. [I]f possession is then wrongfully withheld from the
lessee, he can maintain an appropriate action against the lessor, or can at his
option repudiate the contract and bring an action for damages for its breach.
Baxley v. Davenport, 75 Ga. App. 659, 662 (1947) (citation omitted).
c. Tenants right to possess includes right to control premises without
interference from landlord. Thus "[i]n the absence of a special contract, the
landlord has no right to forbid a person to go upon the premises in the possession
of a tenant, by the latter's permission and for a lawful purpose." Gomez v. Julian
LeCraw & Co., 269 Ga. App. 576, 577 (2004) (citation omitted).
2. Landlords limited right of entry. Landlord has no right to enter premises
without tenant's permission, except if agreement to the contrary. Colquitt v. Rowland,
265 Ga. 905 (1995) (dicta, citing earlier cases); Livaditis v. American Cas. Co., 117 Ga.
App. 297, 301 (1968); Howell Gas of Athens, Inc. v. Coile, 112 Ga. App. 732, 739
(1965). Unauthorized intrusion of landlord constitutes trespass against tenant to same
extent as intrusion by a stranger. University Apts., Inc. v. Uhler, 84 Ga. App. 720 (1951).

B. Tenants Termination, Surrender and Abandonment


1. One class of tenants may terminate residential leases unilaterally, even
without any protective provision in lease. Active duty service members with post-7/1/05
leases who are required to move into government housing, or more than 35 miles away,
may follow procedures spelled out in O.C.G.A. 44-7-22.

2. Other tenants may not surrender unilaterally. To be effective, surrender must


be accompanied by landlord's agreement to retake possession of premises, or such
circumstances as compel conclusion that landlord consented to retake possession
(accepted surrender). Vaswani v. Wohletz, 196 Ga. App. 676 (1990). Generally, see
Pindar, Ga. Real Estate Law and Procedure, 11-37.
3. Mere failure to pay rent (after vacating premises) would not necessarily
constitute an abandonment and surrender of tenants leasehold interest. Smiway, Inc. v.
DOT, 178 Ga. App. 414, 418 (1986). See also Dawkins, 5-1; Noble v. Bethlehem
Hous. Auth., 617 F.Supp. 248 (E.D. Pa. 1985).
4. Landlord's mere possession of premises vacated by tenant does not constitute
acceptance of tenants surrender or abandonment. Landlord may (1) terminate lease, or
(2) obtain another tenant while holding original tenant liable for any deficiency, or (3)
permit premises to remain vacant while collecting rent from original tenant. Lawson v.
Crawford, 220 Ga. App. 447 (1996). Thus, absent contrary provision in lease, landlord is
not required to mitigate damages, i.e. relet to prevent losses, after tenant abandons
premises. Shaheen & Co. v. Dickson, 207 Ga. App. 328 (1993); Kimber v. Towne Hills
Devt. Corp., 156 Ga. App. 401, 402 (1) (1980) (residential lease).
5. If upon tenants abandonment, however, landlord exercises control over
premises inconsistent with tenant's right of occupation, lease is canceled and tenant is
discharged from any subsequent rent liability. Erfani v. Bishop, 251 Ga. App. 20, 22-23
(2001) (landlord changed locks). See also Wright v. Kilgo, 212 Ga. 712, 714 (1956) ("If
a landlord relets the premises, without notice to the tenant that it is on his account, it
dispenses with a formal surrender on the part of the tenant"); but see Love v. McDevitt,
114 Ga. App. 734 (1966) (lease provided otherwise). Also see Lawson v. Crawford, 220
Ga. App. 447, 448 (1996) (even if landlord uses premises for some limited storage while
seeking replacement tenant, original tenant may remain liable for rent during such use).
6. Furthermore, if tenant offers to surrender possession to the landlord, and the
landlord thereafter remains in possession or exercises a control over the premises
inconsistent with the tenant's right of occupation, he thereby discharges the tenant from
liability for future rent, and a cancellation or rescission of the contract is thus effected by
agreement of the parties, express or implied. Vineyard Village-Georgia, Inc. v. Crum,
136 Ga. App. 335, 337 (1975) (citations omitted).
7. Landlords successful prosecution of dispossessory and eviction of tenant for
nonpayment of rent terminates lease, barring landlord from recovering any additional rent
payments. Bentley-Kessinger, Inc. v. Jones, 186 Ga. App. 466 (1988) (full court).
8. See also Section XVI.F.

C. Requirements to Use Dispossessory Process

1. A dispossessory proceeding is landlords remedy to evict a tenant. State Auto.


Mut. Ins. Co. v. Thomson, 180 Ga. App. 90 (1986). For the statutory prerequisites to
evict, see California Fed. S & L Assn. v. Day, 193 Ga. App. 690 (1989).
2. Landlord and tenant may not, in a residential lease, waive or otherwise avoid
eviction by means of dispossessory process. O.C.G.A. 44-7-2(b)(4). But see Hall v.
VNB Mtge. Corp., 170 Ga. App. 867 (1984) (consent order might resolve a pending
dispossessory proceeding by authorizing immediate issuance of a writ, without further
notice or hearing, if tenant failed to pay rent arrearages timely).
3. Other issues.
a. For claim of illegal eviction based on execution of dispossessory writ,
see Trawick v. Consolidated Cap. Growth Fund, 156 Ga. App. 764 (1980); see
also Smith v. Republic Realty Serv., Inc., 216 Ga. App. 736 (1995) (no malicious
eviction claim where no evidence landlord evicted wilfully and maliciously with
lawful writ). See also Georgia v. Sanks, 225 Ga. 88, 91 (1969), appeal dismissed,
401 U.S. 144 (1971); Cannon v. Laing, 153 Ga. 88 (1922). Illegal eviction claim
cannot be employed as a collateral attack against issuance of the writ, see Han v.
Trend Mgmt. Group, 194 Ga. App. 265 (1990).
b. Criminal trespass action does not lie against tenant for holding over.
Davis v. State, 147 Ga. App. 107 (1978).

V. ILLEGAL EVICTIONS AND LANDLORD'S OTHER


WRONGFUL ACTS
A. Wrongful Interference with a Tenancy:
Wrongful Interference with a tenancy is any act that interferes with tenant's use or
enjoyment of premises and personal property.
1. Illegal eviction.
a. Landlord may not lawfully oust tenant by "self-help" measures, but
must use dispossessory process. Entelman v. Haygood, 95 Ga. 390 (1895).
Unlawful action includes indirect attempts to evict forcibly. Moseley v. Rambo,
106 Ga. 597, 606(4) (1898) (roof removed).
b. Illegal eviction may occur without physical force. Sinclair Ref. Co. v.
Stovall, 41 Ga. App. 214 (1) (1929) (duress and intimidation found in making
demand for possession under threat of immediate dispossession).
2. Whatever the legal status of premises occupant, landlord must use lawful
process. Maslia v. Hall, 121 Ga. App. 740 (1970). Landlord must use lawful process
(intruder's warrant or injunction), even to evict intruders or trespassers. Kerlin v. Lane

Co., 165 Ga. App. 622, 624-25 (1983); Allison v. Hodo, 84 Ga. App. 790 (1951). For
intruder's warrants, see O.C.G.A. 44-11-30 et seq. For other remedies, see Mackenzie
v. Minis, 132 Ga. 323, 333-34 (1900). Damages recoverable where landowner interferes
with possession of trespasser. Bass v. West, 110 Ga. 698 (1900).
3. Claims
a. Illegal eviction and related landlord conduct may give rise to
intentional tort claims, see next section.
b. Apartment manager who participates with owner in wrongful eviction
also may be liable, as a joint tortfeasor. Murray v. Thompson, 149 Ga. App. 852
(1979).
c. Landlord will be liable in tort (nondelegable duty) even if landlord's
independent contractor dispossesses tenant in violation of statutory requirements.
Owens v. BarclaysAmerican/Mtge. Corp., 218 Ga. App. 160 (1995).

B. Causes of Action for Unlawful Eviction


1. Constructive eviction
a. Requires actual expulsion of tenant or some act by landlord of grave
and permanent character, with intent to deprive tenant of enjoyment of premises.
Act is considered grave if it renders premises untenantable or unfit for use and
benefit of tenant in accomplishing one or more substantial purposes of the lease.
Any act that so affects tenant's enjoyment of premises that it results in
relinquishment of them may be a constructive eviction also. Sunamerica Fin., Inc.
v. 260 Peachtree St., Inc., 202 Ga. App. 790, 794 (1992).
b. Raised in utility (water) termination case. Roberts v. Roberts, 205 Ga.
App. 371 (1992). But see Delta Cleaner Supp. Co. v. Mendel Drive Assocs., 286
Ga. App. 227, 229 (2007) (no claim because no permanent interference with
possession).
2. Interference with Quiet Enjoyment
a. Landlord who physically interferes with tenants enjoyment of use of
premises commits tort. Lewis v. Rickenbaker, 174 Ga. App. 371, 373-75 (4)
(1985) (erection of fence restricting access); Albert Props., Inc. v. Watkins, 143
Ga. App. 184 (1977) (removal of front door); Townsend Etc. Enterprises v. W.R.
Bean & Son, 117 Ga. App. 109, 111 (2) (1968) (removal of portion of roof); Ivey
v. Davis, 81 Ga. App. 598 (1950) (removal of porch and steps); Smith v.
Hightower, 80 Ga. App. 293 (1949) (removal of roof). See also O.C.G.A. 519-1, 51-9-3.

b. Deprivation of premises not required: Albert Props., Inc. v. Watkins,


143 Ga. App. 184 (1977); Smith v. Hightower, 80 Ga. App. 293 (1949).
3. Trespass
a. Landlord who physically intrudes on tenant's premises without
permission commits trespass. O.C.G.A. 51-9-1, 51-9-3; Swift Loan & Fin. Co.
v. Duncan, 195 Ga. App. 556 (1990); Johnson v. Howard, 92 Ga. App. 96 (1955).
Landlord may not forcibly dispossess tenant without subjecting himself to action
for trespass even if tenant is holding over beyond term, is in arrears on rent, and
has received legal notice to vacate. Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga.
App. 556 (1990).
b. Deprivation of premises not required.
4. Unlawful Utility Termination
a. Unlawful for landlord to terminate tenant's utilities knowingly and
willfully prior to final disposition of dispossessory. Subjects landlord to criminal
fine not exceeding $500.00. O.C.G.A. 44-7-14.1.
b. Statute arguably supports civil liability. Cf. Roberts v. Roberts, 205
Ga. App. 371, 372(2) (1992) (not mentioning statute, but approving civil claim for
constructive eviction because of utility termination).
5. Conversion (where landlord unlawfully retains or appropriates tenants
personal property).
a. Landlord has no right to retain tenant's personal property unless
abandoned. May not retain for nonpayment of rent, except through distress
warrant pursuant to O.C.G.A. 44-7-70 et seq. Unlawful retention is tortious
interference with property and may subject landlord to actual and punitive
damages. Messmore v. Roth, 185 Ga. App. 862 (1988). Nor may landlord retain
domestic fixtures, nor interfere with tenant's right to remove. Raymond v.
Strickland, 124 Ga. 504 (1905). For landlords removal of tenants trailer from
leased premises, see Spooner v. Lossiah, 185 Ga. App. 876 (1988).
b. Where landlord enters premises without authority and converts tenant's
property after tenant answers dispossessory, tenant may recoup damages for
conversion in defense to the dispossessory. Beveridge v. Simmerville, 26 Ga.
App. 373 (1920).
6. Malicious use/abuse of dispossessory process. See Sections IV.C, VI.F.

7. Landlord's threats to evict unlawfully may amount to intentional infliction of


emotional harm. See Marcelli v. Teasley, 72 Ga. App. 421 (1945). As to harassment of
tenant at sufferance after foreclosure, see Sanders v. Brown, 178 Ga. App. 447 (1986).

C. Remedies
1. Reasonable force. Tenant may use force reasonably necessary to prevent
landlord's illegal entry. Goerndt v. State, 144 Ga. App. 93 (1977) (full court).
2. Equitable Relief. Court may enjoin landlord from evicting unlawfully and
thereby preventing tenants right to contest possession in a pending dispossessory case.
Pitman v. Griffeth, 231 Ga. 136 (1973); Ward v. Walker, 222 Ga. 451 (1966). More
generally, an equity court may enjoin landlord from interfering with possession when
damages from prospective loss of possession cannot be calculated with accuracy. Deriso
v. Castleberry, 202 Ga. 174 (1947). Landlord who ousts tenant pending tenant's equitable
suit to enjoin lawful eviction does not moot case nor deprive court of jurisdiction. It may
still grant appropriate relief, including damages. Burell v. Pirkle, 156 Ga. 398 (1923).
3. Damages
a. Actual damages. Stephens v. Stephens, 220 Ga. 22 (1964); Roberts v.
Roberts, 205 Ga. App. 371 (1992); Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga.
App. 556 (1990).
b. Mental distress, humiliation, and embarrassment. Ivey v. Davis, 81
Ga. App. 598 (1950); Marcelli v. Teasley, 72 Ga. App. 421 (1945).
c. Punitive damages where appropriate, including for trespass and
wrongful eviction. Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga. App. 556 (1990);
Collins v. Baker, 51 Ga. App. 669 (1935). For example, landlord's removal of
tenant's property into yard instead of suitable storage place aggravated wrongful
ouster, regardless of manner in which furniture was removed, and authorized
punitive damages. Allison v. Hodo, 84 Ga. App. 790 (1951).

VI. DISPOSSESSORY (EVICTION) PROCESS


A. History and Strict Construction:
Dispossessory is a special statutory proceeding, in Georgia laws since 1827. Hodkinson
v. Maloof, 137 Ga. App. 602 (1976). History of statute. Hicks v. Beacham, 131 Ga. 89,
91-92 (1908).
1. Historically, dispossessory proceedings main purpose was simply to
determine possession. Collection of rent was incidental. Healey Real Estate & Co. v.

Wilson, 74 Ga. App. 63, 65-66 (1946). This notion continues in limited form even today.
For example, once possession is no longer is an issue, parties may agree that statutory
provisions to expedite decision about possession will not control pace of proceedings on
other issues. America Net, Inc. v. U.S. Cover, Inc., 243 Ga. App. 204, 206 (2000).
2. Absent any indication of contrary legislative intent, when provisions of
dispossessory statute and those of general statute conflict, the former will prevail. Henry
v. Wild Pines Apts., 177 Ga. App. 576 (1986).
3. Courts abhor forfeiture of right to defend aginst dispossession. In general,
courts favor adjudication of litigation on merits. Retail Union Health & Welfare Fund v.
Seabrum, 240 Ga. 695, 697 n.1 (1978).
4. All requirements for effectuating dispossessory must be strictly construed and
observed. Skelton v. Hill Aircraft & Leasing Corp., 175 Ga. App. 144 (1985) (venue);
Brown v. Cobb Fed. S&L Assn, 116 Ga. App. 766 (1967) (same). However, erroneous
announced deadline to answer summons not a problem where tenant actually answered
and defenses were considered on merits. Adams v. Wright, 242 Ga. 330 (1978).
5. Nominally, affidavit requirements to swear out dispossessory warrant must be
adhered to strictly. O.C.G.A. 44-7-50; Young v. Cowles, 128 Ga. App. 770 (1973)
(officer administering oath); see also Ga. Jur., Property 31:13. In practice, however,
court may allow amendments to satisfy statutory affidavit or pleading requirements for a
dispossessory. Green v. Carver State Bank, 178 Ga. App. 798 (1986); Skelton v. Hill
Aircraft & Leasing Corp., 175 Ga. App. 144 (1985). Dispossessory summons may be
amended if no material prejudice to tenant. Tampa Pipeline Corp. v. City Mills Co., 216
Ga. App. 783 (1995).

B. Relationship requirement.
1. Dispossessory proceeding lies only where landlord-tenant relationship exists
between Plaintiff and Defendant. Roberts v. Graham, 98 Ga. App. 309 (1958); Crain v.
Daniel, 79 Ga. App. 647 (1949); Hamilton v. Darden, 79 Ga. App. 554 (1940). Some
cases phrase this as a privity requirement. See, e.g., Ray v. Holden, 62 Ga. App. 554,
555 (1939).
2. Lack of a landlord-tenant relationship is a proper defense to a dispossessory.
Wilbanks v. Arthur, 257 Ga. App. 226, 227 (2002) (tenant argued landlords loss of title
through adverse possession); Thomas v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592
(1991) (tenant claimed fraud in factum); but see Browning v. Fed. Home Loan Mtge.
Corp., 210 Ga. App. 115 (1993) (dispo answer failed to contradict allegation of tenancy
at sufferance).
3. Burden to establish landlord-tenant relationship is on the plaintiff landlord.
McNeill v. Smith, 76 Ga. App. 426 (1948); Caffey v. Pattillo, 64 Ga. App. 382, 85
(1941).

C. Procedure.
1. Authority of magistrate judge to hear dispossessory by appointment to sit as
state court judge. Marsh v. RTC, 211 Ga. App. 216 (1993).
2. Applicability of Civil Practice Act (CPA) to dispossessory proceedings
generally: O.C.G.A. 9-11-81; Trust Co. Bank v. Shaw, 182 Ga. App. 165 (1987).
3. Applicability of CPA to Magistrate Court dispossessories in particular:
O.C.G.A. 15-10-42; Howe v. Roberts, 259 Ga. 617 (1989).

D. Parties
1. The only proper parties to a dispossessory are landlord and tenant. Green v.
Carver State Bank, 178 Ga. App. 798, 800 (1986) (declining to allow other persons
under whom the tenant claimed possession to be made parties defendant).
2. Plaintiff's name must import a legal entity. Generally, landlord's name on
dispossessory affidavit must import a legal entity, or dispossessory proceeding is void ab
initio. Russell v. O'Donnell, 132 Ga. App. 294 (1974). For some exceptions and further
discussion, see Dawkins, Ga. Landlord & Tenant, 5-8; Vickers v. Merry Land & Invest.
Co., 263 Ga. App. 316, 318 (2003) (collateral estoppel applies after writ of possession
issues). See also Block v. Voyager Life Ins. Co., 251 Ga. 162, 163 (1983) (The Civil
Practice Act requires that a suit be filed by a real party in interest but allows for
amendment to substitute the real party in interest if incorrectly named.).
3. A tenant whose name is not known may be designated a defendant by any
pseudonym (i.e. John Doe); and when true name is discovered, pleading may be amended
accordingly. O.C.G.A. 9-11-10(a). A John Doe tenant after good service should
answer as a designated defendant, rather than intervene. See Browning v. Federal Home
Loan Mtge. Corp., 210 Ga. App. 115 (1993).
4. Intervention claiming actual tenancy: By remaining spouse, Braddy v. Dessau
Realty & Ins. Co., 148 Ga. App. 589 (1978). By purported tenant in actual possession,
Virginia Highland Assocs. v. Allen, 174 Ga. App. 706 (1985).
5. Landlord's death: suspension of proceedings. Ethridge v. Thurmond, 174 Ga.
App. 741 (1985).

E. Legal Representation:
Only licensed attorneys may represent corporations in proceedings in courts of record.
Temp-N-Around Med. Resources, Inc. v. Avondale Joint Venture, 248 Ga. App. 231
(2001); Eckles v. Atlanta Technology Group, Inc., 267 Ga. 801 (1997); see also Winzer
v. EHCA Dunwoody, LLC, 277 Ga. App. 710, 713-14 (2006) (extending same principle

to representation of limited liability companies). Practice of law includes representing


parties in court and preparing pleadings or other papers incident to actions or special
proceedings, such as dispossessory actions. O.C.G.A. 15-19-50; Hummingbird Props.,
Inc. v. Arnita Scott, Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Civil Action No. 95ed0232572
(6-6-95).

F. Landlord's Malicious Use of Dispossessory Process:


See Johnson v. Monumental Props., Inc., 141 Ga. App. 151 (1977); McSwain v. Edge, 6
Ga. App. 9 (1909). For separate tort of malicious abuse of dispossessory process, see
Trawick v. Consolidated Cap. Growth Fund, 156 Ga. App. 764, 766-67 (2) (1980).
1. Both of these traditional torts now appear to have been absorbed by, and
superseded by, abusive litigation claims. O.C.G.A. 51-7-80 et seq.; O.C.G.A. 9-1514; Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga. App. 556 (1990); but see Augusta Tennis
Club, Inc. v. Leger, 186 Ga. App. 440, 442-43(2) (1988) (rejecting claims based on all
versions of these torts).
2. Eviction may be malicious if writ is executed based on landlord's wilful and
malicious, not negligent, failure to acknowledge tenant's payment. Smith v. Republic
Realty Serv., Inc., 216 Ga. App. 736 (1995).
3. Upon lawful execution of writ of possession, landlord may designate any
location for displacement of tenants personal property (so long as executing officer
approves), without becoming a bailee or having any further duty toward that property.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-55(c).

G. Relationship of Dispossessory Proceedings to Superior Court Action


1. If tenant files superior court action contesting landlords title or other right in
property, superior court may enjoin any dispossessory pending in another court. Coffey
Enterprises Realty & Devt. Co. v. Holmes, 233 Ga. 937 (1975); Hyman v. Leathers, 168
Ga. App. 112 (1983).
2. Alternatively, if the superior court action was filed first, tenant may simply
ask the dispossessory court to abate its proceedings, pending resolution of the claims in
superior court. O.C.G.A. 9-2-44; Williams-East, Inc. v. Weeks, 156 Ga. App. 861
(1981) (describing required procedure); Schoen v. Home Fed. S & L Assn., 154 Ga. App.
68 (1980); see also Atlanta Airmotive, Inc. v. Newnan-Coweta Airport Auth., 208 Ga.
App. 906 (1993) (prior suit seeking declaration of rights under lease was grounds to abate
later dispossessory).

VII. GROUNDS FOR EVICTION


A. Listing of Grounds.
1. Potential grounds for eviction are: (a) holding over beyond term of the lease;
or (b) failure to pay rent; or (c) tenancy at will or at sufferance. O.C.G.A. 44-7-50.
2. Historical development. Hicks v. Beacham, 131 Ga. 89 (1908).

B. Failure to pay rent when due (required action by landlord):


May v. Poole, 174 Ga. App. 224, 227 (1985) (demand for possession required); Metro
Mgmt. Co. v. Parker, 247 Ga. 625 (1981) (termination of lease not required). See also
Perimeter Mall, Inc. v. Retail Sense, Inc., 162 Ga. App. 465 (1982) (notice of default not
required).

C. Holding over beyond term (or termination) of lease or rental


agreement.
1. Lease or rental agreement must have expired or been terminated properly,
before landlord may evict for holding over. Pertillo v. Forest Ridge Ltd., 166 Ga. App.
552 (1983) (premature demand for possession); Wig Fashions, Inc. v. A-T-O Props., Inc.
145 Ga. App. 325 (1978) (termination must be unconditional and unequivocal); Stepp v.
Richman, 75 Ga. App. 169 (1947) (landlords burden of proof).
2. Termination. Landlord may not terminate lease or rental agreement except on
grounds for termination expressly provided therein. Pritchett v. King, 56 Ga. App. 788
(1937); Rakestraw v. Lubbock, 26 Ga. App. 330 (2) (1920). See also Housing Auth. of
Atlanta v. Green, 169 Ga. App. 211 (1983) (public housing lease); Davis v. State, 147
Ga. App. 107, 108 (1978) (criminal trespass action). However, landlord retains inherent
right to terminate even in absence of violation of express lease provision, where breach is
so substantial and fundamental as to defeat an object of lease. Nunn v. Taylor, 177 Ga.
App. 44 (1985) (tenant allowed property to deteriorate).
a. Forfeitures not favored. Hicks v. Beacham, 131 Ga. 89 (1908).
b. In cases of doubt whether tenants actions result in termination under
lease, resolve in favor of tenant. Oastler v. Wright, 201 Ga. 649, 652 (1946); C &
A Land Co. v. Rudolf Invest. Corp., 163 Ga. App. 832, 834 (1982).
c. Lease termination provisions will be strictly interpreted and strictly
enforced. Peachtree on Peachtree Investors, Ltd. v. Reed Drug Co., 251 Ga. 692
(1983).

3. Form of Notice.
a. Termination notice need not be in any particular form nor employ any
particular words in order to be valid, but must be so certain that tenant cannot
reasonably misunderstand it. Pitman v. Griffeth, 131 Ga. App. 489 (1974).
b. When forfeiture of lease depends on giving written notice of default,
default must have occurred, and notice must be in strict compliance with lease as
to both time and contents. Littman v. Suburban Opticians, 244 Ga. 702 (1979);
Woodall v. Pharr, 119 Ga. App. 692 (1969). But see Baker v. Housing Auth. of
Savannah, 152 Ga. App. 64 (1979) (13-day termination notice, given pursuant to
lease requiring 14-day termination, was allowed to take effect after 14 days).
c. A termination notice to a public housing tenant must state reason(s) for
termination with enough specificity as to nature of grounds relied upon to allow
tenant to reply effectively, and must disclose tenants right to request a grievance
hearing. Housing Auth. of DeKalb County v. Pyrtle, 167 Ga. App. 181 (1983).
For Section 8 termination notices, see Hill v. Paradise Apts., Inc., 182 Ga. App.
834 (1987) (harmless error rule); Smith v. Hendrix, 162 Ga. App. 299 (1982)
(same).
4. Other considerations
a. All key phrases of forfeiture provision must be given effect. Mendel
v. Pinkard, 108 Ga. App. 128, 134 (1963).
b. Notice of termination is distinct from notice of default. Swim Dixie
Pool Corp. v. Kraemer, 157 Ga. App. 748, 751-52 (3) (1981).
c. New termination notice does not revive tenancy terminated by prior
notice. Jones v. Atlanta Hous. Auth., 148 Ga. App. 605 (1979). See also Dublin
Pub, Inc. v. Mutual Life Ins. Co., 191 Ga. App. 677, 679(3) (1989).
d. Estoppel: landlord may be estopped from terminating tenancy, in
order to prevent injustice to tenant, under appropriate circumstances. West View
Corp. v. Thunderbolt Yacht Basin, Inc., 208 Ga. 93, 96 (1951); Deriso v.
Castleberry, 202 Ga. 174 (1947); Sikes v. Carter, 30 Ga. App. 539 (1923).
e. Landlord also may waive right to terminate, by its actions. Williams
v. Paradise Mgmt., Inc., 187 Ga. App. 292 (1988) (where HUD-subsidized
landlord's termination notice to zero rent tenant did not specify failure to pay rent
as reason for termination, evidence of rent non-payment inadmissible); Housing
Auth. of Decatur v. Brown, 180 Ga. App. 483, 485 (1986) (failure to invoke right
to terminate promptly based on a breach may waive termination for that breach);
Chalkey v. Ward, 119 Ga. App. 227 (1969) (acceptance of subsequent rent
prevents landlord from terminating for prior breach; see also Section XIV.E).

f. Tenants bankruptcy petition may cure violation of HUD-subsidized


lease. In Re Yardley, 77 B.R. 643 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1987). See also Memo
456.
g. Where lease required notice of default with reasonable opportunity to
cure, jury issue was presented as to whether notice was sufficient where directed
to tenant's attorney. Brackett v. Cartwright, 231 Ga. App. 536, 538(2) (1998).

D. Tenancy at Will.
1. 60 days notice by landlord (or 30 days notice by tenant) necessary to
terminate a tenancy at will. O.C.G.A. 44-7-7.
a. By the same token, landlord is not entitled to demand rent for first
time, nor change any rental term, until 60 days after notice of change. Auburn
Maranatha Inst., Inc. v. Georgia Korean Church, 232 Ga. App. 415, 417 (1998).
b. Purported one-day notice (of rent increase) was in substantial
compliance, but did not take effect as a matter of law until after 60 days.
Alexander v. Steining, 197 Ga. App. 328, 332 (1990). (Earlier decisions, strictly
requiring 60-day termination notice, were not overruled expressly. See Mattox v.
Chapman, 67 Ga. App. 465 (1942); Byrne v. Bearden, 27 Ga. App. 149 (1921).)
c. Verbal 60 day notice to tenant's attorney is sufficient.
Central Oil Co., 74 Ga. App. 349 (1946).

Farlow v.

2. For temporary extension of tenancy after 60 day notice, see Kenney v. Pitts,
73 Ga. App. 450, 451 (1946).

E. Tenancy at Sufferance
1. Termination Rights
a. Tenant entitled to demand notice (see below) prior to eviction.
California Fed. S & L Assn. v. Day, 193 Ga. App. 690 (1989); Hill v. Kitchens,
39 Ga. App. 789, 790(5) (1929).
b. Tenant at sufferance after foreclosure must be evicted through
dispossessory process, but subject to owner's right to enter. Simple entry by new
owner/landlord is not a trespass. Sanders v. Brown, 178 Ga. App. 447, 448-49
(1986).
2. Tenant holding over is liable for reasonable rental value, irrespective of rental
amount during term of lease or rental agreement. Hall v. VNB Mtge. Corp., 170 Ga.

App. 867 (1984); Sinclair Ref. Co. v. Davis, 47 Ga. App. 601 (1933); Jefferson v.
Kennedy, 41 Ga. App. 672 (1930). So, landlord terminated from Section 8 Existing
Housing for failure to maintain housing quality standards must prove reasonable rental
value against tenant holding over after expiration of Section 8 lease.

VIII. DEMAND FOR POSSESSION (NOTICE TO VACATE)


A. Statutory Pre-Filing Requirement.
1. Demand for possession required prior to filing an eviction warrant. O.C.G.A.
44-7-50. Metro Mgmt. Co. v. Parker, 247 Ga. 625 (1981); Trumpet v. Brown, 215 Ga.
App. 299 (1994); May v. Poole, 174 Ga. App. 224, 227 (1985); Housing Auth. of Atlanta
v. Berryhill, 146 Ga. App. 374 (1978); Terrell v. Griffith, 129 Ga. App. 675 (1973).
Demand sent after filing of dispossessory is insufficient. Id.
2. Each claim for possession (ground for dispossession) pressed in litigation
must be supported by proper, timely demand. Whipper v. Kirk, 156 Ga. App. 218
(1980). Demand during litigation may be timely and sufficient as to an amended claim
even if landlord made no relevant demand prior to dispossessory. Proffitt v. Housing
Systems, Inc., 154 Ga. App. 114 (1980).
3. Housing Authoritys demand for possession may be provided concurrently
with federally required notice of termination, in a separate writing. O.C.G.A. 44-750(b).
4. Showing demand is not part of the landlord's prima facie proof. Able Craft,
Inc. v. Bradshaw, 167 Ga. App. 725 (1983). If lack of demand is not asserted in answer,
proof of demand is not required, and tenant may be foreclosed from presenting evidence
on the issue. Lunsford Co. v. Klingenberg, 138 Ga. App. 791 (1976). Tenant's failure to
deny demand raises a presumption that demand was made, which presumption may be
rebutted by appropriate trial testimony, if landlord does not object. Jet Air, Inc. v.
Management/USA, Inc., 180 Ga. App. 648 (1986). Where landlords evidence showed
no demand, tenant was entitled to judgment even though answer did not raise a lack-ofdemand defense. May v. Poole, 174 Ga. App. 224, 227 (1985).

B. Requirements for effective demand


1. Valid demand may occur only when or after lease or rental agreement has
actually terminated: Trumpet v. Brown, 215 Ga. App. 299 (1994); Booker v. Trizec
Props., Inc., 184 Ga. App. 782 (1987); Wig Fashions, Inc. v. A-T-O Props., Inc., 145 Ga.
App. 325 (1978).
2. For helpful discussion of demand procedures, see Sandifer v. Long Investors,
Inc., 211 Ga. App. 757 (1994) (may be oral; must be actual or constructive delivery;

inference created that tenant gave consent, at time of lease, to constructive delivery of
demand by mailing to premises).
3. Demand notice valid even though it also contains request for payment of past
due rent. Twin Tower Joint Venture v. American Marketing & Comms. Corp., 166 Ga.
App. 364 (1983); Harkins v. Boyd, 136 Ga. App. 365 (1975).
4. Notice telling tenant to vacate if past due rent not paid in 3 days is valid
demand for possession. Sandifer v. Long Investors, Inc., 211 Ga. App. 757 (1994).
5. Validity of AHA demand letter: Stephens v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 163
Ga. App. 97 (1982).
6. Tenant agreement to vacate by specified date does not operate as or substitute
for demand. Jett v. Wolfe, 75 Ga. App. 155 (1) (1947); Beveridge v. Simmerville, 26 Ga.
App. 373, 373(4) (1920). But bankruptcy courts consent order, incorporating agreement
to vacate premises and to lift stay against future dispossessory action, may evidence
demand. Green Room, Inc. v. Confederation Life Ins. Co., 215 Ga. App. 221 (1994).
7. Demand letter addressed to two tenant defendants, but read by only one, is
sufficient demand. Ranger v. First Family Mtge. Corp., 176 Ga. App. 715 (1985).
8. Demand made on tenant's attorney may be valid, Proffitt v. Housing Systems,
Inc., 154 Ga. App. 114 (1980).

C. Effect of Invalid Demand


1. Failure to make proper demand defeats entire dispossessory action. Metro
Mgmt. Co. v. Parker, 247 Ga. 625 (1981); May v. Poole, 174 Ga. App. 224, 227 (1985);
Able Craft, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 167 Ga. App. 725 (1983); and virtually all demand cases.
Contra, Pertillo v. Forest Ridge, Ltd., 166 Ga. App. 552 (1983) (such failure did not
defeat landlords claim for money). In Pertillo, tenant's counsel apparently failed to
argue that judgment for rent should not have been issued due to failure to make demand.
2. Demand nevertheless is unnecessary where it would be futile. Ranger v. First
Family Mtge. Corp., 176 Ga. App. 715 (1985); Henderson v. Colony West, Ltd., 175
Ga. App. 676 (1985); Hyman v. Leathers, 168 Ga. App. 112 (1983); Moore v.
Collins, 36 Ga. App. 701 (1927).

IX. OTHER EVICTION PREREQUISITES;


ACTIONS; PROPER FILING
A. Foreign Corporate Landlord

PENDING

1. Generally, a Certificate of Authority to operate in Georgia is a prerequisite to


legal action by a foreign corporation. O.C.G.A. 14-2-1501, 14-2-1502.
2.

Exceptions to certification requirement. O.C.G.A. 14-2-1501(b).

B. Regulatory Licenses
1. Where a regulatory measure requires licensure to operate, a person seeking to
recover upon a contract must prove both current licensing and licensing at time of
contract. Scoggins v Whitfield Fin. Co., 242 Ga. 416 (1978); Management Search Inc. v.
Kinard, 231 Ga. 26 (1973).
2. For example, Atlanta Housing Code 26 requires rooming house or boarding
house operators to obtain regulatory licenses. Arguably, some property managers who
collect rent for a fee must obtain a regulatory license. O.C.G.A. 43-40-1, 43-40-29.

C. Prior Pending Actions:


Pendency of a former dispossessory or related proceeding involving the same parties and
same cause of action shall be a defense to a later dispossessory. O.C.G.A. 9-2-5(a).
1. Similar actions. Schoen v. Home Fed. S & L Assn., 154 Ga. App. 68 (1980);
Terrell v. Griffith, 129 Ga. App. 675 (1973); McMillan v. Rodgers, 32 Ga. App. 647
(1924).
2. This defense should be raised by plea in abatement in second dispossessory.
Dickens v. First Cap. Inc. Prop., 187 Ga. App. 607 (1988). Duplicative actions are not a
ground for affirmative relief. Hose v. Jason Prop. Mgmt. Co., 178 Ga. App. 661 (1986).
3. Defense of abatement is substantively unavailable if court in first action had
no power to issue relief later requested in second action. Bhindi Bros. v. Patel, 275 Ga.
App. 143, 146-47 (2005) (earlier dispossessory court had no power to consider rent issue
where service was by nail-and-mail and tenant defaulted; see below).

X. SERVICE
A. Means of Service. O.C.G.A. 44-7-51(a).
1. Tack and mail service (also called nail and mail, or post and mail) may be
used, but the serving sheriff or marshal or constable first must make reasonable effort at
personal or substituted service. O.C.G.A. 44-7-51(a). A knock at the door in an
attempt to accomplish personal service is effort enough. Vickers v. Merry Land &

Invest. Co., 263 Ga. App. 316, 319 (2003). Tack service alone of dispossessory warrant
is unconstitutional. Green v. Lindsey, 456 U.S. 444 (1982).
2. The CPAs service provisions (O.C.G.A. 9-11-4) are available cumulatively.
Navaho Corp. v. Stuckey, 141 Ga. App. 271 (1977).
3. Service must be reasonably calculated to give notice under all attendant
circumstances. Davis v. Hybrid Indus., Inc., 142 Ga. App. 722 (1977); Sandifer v. Long
Investors, Inc., 211 Ga. App. 757 (1994).
4. An amended summons that changes (shortens) the time to answer must be
served with the same formalities required for an original summons. Tampa Pipeline
Corp. v. City Mills Co., 216 Ga. App. 783 (1995).

B. Where No Answer After Post and Mail Service.


1. Money judgment may not be awarded in unanswered dispossessory action
served by post and mail. Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Hudson, 250 Ga. App. 109 (1982).
2. Defense of abatement unavailable in landlords later suit for rent. Bhindi
Bros. v. Patel, 275 Ga. App. 143, 146-47 (2005).

XI. ANSWER DEFENSES AND COUNTERCLAIMS


A. Contents
1. May be oral and may contain "any legal or equitable defense or counterclaim."
O.C.G.A. 44-7-51(b).
2. Written answer need not be signed, Lamb v. Housing Auth. of Vidalia, 146
Ga. App. 786, 788 (1978); nor verified, Henry v. Wild Pines Apts., 177 Ga. App. 576
(1986).
3. What constitutes an answer is to be construed liberally. Hill v. Hill, 241 Ga.
218, 219 (1978) (effective answer whether or not [tenants] responses constitute legal
defenses to the warrant); see also Womack v. Columbus Rentals, Inc., 223 Ga. App.
501, 503(2) (1996); Henry v. Wild Pines Apts., 177 Ga. App. 576 (1986).
4. General denial constitutes denial of all material allegations, including demand.
Goolsby v. McNair, 97 Ga. App. 491 (1958).
5. Tenant may defend against dispossessory by disputing exististence of any
landlord-tenant relationship. Marshall v. Cozart, 94 Ga. App. 614, 617(1) (1956). For
example, defendant may show she holds possession in her own right, as purchaser, donee

or equitable owner. Griffeth v. Wilmore, 46 Ga. App. 96, 99(2) (1932); see also Thomas
v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592 (1991) (defendant claimed ownership,
challenging plaintiff's allegation that plaintiff was owner and defendant a tenant at
sufferance). Or defendant may show lack of landlord-tenant relationship because of
transfer or other loss of landlords title after creation of the tenancy. Holy Fellowship
Church of God v. Greater Travelers Rest Bapt. Church, 236 Ga. App. 177 (1999).
6. Tenant cannot defend against dispossessory by alleging defects in landlord's
title. Roberts v. Collins, 199 Ga. App. 614(2) (1991). Thus, for example, an answer
raising a challenge to foreclosure on the defendants property is ineffective to raise any
defense, and is subject to judgment on the pleadings for the forecloser/landlord. Womack
v. Columbus Rentals, Inc., 223 Ga. App. 501 (1996).

B. Answer Period
1. Seven-day answer period. O.C.G.A. 44 7 51(b). Right to answer until "end
of that day." Lamb v. Housing Auth. of Vidalia, 146 Ga. App. 786 (1978).
2. Even if defendant contends it is not a tenant and does not have to answer in
the capacity of a tenant, it still may be bound by the 7-day dispossessory answer period if
served with a complaint in dispossessory. Tauber v. Community Centers Two, LLC, 235
Ga. App. 705, 706(1) (1998) (defendants were guarantors on lease).
3. Untimely answer
a. Named defendant must answer, or else interested party must intervene
and answer within required period, in order to avoid default. 404 Music Group v.
Bass, 170 Ga. App. 113 (1984); Jones v. Cooke, 169 Ga. App. 516 (1984).
b. Failure to answer may result in an immediate writ of possession and
(except in tack and mail cases) entitles landlord to a default judgment for all rent
alleged due in dispossessory affidavit. O.C.G.A. 44-7-53(a).
c. No right to open default in dispossessory proceeding. Johnson v.
Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 198 Ga. App. 816 (1991); A.G. Spanos Devt., Inc. v.
Caras, 170 Ga. App. 243 (1984). For distinction between default and default
judgment, see Simons v. Equitec Prop. Co., 190 Ga. App. 804 (1989).
d. Dispossessory default may be set aside for cause. See Tauber v.
Community Centers Two, LLC, 235 Ga. App. 705, 706-07 (3) (1998) (no relief
on those facts); Memo 544.

C. Counterclaims

1. Tenant may raise any legal or equitable counterclaim. O.C.G.A. 44-7-51


(b); Mountain Hardwoods & Pine, Inc. v. Coosa River Sawmill Co., 233 Ga. 414 (1975).
2. Compulsory Counterclaims
a. In suit involving lease termination and past due rent, attempted set-off
of rent deposit is a compulsory counterclaim. American Med. Transp. Group v.
Glo-An, Inc., 235 Ga. App. 464, 467-68 (4) (1998).
b. In dispossessory for failure to pay rent, counterclaim for failure to
repair is compulsory. Trust Co. Bank v. Shaw, 182 Ga. App. 165, 166 (2) (1987).
c. Recent dicta suggest former owners attack on foreclosure procedure is
a compulsory counterclaim and may not be set up as a defense in dispossessory.
Bellamy v. FDIC, 236 Ga. App. 747, 749 (1999). Earlier cases stated that tenant
may not attack landlords title or challenge foreclosure in dispossessory. See,
e.g., Roberts v. Collins, 199 Ga. App. 614 (1991). Those earlier decisions may be
superseded because they were based on pre-1971 dispossessory statute, under
which tenant had no right to file a counterclaim.
d. Counterclaims in dispossessory which would be compulsory do not
become voluntary simply because they are beyond the trial courts jurisdiction.
Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745, 747(2) (2002).
e. Counterclaim is not compulsory in dispossessory if it does not arise
out of same facts as give rise to landlords claims for possession and/or rent.
Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745, 747-49 (1987).
3. See Section XIV.G.

D. Transfer to Another Court


1. Any court shall transfer to the appropriate court any civil case in which
jurisdiction or venue lies elsewhere. Georgia Const. 1983, Art. 6, Sec. 1, Para. 8.
2. Tenant may move to transfer dispossessory case based on lack of jurisdiction
or venue of court of filing. Uniform Transfer Rule T-4. Common basis of transfer is that
tenant asserts a counterclaim for equitable relief (e.g, an order to repair, or to set aside
foreclosure, or to resolve other contested ownership issues) in a non-equity court.
3. Trial court apparently has no duty on its own motion to transfer any
dispossessory proceeding presenting transferrable claims. Kappelmeier v. Household
Realty Corp., 265 Ga. App. 564(1) (2004).
4. See also Part XV.B., infra.

E. Supplemental Pleadings:
Supplemental Pleadings may set forth transactions, occurrences or events since date of
answer. Monumental Props., Inc. v. Johnson, 136 Ga. App. 39 (1975).

XII. PAYMENT OF PAST DUE AND CURRENT RENT AND


UTILITIES INTO COURT
A. In order to prevent a writ of possession, tenant may have to pay both
rent and utility payments into registry of court. O.C.G.A. 44-7-54.
1. Requirement includes allegedly past due and accruing rent and utility charges
payable by tenant to landlord. O.C.G.A. 44-7-54(a).
2. Payment does not have to be made with answer, even if tenant wishes to
maintain possession. Mountain Hardwoods & Pine, Inc. v. Coosa River Sawmill Co.,
233 Ga. 414 (1975); Lamb v. Housing Auth. of Vidalia, 146 Ga. App. 786, 788 (1978);
Cloud v. Groves, 135 Ga. App. 50 (1975). Decisions seem to be based on courts
policies abhorring forfeiture of right to defend and favoring adjudication on merits. See,
e.g., Retail Union Health & Welfare Fund v. Seabrum, 240 Ga. 695, 698 (1978).
3. If right of possession cannot be finally determined within two weeks of date
of service of dispossessory, however, court shall determine amount of money which
tenant must pay into registry as it comes due, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 44-7-54(a)(1); and
shall order that such amounts be paid.
a. If there is no lease in effect, ordinarily the court shall require the
amount of rent to be a sum equal to the last previous rental payment made by the
tenant and accepted by the landlord without written objection. O.C.G.A. 44-754(a)(1). See also Community Education Center, Inc. v. Cohen, 158 Ga. App.
456, 457(3) (1981) (trial court erred in increasing payment requirement after lease
expired).
b. Applies to tenant at sufferance following foreclosure, including
alleged tenant at sufferance. Bellamy v. FDIC, 236 Ga. App. 747, 750-51(1)
(1999). The amount of rent is the reasonable rental value if no prior rent had
been established. Id. at 751. But see Watson v. McDowell & Son, Inc., 204 Ga.
App. 635 (1992) (physical precedent only) (where title disputed, based on fraud,
and genuine dispute of fact existed, trial court was premature in ordering rent paid
into court).
c. Order to pay rent was proper, pending decision on motion to transfer.
Cornelius v. Finley, 202 Ga. App. 192 (1992).

d. Order to pay into court should conform to date payments are due by
parties custom, regardless of date specified in lease. Golden Key & Lounge, Inc.
v. Key Mgmt. Corp., 137 Ga. App. 251 (1976) (argument unavailing in that case
because tenant failed to raise it before late payment under terms of rent order).
See also Smith v. Hudgens, 140 Ga. App. 562 (1976) (lease provision for later
default date not grounds for extending date rent due in payment order).
4. If right of possession cannot be finally determined within two weeks of date
of service of dispossessory, tenant also must pay into court amounts that landlord alleges
are past due, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 44 -7-4(a)(2).
a. If tenant disputes liability for past rent, court must determine amount
of rent due and order tenant to pay that amount, before nonpayment will support
issuing writ of possession for nonpayment of rent due. Kelley v. Daugherty, 201
Ga. App. 291 (1991).
b. Rent moneys must be paid in cash. Repair receipts are no substitute.
Lipshutz v. Shantha, 144 Ga. App. 196 (1977).
5. For payments pending tenant appeals, see XIV. F.5. and XV.C.
6. Other considerations:
a. Purpose of payment requirements is to prevent holding over while
escaping rent because of delayed adjudication caused by spurious defenses.
Retail Union Health & Welfare Fund v. Seabrum, 240 Ga. 695, 697 n.1 (1978).
b. Tenant bound to pay rent according to order, even if based on
erroneous findings. Golden Key & Lounge, Inc. v. Key Mgmt. Corp., 137 Ga.
App. 251 (1976) (tenant could not complain of terms of rent order after late
payment); see also Smith v. Republic Realty Serv., Inc., 216 Ga. App. 736, 737
(1995) (no action for wrongful eviction where tenant dispossessed for failure to
pay amounts directed but later found not owed).

B. Failure to Pay Ordered Money Into Court


1. Results in final writ of possession, if possession only is claimed: Officenters
Intl Corp. of Atlanta v. Interstate North Assocs., 166 Ga. App. 93 (1983); contra,
Thomas v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592, 595 (1991) (concurring opinion,
in dicta). See also Leverette v. Moran, 153 Ga. App. 825 (1980) (landlord could not
amend to add claims after possession resolved).
2. Even if damages also are at issue, most cases hold that the issue of possession
is moot after issuance of the writ. Mitcham v. Reese, 190 Ga. App. 689 (1989); Diplomat
Rest., Inc. v. Anthony, 180 Ga. App. 431 (1986).

3. Writ of possession affects only possession, not landlords right to pursue other
claims nor tenants right to pursue counterclaims. Moran v. Mid-State Homes, Inc., 171
Ga. App. 618 (1984).

C. Late Payments
1. Also untimely payment of rent into court may result in issuance of a writ.
Golden Key & Lounge, Inc. v. Key Mgmt. Corp., 137 Ga. App. 251 (1976). The
timeliness requirement is applied very strictly. Vinings Jubilee Partners, Ltd. v. Vinings
Dining, Inc., 266 Ga. App. 34, 37 (2004). See Yeomans v. American Nat. Ins. Co., 150
Ga. App. 334 (1979) (payment one day late) (relying upon former statute for counting
method); see also Harmon v. W. James Wilson & Assocs., 124 Ga. App. 760 (1971)
(tenant failed to get monthly grace period incorporated into payment order).
2. Weekends and holidays no longer are counted if deadline falls then. O.C.G.A.
1-3-1(d)(3); Brooks v. Hicks, 230 Ga. 500 (1973) (payment of installment option
price).
3. Clerk shall not refuse late payments into court. Thomas v. Jones, Fulton
Superior Court Civ. Act. C 56364 (Feb. 28, 1980).

D. Withdrawal of Funds
1. Funds and continuing rent payments shall be disbursed to landlord, to the
extent landlords right is undisputed. Trial judge shall direct court clerk to retain
disputed moneys on deposit in court registry until trial courts disposition of case, or
make other appropriate order. O.C.G.A. 44 7 54(c). For this purpose, counterclaim
demand puts equal amount of rent in dispute. Community Education Center, Inc. v.
Cohen, 158 Ga. App. 456 (1981); Whipper v. Kirk, 156 Ga. App. 218, 220 (1980).
2. Rules for withdrawal of funds change after ruling and judgment. Upon any
appeal, moneys (past and future) due landlord shall be paid out unless tenant can show
good cause for funds to remain in court. Moneys due tenant shall be held pending final
determination of the issues, apparently including any remand proceedings. O.C.G.A.
44-7-54(c).
3. Uniform Rules for Superior Courts and Uniform Rules for State Courts, Rule
23.

E. Constitutionality
For challenging payment of disputed past due rent to be deposited in court: See Memos
68a, 294.

XIII. DISCOVERY AND TRIAL


A. Discovery Period
1. Reasonable discovery time shall be allowed in a dispossessory action. Jelks v.
World of Realty, Inc., 153 Ga. App. 720, 722 (1980).
a. Despite this requirement, appropriate discovery period may be no time
at all, depending upon the issues presented. Baker v. Housing Auth. of Savannah,
152 Ga. App. 64 (1979) (denial of discovery no abuse of discretion).
b. Similarly, the trial court may decide that the normal discovery period
should be reduced drastically in a landlord/tenant case. Pittman v. U.S. Shelter
Corp., 150 Ga. App. 37 (1979) (trial judge determined 5 days was reasonable
discovery time).

B. Expedited Trials, and Other Trial Considerations


1. After answer, court should try to expedite trial. O.C.G.A. 44-7-53(b).
2. Right to jury trial is protected as to all issues, including possession, under
Georgia Constitution. Thomas v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592 (1991);
but see Hill v. Levenson, 259 Ga. 395 (1989) (no such right in magistrate court; right
protected on appeal de novo);
3. Trial calendar for dispossessory action may be published as little as 24 hours
before trial, even when possession is no longer at issue. Uniform State Court Rule 8.3;
Cornelius v. Finley, 202 Ga. App. 192 (1992); Favors v. Arnold, 181 Ga. App. 286
(1986).
4. Default judgment may enter if tenant fails to appear for trial. Uniform
(Superior and State Court) Rule 14; O.C.G.A. 15-10-43(e)(1) (magistrate courts);
Cardenas v. Limon, 250 Ga. App. 694 (2001). Failure to appear timely at trial also may
result in entry of default judgment. Truitt v. Housing Auth. of Augusta, 235 Ga. App. 92
(1998) (answer stricken and judgment entered when tenant arrived five minutes late, after
prior order to appear on time).
5. Affirmative defense may be asserted and considered at trial, even though not
asserted in pleadings or pretrial order, if relevant evidence admitted without objection.
Brackett v. Cartwright, 231 Ga. App. 536 (1998).
6. For further information on trying dispossessory cases, see Memo 441.

XIV. JUDGMENTS
A. Scope of Action and Scope of Relief
1. Prevailing landlord may recover possession, rent, and damages on any other claim
relating to dispute. Writ of possession and judgment enforceable 7 days after judgment
entered. O.C.G.A. 44-7-55(a). Writ of possession shall not contain restrictions,
responsibilities, or conditions upon the landlord in order to be placed in full possession
of the land or other property. O.C.G.A. 44-7-49. Although dispossessory proceeding
at its inception was a procedure to remove tenant and perhaps to recover past due rent,
it now covers "all related claims between landlord and tenant." Favors v. Arnold, 181
Ga. App. 286, 287 (1986) (citation omitted).
a. To recover rent or other relief, landlord must pray for them.
Officenters Intl. Corp. of Atlanta v. Interstate North Assoc., 166 Ga. App. 93
(1983).
b. "Any other claim" includes any contractual liability relating to
termination of lease. Twin Tower Joint Venture v. American Marketing &
Comms. Corp., 166 Ga. App. 364 (1983); Burger King Corp. v. Garrick, 149 Ga.
App. 186 (1979).
c. To recover rent accruing after dispossessory filing, landlord must file
amended or supplemental pleading seeking such rent; or try such claims with
express or implied consent of other party. Dwyer v. Anand, 210 Ga. App. 419
(1993); Nickerson v. Candler Bldg., Inc., 156 Ga. App. 396, 399-400 (1980).
Supplemental pleading allowable upon motion and at discretion of trial judge.
Thimble Square, Inc. v. Frost, 221 Ga. App. 379, 380 (1996). For amendment
introduced at trial, see Abernethy v. Cates, 182 Ga. App. 456 (1987). Issue tried
by express or implied consent of the parties, see Price v. Age, Ltd., 194 Ga. App.
141 (1990).
d. Parties may settle on their own terms. Court will enforce settlement
dismissing dispossessory. Mutual Ins. Co. v. Dublin Pub, Inc., 190 Ga. App. 94
(1989) (tenant remained in possession, paid back rent due and made subsequent
rent payments).
e. Attorney fees in rent collection actions are limited to 15% of any debt.
Radioshack Corp. v. Cascade Crossing II, LLC, 282 Ga. 841 (2007). Any lease
provision for recovery of attorney fees upon breach must be mutual to be
enforceable. O.C.G.A. 44-7-2(c). For what constitutes a prevailing party, for
purposes of recovery of fees under a lease with that language, see Realty Lenders,
Inc. v. Levine, 286 Ga. App. 326 (2007).
f. Writ of possession binds only defendant and those holding under her.
Any others in possession, holding independently, cannot be expelled under the

writ even though it embraces whole premises and treats defendant as the sole
occupant. Browning v. Guest, 147 Ga. 400 (1917). Some judges (including
Fulton County Magistrate Judge Levenson), will grant a motion to dismiss any
dispossessory that fails to name as defendants all tenants signing lease.
g. No money judgment can be awarded where no answer to dispossessory
served by post and mail. See Section X.B.
2. Prevailing tenant is entitled to remain in premises, if possession is at issue;
and to recover all foreseeable damages caused by landlord's wrongful conduct, if any.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-55(b).
3. Interest.
a. Pre-judgment interest.
i. Contract claims. O.C.G.A. 13-6-13. May be awarded even if
damages are unliquidated. Braner v. Southern Trust Ins. Co., 255 Ga. 117,
119 (1985). For interest on landlords claim including unpaid rent, see
Reahard v. Ivester, 188 Ga. App. 17, 19(2) (1988).
ii. Tort Claims (useful on tenants counterclaims).
(a) Liquidated claims. O.C.G.A. 7-4-15. Requires that
amount be fixed and certain. Buchanan v. Bowman, 820 F.2d
359, 362 (11th Cir. 1987).
(b) Unliquidated Damages Interest Act, O.C.G.A. 51-1214. Permits recovery of prejudgment interest if recovery exceeds
settlement demand. Bad faith damages (attorney fees) are included
in amount of recovery, for this comparison purpose. Windermere,
Ltd. v. Bettes, 211 Ga. App. 177, 179 (1993). Punitives are not.
General Motors Corp. v. Moseley, 213 Ga. App. 875 (1994).
b. Post judgment interest. O.C.G.A. 7-4-12. Should not include
interest on that portion of the judgment attributable to pre-judgment interest.
Windermere, Ltd. v. Bettes, 211 Ga. App. 177, 180-81 (1993).

B. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.


1. Judge may amend order to include findings and conclusions of law, within 15
days after being notified by clerk that order has been appealed, O.C.G.A. 44-7-56; but
is not required to do so, Poor v. Leader Fed. Bank for Savings, 221 Ga. App. 889 (1996).
2. Required in non-jury cases, in courts of record, when party requests before
ruling (judgment). O.C.G.A. 9-11-52(a); Poor v. Leader Fed. Bank for Savings, 221

Ga. App. 889 (1996). Mere recitation of trial events is insufficient to satisfy requirement.
Woodruff v. B-X Corp., 154 Ga. App. 197 (1980).

C. Judgment on merits:
Judgment on merits may not be entered based on evidence at seventh-day hearing or
when tenant answers. Bradshaw v. Jackson Hills Apts., 169 Ga. App. 447 (1984);
Crymes v. Crymes, 148 Ga. App. 299 (1978).

D. Mootness:
Issue of possession (but not money claims) becomes moot if tenant vacates prior to trial,
Leonard v. Donald, 134 Ga. App. 482 (1975); or prior to or pending appeal, Lee v.
Tollerson, 139 Ga. App. 446 (1976); but see J.W. Truck Sales, Inc. v. Hartrampf
Outdoor, L.L.L.P., 279 Ga. App. 544, 545-46 (1) (2006) (action not moot where tenant
forcibly evicted by writ).

E. Modifying or Setting Aside


1. Discretionary power to vacate, revoke or modify judgment during same term
of court. O.C.G.A. 15-1-3(6); Bank of Cumming v. Moseley, 243 Ga. 858 (1979).
Note that in magistrate court, term of court is not fixed by calendar for all cases, but is
calculated as within thirty (30) days. Unif. Magis. Ct. Rule 10.
2. Setting aside: See O.C.G.A. 9-11-60(d) (proceed by motion in courts of
record); 15-10-43(g) (setting aside magistrate court judgment requires a new action).

F. Appeal (Note: this section deals only with appeals from State/Superior
Court)
1. Must be filed within seven days of entry of judgment. O.C.G.A. 44-7-56;
Lewis v. Countrywide Fund. Corp., 225 Ga. App. 440 (1997); Willen Mfg. Co. v. Screen
Process Equip. Co., No. A97D0125, Ga. Ct. App., (12-13-96). (Memo 521).
a. Entry means filing with court clerk. Preece v. Turman Realty Co., 228
Ga. App. 609, 610 (1997).
b. When appealing order that writ be issued, wait until writ is entered.
See Rivera v. Housing Auth. of Fulton County, 163 Ga. App. 648 (1982).
c. Seven day deadline applies also to appeal of dispossessory court order
affirming an arbitration award. Ray M. Wright, Inc. v. Jones, 239 Ga. App. 521
(1999).

d. Seven-day appeal deadline does not apply if the parties stipulate that
neither possession nor periodic payment of rent is still in issue. America Net, Inc.
v. U.S. Cover, Inc., 243 Ga. App. 204, 205 (2000).
e. Appeal filed within 7 days of order denying reconsideration is timely,
when writ was stayed pending decision on motion. Robinson v. Georgia Hous. &
Fin. Auth., 244 Ga. App. 653 (2000).
f. Alternatively, deadline for appeal may be stayed by timely motion for
new trial. O.C.G.A. ch. 5-5. (The thirty-day deadline for filing a new trial motion
is not altered by the 7-day appeal period for dispossessories at least if the
landlord is the one seeking a new trial. SBP Mgmt., LLC v. Price, 277 Ga. App.
130 (2006).)
g. Finally, a new appeal period is triggered by disposition of a motion to
set aside judgment pursuant to O.C.G.A. 9-11-60 (but any such appeal is limited
to the issues created by that motion).
2. Appeal of order with other claims still pending in trial court.
a. Ordinarily a certificate of immediate review is required where there is
no final judgment, including where writ of possession was issued pending trial on
other claims. O.C.G.A. 5-6-34(b); Carter v. Landel/Arundel, Inc., 172 Ga. App.
115 (1984); Johnson v. Gwinnett County Bank, 156 Ga. App. 597 (1980).
b. For review of other interlocutory appeal devices and possibilities, see
Whiddon v. Stargell, 192 Ga. App. 826 (1989). See also Patrick v. Glass, 188 Ga.
App. 737 (1988); Vintage Enterprises, Inc. v. Powers, 175 Ga. App. 785 (1985).
3. Discretionary Appeal
a. Application for appeal is required in cases where the only issue to be
resolved is the amount of rent due and such amount is $2500.00 or less. O.C.G.A.
5- 6-35(a) (3). Castro v. Hidden Village Apts., 216 Ga. App. 251 (1995); Mack
v. Third Bedford Pines Apts. Ltd., 193 Ga. App. 838 (1989). See also Nixon v.
A.F.M., Inc., 176 Ga. App. 546 (1985) (full court). Set-offs are not considered in
determining this amount. Bales v. Shelton, 260 Ga. 335 (1990). Not applicable
where other issues are on appeal as well. Housing Auth. of Decatur v. Bigsby,
200 Ga. App. 878 (1991) (trial court's refusal to terminate lease also was at issue).
b. Application likewise must precede appeal of a state or superior court
decision resulting from de novo review of magistrate court proceeding. O.C.G.A.
5-6-35(a)(1) and (11); Brown v. Rutledge, 263 Ga. 470 (1993).
c. Denial of request to set aside judgment is not directly appealable.
Application is required. O.C.G.A. 5-6-35(a)(8).

4. Denial of discretionary motion to reconsider is not appealable at all. Bell v.


Cohran, 244 Ga. App. 510 (2000) (full bench); Stone v. Dawkins, 192 Ga. App. 126
(1989) (sought to vacate default).
5. Rent payments pending appeal. Appealing tenant must now pay all judgment
rent and accruing rent into court pending appeal in order to stay in possession, without
any motion by landlord. O.C.G.A. 44-7-56. (But tenant should have notice of this
requirement, in the form of an order to pay rent, specifying amount.)
a. Rent requirement applies even to defendant who claims to be owner.
Thomas v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592, 594 (1991).
b. In the alternative, tenant may be required to pay rent and/or post
supersedeas bond in order to remain in possession pending appeal. Mitchell v.
Excelsior Sales & Imports, 243 Ga. 813 (1979); Hyman v. Leathers, 168 Ga. App.
112 (1983). Trial court has discretion to fix bond amount. O.C.G.A. 5-6-46.
Bond may be required even though no money judgment against tenant. Cloud v.
Georgia Central Credit Union, 214 Ga. App. 594 (1994).
c. Tenants failure to pay rent or bond into court and resulting loss of
possession pending appeal does not render moot ultimate legal right to possession,
for purposes of appeal. Thomas v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592,
593 (1991); Hyman v. Leathers, 168 Ga. App. 112, 113 (1983).
6. Penalty for frivolous appeal. Johnson v. Nelson Rives Realty, Inc., 245 Ga.
App. 638 (2000); Trevino v. Flanders, 231 Ga. App. 782 (1998).

G. Res Judicata.
1. Res judicata defense must be timely asserted in responsive pleading. O.C.G.A.
9-11-8(c); Northgate Village Apts. v. Smith, 207 Ga. App. 479 (1993).
2. Res judicata barred landlord from pursuing lease damages in superior court
action, after dispossessory judgment awarded possession only. Atlanta Js, Inc. v.
Houston Foods, Inc., 237 Ga. App. 415 (1999); but see Bhindi Bros. v. Patel, 275 Ga.
App. 143, 144-45 (2005) (no res judicata bar where landlord claimed rent due in prior
dispossessory, but trial court did not rule on that issue, for lack of effective service);
Costanzo v. Jones, 200 Ga. App. 806, 810-11 (2) (b) (1991).
3. A prior action for rent is no bar to successive suits for later-accruing rent.
Glen Oak, Inc. v. Henderson, 258 Ga. 455 (1988). See also Executive Fitness, LLC v.
Healey Bldg. LP, ___ Ga. App. ___ [Mar. 10, 2008]; Dublin Pub, Inc. v. Mutual Life Ins.
Co., 191 Ga. App. 677, 678(1) (1989); Lowenberg v. Ford & Assocs., 165 Ga. App. 753
(1983). Likewise a prior dispossessory does not act as res judicata against a later action
for rent if the judgment in the earlier action did not terminate the tenancy. Abernethy v.

Cates, 182 Ga. App. 456 (1987). Arguably, however, landlord bringing a later action is
barred from seeking any rent which came due while prior dispossessory was pending.
See Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745, 747 (2002) (tenants after-arising claims in
second suit not barred because unrelated to landlords rent claims in first).
4. Judgment in landlords action for rent is res judicata bar against later action by
tenant seeking to recover security deposit and prepaid rent. Brittany Apts. v. Chapman,
141 Ga. App. 168 (1977).
5. Any defenses/counterclaims to non-payment of rent which existed prior to
judgment in prior dispossessory for non-payment of rent are barred in a later action.
Stroup v. Robbie Jon Devt. Corp., 159 Ga. App. 652 (1982). This includes counterclaims
arising from failure to repair. Trust Co. Bank v. Shaw, 182 Ga. App. 92 (1998).
Affirmative claims are not barred, however, after default judgment in dispossessory
served by tacking and mailing. See Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Hudson, 250 Ga. App.
109 (1982); Section X.B.
6. Tenants subsequent action for wrongful eviction and related claims, arising
from or after writ of possession in prior dispossessory, was not barred by res judicata.
Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745, 748 (2002).
7. After a dispossessory action, res judicata bars any later action by tenant at
sufferance seeking to declare invalid mortgagees -exercise of the power of sale.
Bellamy v. FDIC, 236 Ga. App. 747, 749 (1999) (any basis to set aside the foreclosure
had to be asserted as a compulsory counterclaim or it becomes barred by res judicata);
Turpin v. North American Accep. Corp., 119 Ga. App. 212 (1969). But see Myers v.
North Georgia Title & Tax Free Exch., Inc., 241 Ga. App. 379 (1999) (res judicata does
not bar ex-tenant from filing an affirmative action to quiet title to property from which
tenant was dispossessed, challenging foreclosers claim to title based on transferred IRS
lien); Brown Realty Assocs. v. Thomas, 193 Ga. App. 847 (1989) (res judicata did not
attach to state court dispossessory judgment where fraudulent sale raised as defense,
since superior courts have exclusive jurisdiction in cases involving title to realty).
8. Dismissal based on precondition requisite to court's going forward is not an
adjudication on merits, therefore will not give rise to res judicata. Walker v. Crane, 216
Ga. App. 765, 768(3) (1995) (prior dismissal for lack of jurisdiction); National Heritage
Corp. v. Mt. Olive Mem. Gardens, Inc., 244 Ga. 240 (1979) (dilatory plea).

XV. DISPOSSESSORIES IN MAGISTRATES' COURTS


A. General Rights. See Magistrates Bench Book.
1. Dispossessory actions may be filed and tried in Magistrates' Courts. O.C.G.A.
44-7-50, 44-7-53(b), 15-10-2(6).

a. Proceedings generally are governed by Civil Proceedings Article of


Magistrate's Act. O.C.G.A. 15-10-40 et seq.
b. For example, trials are conducted in accordance with Magistrate Court
procedures. O.C.G.A. 44-7-53(b).
c. But Magistrate Court proceedings also are subject to the dispossessory
procedural requirements of Landlord Tenant statute. O.C.G.A. 15-10-49(c);
Johnson v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 198 Ga. App. 816 (1991) (dispossessory
statute controlled, and prevented opening of default in Magistrate Court).
d. Strictly speaking, the Civil Practice Act is inapplicable in Magistrates
Courts, O.C.G.A. 15-10-42; but CPA rules may be used "to administer justice,"
under O.C.G.A. 15-10-44(b). Howe v. Roberts, 259 Ga. 617 (1989).
2. Magistrate or Magistrate's clerk may assist landlord or tenant in preparing
pleadings. O.C.G.A. 15-10-43(a), 15-10-45(c). Oral answer shall be written down by
Magistrate or clerk. O.C.G.A. 44-7-51(b).
3. Any counterclaim must be verified. O.C.G.A. 15-10-45(c). A compulsory
counterclaim must be raised at or before the dispossessory trial. O.C.G.A. 15-10-45(a).
4. In general, proceedings are limited by magistrate courts jurisdictional limits.
But the magistrate court has jurisdiction over all dispossessory claims and counterclaims,
regardless of dollar amount claimed. America Net, Inc. v. U.S. Cover, Inc., 243 Ga. App.
204, 205-06 (2000); Atlanta Js, Inc. v. Houston Foods, Inc., 237 Ga. App. 415 (1999).
a. Magistrate court may enter consent order requiring landlord to make
repairs, and may enforce the order by contempt, even though it lacks equity
jurisdiction. H.J. Russell & Co. v. Manuel, 264 Ga. App. 273 (2003).
b. Counterclaims outside the magistrate courts subject matter
jurisdiction shall be transferred to court with jurisdiction. Uniform Transfer Rules
fee is inapplicable because transfer originates from magistrate court. Baker v. G.
T., Ltd., 194 Ga. App. 450 (1990).
5. No jury trial right before magistrate. O.C.G.A. 15-1-41(a). Right may be
exercised on de novo appeal instead. Hill v. Levenson, 259 Ga. 395 (1989).
6. Nothing in O.C.G.A., Chapter 15-10 (governing magistrate courts) prevents
employees of corporations or other legal entities from representing the employing entity
in magistrate court. O.C.G.A. 15-10-43(i). But warrant on behalf of corporation which
is not filed and presented by an attorney, or a full-time officer or corporate employee
designated for that purpose, is void ab initio. Hummingbird Props., Inc. v. Arnita Scott,
Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Civil Action No. 95ed0232572 (6-6-95); but see
Largo Villas Homeowners' Assn. v. Bunce, 279 Ga. App. 524 (2006) (in case transferred

from magistrate court, corporate plaintiff was entitled to hearing before dismissal on
whether it willfully violated superior court order to obtain counsel).
7. Magistrate judge has discretionary power to grant stay of judgment to provide
for partial payment thereon. O.C.G.A. 15-10-46.
8. Magistrate court lacks power to grant a new trial because it is not a court of
record. Bowen v. Ball, 215 Ga. App. 640, 642 (1994).
9. Form post-judgment interrogatories are available. O.C.G.A. 15-10-50.

B. Transfers to other courts


1. Magistrate court shall transfer to the appropriate court any civil case in which
jurisdiction or venue lies elsewhere. Georgia Const. 1983, Art. 6, Sec. 1, Para. VIII;
Uniform Transfer Rule T-4; Uniform Magistrate Court Rule 36. Magistrate court
apparently has no duty, however, to transfer dispossessory on its own motion.
Kappelmeier v. Household Realty Corp., 265 Ga. App. 564(1) (2004).
2. There is a specific provision for transfer of cases with counterclaims beyond
the magistrate court's jurisdiction. Uniform Magistrate Court Rule 36.1.
3. Magistrate court is not required to transfer all equitable claims.
a. If tenant asks only to restrain dispossessory on non-specific grounds
(that eviction would be inequitable), motion to transfer is properly denied,
because the superior courts have no power simply to enjoin a dispossessory
proceeding without more. Davita, Inc. v. Othman, 270 Ga. App. 93 (2004).
b. Magistrate court may deny transfer if tenants equitable claim lacks
merit as a matter of law (is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim), Allen
v. Tucker Fed. Bank, 236 Ga. App. 245, 246-47 (1998); or if the claim asserted,
although characterized as equitable, is not equitable and may be heard in the
magistrate court, Bread of Life Bapt. Church v. Price, 194 Ga. App. 693 (1990).
4. Uniform Transfer Rules fee inapplicable to transfers from magistrate courts.
Uniform Transfer Rule T-10(a); Baker v. G. T., Ltd., 194 Ga. App. 450 (1990).

C. Appeals
1. May go to either state court or superior court. O.C.G.A. 15-10-41(b)(1).
Suggested notice of appeal form, O.C.G.A. 5-3-21. Payment of trial court costs or
submission of paupers affidavit, O.C.G.A. 5-3-22(a).
2. Any appeal must be filed within seven (7) days of entry of judgment.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-56. Magistrate courts do not have the power to grant new trials and a

motion for new trial would not toll the time for filing an appeal to state or superior court.
Bowen v. Ball, 215 Ga. App. 640, 642 (1994).
3. Appealing from magistrate court results in a de novo trial. O.C.G.A. 15-1041(b)(1).
4. Appeals shall be placed on the state or superior court's next non-jury trial
calendar, unless either party requests jury trial within 30 days of appeal or court orders a
jury trial. O.C.G.A. 5-3-30.
5. Rent payments pending appeal. Appealing tenant must now pay all judgment
rent and accruing rent into court pending appeal in order to stay in possession, without
motion by landlord. Writ may issue upon failure to make payments as required.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-56. No writ should issue, however, unless tenant first is required to
pay into court registry by trial court order, with amounts certain stated.
6. Superior court upon motion may require supersedeas bond in amount deemed
necessary, or alternatively, paupers affidavit. O.C.G.A. 5-3-22(b); Walker v. Crane,
216 Ga. App. 765 (1995). See also section XIV.F.5.
7. Except for procedural defects, appeal may not be withdrawn without consent
of adverse party. O.C.G.A. 5-3-8; Rousch v. Green, 2 Ga. App. 112 (1907).
8. After de novo appeal, pleadings may be amended to contemplate any claim
which might have been brought in magistrate court. Handler v. Hulsey, 199 Ga. App.
751, 752 (1991). No amendment can bring in issues outside magistrate court jurisdiction,
even if appeal was taken to a court which would have had original jurisdiction over those
same claims. Giles v. Vastakis, 262 Ga. App. 483, 485 (2003) (attempted equitable and
declaratory claims in superior court). Exception: monetary ceiling on magistrate court
jurisdiction no longer applies after de novo appeal. O.C.G.A. 5-3-30(b). If the
pleadings are not amended after appeal and the adverse party fails to appear, no recovery
may be granted in excess of that pleaded for in magistrate court. Stamps v. Nelson, ___
Ga. App. ___ [Mar. 13, 2008].
9. Review of default judgments is only by certiorari to state or superior court.
O.C.G.A. 15-10-41(b)(2); Shelley v. Shannon, 267 Ga. App. 582 (2004) (judgment in
separate action to set aside default in magistrate court likewise must be reviewed by
certiorari). See also Cardenas v. Limon, 250 Ga. App. 694 (2001) (because attempted
motion to set aside default judgment is a nullity in magistrate court, order denying motion
will not support appeal). But failure to exercise the correct procedure is a waivable
defect. Abushmais v. Erby, 282 Ga. 619 (2007).
10. For rare example of use of writ of prohibition to challenge a magistrate court
ruling, see Hill v. Levenson, 259 Ga. 395 (1989).

11. For other generally applicable appeal provisions, see Sections XIV-F.1., 4.
and 5.

XVI. DEFENSES TO NON PAYMENT OF RENT


A. Definitions of Rent
1. "Rent": see Benton v. Lester, 158 Ga. App. 696 (1981).
2. Public housing rent and Section 8 rent: 24 C.F.R. 5.613.

B. Tender
1. Previous tender of rent to landlord is a good defense to dispossession for
nonpayment.
a. Tender is equivalent to payment. Arnold v. Selman, 83 Ga. App. 145
(1951).
b. Tender is unnecessary if landlord states that it will be refused. Fowler
v. Logan, 41 Ga. App. 110 (1929).
c. Where timeliness is at issue, actual receipt is required, as opposed to
mailing. Baker v. Housing Auth. of Waynesboro, 268 Ga. App. 122 (2004).
d. Timely tender to former landlord is valid if property sold without
notice to tenant. James v. Hill, 90 Ga. App. 734 (1959). For rent tender turned
over to bankruptcy trustee, see Dublin Pub, Inc. v. Mutual Life Ins. Co., 191 Ga.
App. 677, 678-79 (1989).
e. Landlord's refusal to accept proper tender does not extinguish claim
for rental payments. Kellos v. Parker Sharpe, Inc., 245 Ga. 130, 135 n.3 (1980);
Lanier v. Romm, 131 Ga. App. 531, 535 (1974).
2. Tender of rent and costs after service of dispossessory.
a. Within seven days after tenant is served with dispossessory for nonpayment of rent, tenant may tender to landlord rent owed plus cost of warrant.
This shall be complete defense to action, Able Craft, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 167 Ga.
App. 725 (1983); except that landlord is required to accept tender after issuance of
dispossessory summons only once in any twelve-month period. O.C.G.A. 44-752(a); Housing Auth. of Columbus v. Jackson, 216 Ga. App. 51 (1995).
b. Timely tender of amount greater than costs and rent due satisfies terms
of this tender right. Greenhill v. Allen, 181 Ga. App. 532 (1987).

c. If landlord improperly refuses tenant's tender of rent due and cost of


dispossessory warrant and proceeds to trial, court can order tenant to pay landlord
rents due and dispossessory costs within three days. Such payment does not count
as instance of tender subject to "once in any 12 months" limitation. If tenant fails
to so pay, writ shall issue. O.C.G.A. 44-7-52(b).

C. Partial Payments
1. Landlord's negotiation of tenant's check tendered as "full payment" of
disputed rent claim results in accord and satisfaction. Alston v. Insured Credit Servs.,
Inc., 143 Ga. App. 172 (1977).
2. Even without accord and satisfaction, acceptance of partial payment for rental
period in question may defeat claim for lease termination based upon late payment or
nonpayment. Gay v. American Oil Co., 115 Ga. App. 18, 22 (1967) (partial assignment
of lease rent).
3. When payment made by tenant to landlord holding several claims, tenant may
designate claim being paid. Milford v. Shackleford, 17 Ga. App. 436 (1916). In absence
of designation, landlord may apply payment as it wishes. Payne v. Seagars, 13 Ga. App.
101 (1913); see also O.C.G.A. 13-4-42. For example, landlord may apply payment to
the older balance due. Barnett v. Culberson, 62 Ga. App. 582, 583 (1940).

D. Late Payments
1. Where rent due date falls on Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, rent is not late if
paid on first non-holiday weekday. O.C.G.A. 1-3-1(d)(3); Brooks v. Hicks, 230 Ga.
500 (1973) (payment of installment option price); see also Ausburn v. Anthony, 173 Ga.
App. 505, rev'd for other reasons, 254 Ga. 472 (1985) (notice of exercise of renewal
clause).
2. Check is not payment until check is accepted and has cleared, WilliamsThompson Co. v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 35 Ga. App. 556 (1926), unless the lease
provides otherwise. But where landlord accepts rent payment by check, time for payment
is impliedly extended until check is made good or returned within a reasonable time by
drawee bank. Matlock v. Brown, 98 Ga. App. 579 (1958).
3. Landlords acceptance of repeated late or irregular payments creates a factual
dispute as to whether a quasi-new agreement is created, under O.C.G.A. 13-4-4. Smith
v. General Fin. Corp. of America, 243 Ga. 500 (1979) (also question whether anti-waiver
clause was waived). Even where time is of essence, timely payment may be waived,
even orally. Smothers v. Nelson, 246 Ga. 216 (1980). No modification where only one
late payment accepted. Spooner v. Lossiah, 185 Ga. App. 876 (1988). See also
Continental Cas. Co. v. Union Camp Corp., 230 Ga. 8, 11 (1973) (must be mutual
intention of parties to depart); Duncan v. Lagunas, 253 Ga. 61 (1984) (expression of
displeasure while accepting late payment); Chapman v. Nation, 193 Ga. App. 632 (1989)

(same); Baker v. Housing Auth. of Savannah, 152 Ga. App. 64 (1979) (effect of
termination notice after earlier delinquency). Landlord also can reinstate original rent
payment terms after any mutual variance, by demanding strict compliance with lease.
Hemmerich v. Southeastern Props. Grp. L.P., 230 Ga. App. 697, 698-99 (1998).
4. Quasi-new agreement may be a good defense against late payment. Greater
Leasing, Inc. v. Hill, 158 Ga. App. 547 (1981); Sachs v. Jones, 83 Ga. App. 441 (1951).
Landlord is not entitled to evict for failure to pay rent on certain date, where strict
adherence to payment on such date has been waived and no demand for rent has been
made on that date or at any other time, and rent is tendered to landlord before
dispossessory. Mahoney v. McKenzie, 27 Ga. App. 245 (1921).

E. Other Waivers Through Rent Acceptance


1. Waiver principles apply to nonpayment of any rent, where evidence supports
waiver or indefinite extension of payments. See Vaughan v. Wrenn Bros., Inc., 163 Ga.
App. 383 (1982).
2. Thus landlord's retention of uncashed rent check without indication that would
not accept is tantamount to acceptance, and waives right to evict for nonpayment of rent.
C & A Land Co. v. Rudolf Invest. Corp., 163 Ga. App. 832, 834 (1982); Yates v. Farmer,
102 Ga. App. 570 (1960).
3. Accepting rent after default but before warrant defeats claim to dispossess for
nonpayment. Hicks v. Beacham, 131 Ga. 89, 92 (1908); Trawick v. Consolidated Cap.
Growth Fund, 156 Ga. App. 764, 767 (1980); Kunian v. Mangel Stores, 140 Ga. App.
244 (1976).
4. After warrant is filed, accepting later accruing rent will defeat claim. Guptill
v. Macon Stone Supp. Co., 140 Ga. 696 (1913); Williams Thompson Co. v. Louisville &
N. R. Co., 35 Ga. App. 556 (1926).
5. Acceptance of rent for an ensuing period bars landlord from evicting for
nonpayment of rent for any prior period. Guptill v. Macon Stone Supp. Co., 140 Ga. 696
(1913); C & A Land Co. v. Rudolf Invest. Corp., 163 Ga. App. 832, 834 (1982); Trawick
v. Consolidated Cap. Growth Fund, 156 Ga. App. 764 (1980); Howington v. Ferguson &
Sons, Inc., 147 Ga. App. 636, 638 (1978); Plowden v. Hall, 55 Ga. App. 321 (1937).
6. Acceptance of rent before warrant will defeat claim for holding over for
nonpayment. C & A Land Co. v. Rudolf Invest. Corp., 163 Ga. App. 832, 834 (1982).
After warrant, acceptance of rent accruing up to time of trial will not defeat such a claim.
Nunn v. Taylor, 177 Ga. App. 44 (1985); Cheeves v. Horne, 167 Ga. App. 786 (1983);
Williams v. Clayton Park Mobile Home Court, Inc., 166 Ga. App. 359 (1983). Where
landlord seeks to dispossess for reasons other than nonpayment, acceptance of rent will
not waive right to dispossess. Main Station, Inc. v. Atel I, Inc., 190 Ga. App. 205 (1989).

7. For mutual departure preventing lease expiration or termination, see Linch v.


McNeil Real Estate Fund, 146 Ga. App. 505 (1978) (landlord waived right to increased
rental payments by accepting payment under terms of old lease); Chalkey v. Ward, 119
Ga. App. 227 (1969).

F. Failure to Pay Rent Caused by Landlord's Conduct:


See Market Place Shopping Center v. Basic Business Alternatives, Inc., 213 Ga. App.
722 (1994).

G. Extinguishment of Rent Obligation


1. Filing dispossessory for nonpayment of rent does not terminate lease nor
tenant's obligation to pay subsequent rent for term of lease. Kimber v. Towne Hills Devt.
Corp., 156 Ga. App. 401 (1980); W. James Wilson & Assocs., Inc. v. Kelley, 143 Ga.
App. 271 (1977). Tenants vacating premises prior to eviction likewise does not
terminate lease. Johnson v. Ashkouti, 193 Ga. App. 810 (1989).
2. If lease is not already terminated, then any eviction and subsequent re-entry
and possession by landlord inconsistent with tenants possession terminates the lease and,
in the absence of a valid lease provision, any obligation to pay rent . Bentley-Kessinger,
Inc. v. Jones, 186 Ga. App. 466 (1988).
3. Lease may provide that tenant is responsible for rent for entire term, less
amounts received if premises are relet. American Med. Transp. Group v. Glo-An, Inc.,
235 Ga. App. 464, 465 (1998). Lease may hold tenant liable for rent after eviction,
subject to deduction of rents from reletting premises, if liability is spelled out in explicit,
detailed provisions. Nobles v. Jiffy Market Food Store Corp., 260 Ga. App. 18, 21
(2003); Mullis v. Shaheen, 217 Ga. App. 277 (1995); Rucker v. Wynn, 212 Ga. App. 69,
71-2 (1994); Hardin v. Macon Mall, 169 Ga. App. 793 (1984).
4. See Sections IV.B. (Surrender and Abandonment) and XXI.F. (Future Rent).

H. Bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy petition may prevent eviction for rent non-payment, but under the revised
statute the automatic stay provisions seldom apply to dwelling rent.

I. Counterclaims.
Landlord does not have right to possession for nonpayment of rent if, when dispossessory
is filed, landlords liability for failure to repair (or arguably, for any other claims arising
out of tenancy) exceeds rent due. See Section XVIII.D.2.a.

XVII. LANDLORD'S DUTY TO REPAIR


A. "Duty to repair" is a misleading phrase. The landlords duty to repair
actually includes a cluster of duties, each with different consequences.
1. Public duties. Landlords are responsible for compliance with relevant statutes
and housing or construction codes, subject to administrative enforcement and potentially
to judicial fines for violation.
2. Contractual duties to tenants. Landlord undertakes a legal duty to keep the
premises in repair, as part of the landlord/tenant relationship. O.C.G.A. 44-7-13. Items
requiring repair are defined in part by applicable housing codes, which are incorporated
as part of lease arrangement.
3. Tort duties to tenants and others. Owner may be liable for personal injury or
property damage to tenants and to some others, if premises under its control are
dangerous, to the owners actual or constructive knowledge. O.C.G.A. 44 7-14. Again,
housing code standards may be highly relevant in establishing scope of landlords duty.
4. These duties to repair and relevant duties to comply with housing codes may
not be waived, assigned, transferred or otherwise avoided by language in residential
leases. O.C.G.A. 44-7-2 (b) (1), (2), (3); Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126 (1989);
McCullough v. Briarcliff Summit, 237 Ga. App. 630, 631(1) (1999); Watts v. Jaffs, 216
Ga. App. 565 (1995) (residential housing code); Windermere, Ltd. v. Bettes, 211 Ga.
App. 177 (1993) (building and fire codes); see also O.C.G.A. 13-8-2 (indemnity
provisions also void); Schuster v. Plaza Pac. Equities, 588 F. Supp. 61 (N.D. Ga. 1984)
(residential lease may not exculpate landlord from loss due to tenant's failure to obtain
property insurance). Even if tenant rents premises "as is," landlords duty to transfer
premises free of latent defects is not affected. Collins v. Economic Opp. Atlanta Inc.,
159 Ga. App. 898, 900 (3) (1981). Exculpatory lease clauses are void and unenforceable
as against public policy. Country Club Apts., Inc. v. Scott, 246 Ga. 443 (1980).

B. Contractual Duty to Repair


1. Landlord liable to reimburse tenant for substantial improvements to premises
made with landlord's consent. O.C.G.A. 44-7-13; Roberts v. Roberts, 205 Ga. App.
371 (1992). This is contractual liability to tenant for repairs or improvements, not tort
liability for damages to tenant or third persons. Colquitt v. Rowland, 265 Ga. 905 (1995).
As an alternative to contractual recovery, tenant may recover for improvements on unjust
enrichment theory. Auburn Maranatha Inst., Inc. v. Georgia Korean Church, 232 Ga.
App. 415, 416 (1998); but see Morris v. Britt, 275 Ga. App. 293, 294-95 (2005) (no
quantum meruit recovery if tenant acted with expectation of benefiting self, not landlord).
2. Further aspects of contractual duty.

a. Landlord has duty to make repairs promised as inducement to rent or


continue occupancy. Green v. Weaver, 164 Ga. App. 286, 288 (1982). Arguably,
failure to make promised repairs by large-scale landlord violates Fair Business
Practices Act as well. O.C.G.A. 10-1-391(a); 392(a) (2), (3) and (8); 393 (a).
See also Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745, 746-47 (2002) (FBPA applied to
other tenant claims). But see Ferguson v. United Ins. Co. of America, 163 Ga.
App. 282 (1982) (FBPA limitiations); Zeeman v. Black, 156 Ga. App. 82 (1980)
(same).
b. Existing Georgia law supports no separate implied warranty of
habitability. Landlord has no general duty to make premises fit for use intended
by tenant and known to landlord. Landlords duty extends only as far as
O.C.G.A. 44-7-13 duty to make needed repairs of which is on notice. Point
Apts., Inc. v. Bryant, 99 Ga. App. 110, 113 (1959); Cox v. Walter M. Lowney
Co., 35 Ga. App. 51 (1925); but see Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126, 129
(1989) (3-judge plurality invokes implied warranty of habitability in tort context).
c. Repair duty does not extend to defects caused by tenant, unless
through ordinary wear and tear. See Kaylor v. Romines, 85 Ga. App. 839, 843-44
(1952) (landlord recovered damages from tenant).
d. Landlords duty to comply with applicable housing codes: Thompson
v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126, 129 (1989). Duty is unavoidable. O.C.G.A. 44-7-2
(b) (3).
e. Duty to undertake and complete repairs properly: Carpet Central, Inc.
v. Johnson, 222 Ga. App. 26, 27 (1996).
f. Tenant remaining after original lease term waived right to damages
accruing after lease term from existing garage water leaks, caused by construction
defect. Schill v. A.G. Spanos Devt., Inc., 217 Ga. App. 260 (1995) (dicta, subject
to relitigation). (See David Webster memo.) At any rate, any such waiver does
not apply to non-construction defects; defects causing health or safety problems;
or defects violating housing codes, contracts or federal laws. See Memo 539.
3. Decisions on tort repair duty may be instructive on some contract issues also.
4. Landlord's defenses: See Section XIX.D.

C. "Repair"
1. Definition: restoration of a structure as close as possible to its original
condition. Carpet Central, Inc. v. Johnson, 222 Ga. App. 26 (1996) (may include duty to
replace, not simply patch, defective roof); Pharr v. Burnette, 158 Ga. App. 473 (1) (1981)
(duty may include entire replacement of a component part of a building upon the rented
premises --- as, for instance, a furnace).

2. Distinguished from improvement: Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton Co., 5 Ga.


App. 773, 775 (1909).
3. Does not include duty to replace structure totally destroyed. Sewell v. Royal,
147 Ga. App. 88, 90 (1978); Mayer v. Morehead, 106 Ga. 434 (1898) (tenants duty to
pay rent continues and does not abate).
4. Does not include absolute duty to keep premises vermin or rat free. Lumpkin
v. Provident Loan Soc., Inc., 15 Ga. App. 816 (1914).

D. Tort Duty to Repair


1. Landlord has tort duty to maintain premises in safe condition. Imposing tort
damage liability upon landlord for failure to repair dangerous condition is supported by
public policies in favor of safe residential housing. Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga.
126, 128 (1989) (plurality opinion) (people with low incomes are forced to live in
unsafe housing and such living conditions constitute a menace to the health and safety
of all the residents of Georgia); Total Equity Mgmt. Corp. v. Demps, 191 Ga. App. 21,
25 (1989) ("state policy of prevention of unsafe residential housing, especially low
income housing"). Thompson policies do not impose absolute liability upon landlords,
however. Roth v. Wu, 199 Ga. App. 665 (1991). Premises liability is not controlled by
ordinary negligence principles. Martin v. Johnson-Lemon, 271 Ga. 120, 123 (1999).
2. "Premises" are defined broadly. Carlton v. Hoskins, 134 Ga. App. 558
(1975). Include sinkhole on grounds, Jones v. Campbell, 198 Ga. App. 83 (1990); well
under back porch, Downs v. Powell, 215 Ga. 62 (1959); and fences, Desverges v.
Merchant, 18 Ga. App. 248 (1916).
3. Third party claims. Having fully parted with possession and the right of
possession, the landlord is not responsible to third persons for damages resulting from the
negligence or illegal use of the premises by the tenant; provided, however, the landlord is
responsible for damages arising from defective construction or for damages arising from
the failure to keep the premises in repair. OCGA 44-7-14; Colquitt v. Rowland, 265
Ga. 905 (1995) (landlord who relinquished possession of premises not liable to third
parties for defective tenant-erected swimming pool).
4. Control. Landlord is liable only for defects in conditions over which it
somehow retains control despite leasehold. See Martin v. Johnson-Lemon, 271 Ga. 120
(1999) (discussing limits on both duty to repair and liability for preexisting construction
defects). See also Childers v. Speer, 63 Ga. App. 848, 850 (1940).
a. "A landlord's retention of the right to enter, inspect and repair is not
inconsistent with a full surrender of possession to the tenant." Ranwez v. Roberts,

268 Ga. App. 80 (2004) (lease-purchase contract) (landlord not responsible for
personal injury by tenants pit bulls).
b. After parting with possession, landlord not liable for tenants nuisance.
Diffley v. Marshalls at East Lake, 227 Ga. App. 343 (1997); Adair v. Allen, 18
Ga. App. 636 (1916) (no liability to another tenant for nuisance caused by tenant).
5. Notice. Duty to repair arises after landlord knows or should have known of
defects and fails to repair them properly within reasonable period of time. Canfield v.
Howard, 109 Ga. App. 566 (1964); Fincher v. Fox, 107 Ga. App. 695, 698 (2) (1963).
See also Harris v. Sloan, 199 Ga. App. 340 (1991). But landlord has no duty to inspect
premises while a tenant is in possession, and if the premises fall into disrepair it is the
tenant's duty to notify the landlord. Jessop v. Carmichael Mgmt., Inc., 273 Ga. App.
199, 200 (2005) (citation omitted).
6. Defects on premises. Landlords tort duty to repair includes:
a. Examples of physical conditions which may require repair:
i. Includes duty to provide locks and windows suitable for
meeting safety needs. Jackson v. Post Props., 236 Ga. App. 701, 703(2)
(1999); Demarest v. Moore, 201 Ga. App. 90 (1991); Shadowood Assocs.
v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209 (1984); Warner v. Arnold, 133 Ga. App. 174
(1975); but see Haynes v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 154 Ga. App. 519
(1980) (no duty to equip with burglar bars).
ii. Duty to repair furnished appliances and equipment. Sixth
Street Corp. v. Daniel, 80 Ga. App. 680, 681 (1950). See also Booker v.
J.T. Bickers Realty Co., 127 Ga. App. 614 (1972) (water heater); Davis v.
General Gas Corp., 106 Ga. App. 317, 322 (1962) (heater); Williams v.
Mayes, 46 Ga. App. 142 (1932) (refrigerator); Kleinberg v. Lyons, 39 Ga.
App. 774, 775 (1929) (radiator).
b. Duty to Repair Properly: Booker v. J.T. Bickers Realty Co., 127 Ga.
App. 614 (1972); Sixth Street Corp. v. Daniel, 80 Ga. App. 680 (1950); Hill v.
Liebman, Inc., 53 Ga. App. 462 (1936); Williamson v. May, 44 Ga. App. 532
(1931).
7. Duty of apartment complex owner or landlord who retains qualified
possession and general supervision of grounds, to keep common areas and approaches
safe. Patrick v. Macon Hous. Auth., 250 Ga. App. 806 (2001) (full court); McCullough
v. Briarcliff Summit, 237 Ga. App. 630, 631 (1999). Duty to third parties is based on
O.C.G.A. 51-3-1 (liability to invitees). Plott v. Cloer, 219 Ga. App. 130 (1995);
Commerce Props. v. Linthicum, 209 Ga. App. 853 (1993); Lidster v. Jones, 176 Ga. App.
392 (1985); Bayshore Co. v. Pruitt, 175 Ga. App. 679 (1985); Cooperwood v. Auld, 175
Ga. App. 694 (1985) (whether landlord assumed duty to provide security and whether

that duty was negligently performed); Nesmith v. Starr, 115 Ga. App. 472 (1967); but see
Griffiths v. Rowe Props., 271 Ga. App. 344 (2005) (out-of-possession landlord and its
leasing agent not responsible for injuries to minor tenant when neighbor's dog bit him).
a. Duty to maintain/repair common areas may be predicated on housing
code. Biggs v. Long, 212 Ga. App. 195, 201 (1994).
b. But see Plant v. Lowman, 134 Ga. App. 752 (1975) (no duty upon
landlord to light passageways, porches and steps absent statutory requirement or
contractual undertaking, including any landlord promise when tenant moves in
and points out defect).
8. Duty to use reasonable care in protecting tenant against foreseeable
injuries/crimes. FPI v. Seaton, 240 Ga. App. 880 (1999) (issues regarding punitive
damages, assumption of risk and whether hiring a security service with limited duties
satisfied the owners duty of ordinary care); Ashley v. Balcor Prop. Mgmt., Inc., 205 Ga.
App. 590 (1992); Demarest v. Moore, 201 Ga. App. 90, 92 (1991); Shadowood Assocs.
v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209 (1984); Smith v. General Apt. Co., 133 Ga. App. 927 (1975).
Under O.C.G.A. 51-3-1, landlord is required to use ordinary care in keeping premises
safe. Cain v. Vontz, 703 F.2d 1279 (11th Cir. 1983).
a. For landlord to be liable, it is not necessary that landlord should have
anticipated particular circumstances that ensued. It is sufficient that some
resulting injury might have been foreseen and that consequences of generally
injurious nature might result. Bayshore Co. v. Pruitt, 175 Ga. App. 679, 680
(1985); Sturbridge Partners, Ltd. v. Walker, 267 Ga. 785 (1997). Lax security
giving rise to increase in property crimes may give landlord notice that personal
injury crime is foreseeable. Woodall v. Rivermont Apts., 239 Ga. App. 36 (1999)
(physical precedent only). But see Doe v. Prudential-Bache, 268 Ga. 604 (1997)
(prior non-identical crimes in common area). See also Walker v. St. Paul Apts.,
Inc., 227 Ga. App. 298 (1997); Doe v. Briargate, 227 Ga. App. 408 (1997). In
addition, previous crimes are not always necessary to put the landlord on notice;
other circumstances may create notice of danger. Stephens v. Greensboro Props.,
Ltd., 247 Ga. App. 670, 673-74 (2001).
b. Property owner has no duty to check police records to determine
whether crimes have occurred on the premises. Sun Trust Banks v. Killebrew,
266 Ga. 109 (1995).
c. May include duty to maintain fire detector/alarm. Denise v. Cannon,
219 Ga. App. 765 (1996). As to potential duty to provide adequate fire protection
in general, see Hitchcock v. Mayfield, 133 Ga. App. 546 (1974). Failure to
maintain smoke detector not admissible in court. O.C.G.A. 25-2-40 (g);
Wadkins v. Smallwood, 243 Ga. App. 134 (2000).
9. Housing code issues.

a. Landlord has duty to exercise reasonable care in repairing dangerous


or unsafe conditions in violation of housing code existing before or arising after
residential tenant has taken possession. Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126
(1989); Watts v. Jaffs, 216 Ga. App. 565 (1995) (handrails); Windermere, Ltd. v.
Bettes, 211 Ga. App. 177 (1993); Bastien v. Metropolitan Park Lake Assoc., 209
Ga. App. 881 (1993) (stairway in violation of building code); Gresham v. Atlanta
Gas Light Co., 193 Ga. App. 841 (1989).
b. Landlords duty to exercise reasonable care in repairing dangerous or
unsafe conditions violating housing code is not excused by tenants knowledge of
those conditions. Johnston v. Ross, 264 Ga. App. 252 (2003) (full bench) (lack of
handrails).
c. Landlord may be negligent per se for violation of safety statute,
Cornell v. Camellia Corp., 449 Ga. 248 (1981); or local housing code, Total
Equity Mgmt. Corp. v. Demps, 191 Ga. App. 21, 24 (1989). Landlords repair
duty likewise may be limited by statute. Hill v. Tschannen, 264 Ga. App. 288
(2003).
d. For trial purposes, tenant must obtain certification of codes or
ordinances and show they apply to premises. Biggs v. Long, 212 Ga. App. 195,
199 (1994).
10. Other tort issues.
a. Landlord not liable if tenant had equal or superior knowledge of the
danger and failed to exercise ordinary care to avoid the danger. Davis v. Crum,
263 Ga. App. 682 (2003); Johnson v. Atlanta Hous. Auth., 243 Ga. App. 157
(2000); but see Bastien v. Metropolitan Park Lake Assoc., 209 Ga. App. 881, 882
(1993) (landlord may have superior duty to comply with housing codes). For
more on landlord's defenses: see Section XIX.D.
b. [G]uests of tenants, those coming on the leased premises for
business purposes beneficial to the tenant, and those doing business with him are
there by his invitation and stand in his shoes insofar as they suffer injury due to
the negligence of the owner or occupier of the premises. Davis v. Garden Servs.,
155 Ga. App. 34, 35 (1980) (citation omitted). When person on premises has no
invitation, owner owes a lesser duty; liable to such licensee only for willful or
wanton injury. See Spear v. Calhoun, 261 Ga. App. 835 (2003).
c. Landlord may expand scope of potential liability by undertaking
protective functions beyond minimum required by law, at least to extent tenants
rely upon these additional efforts. See, e.g., Peachtree Cain Co. v. McBee, 254
Ga. 91(2) (1985) (landlord responsible for intentional torts by hired security
service).

d. Acts of God. In absence of appropriate lease provision, landlord not


responsible for damages to tenant resulting from unforeseen and extraordinary
circumstances, e.g.: violent, unusual storm. Brunswick Groc. Co. v. Spencer, 97
Ga. 764 (1895). For other examples of acts of God, see Uniroyal Inc. v. Hood,
588 F.2d 454, 460 (Former 5th Cir. 1979). But see Grier v. Jeffco Mgmt. Co.,
176 Ga. App. 158 (1985) (duty of owner to remove ice/snow from approach to
apartment); Fincher v. Fox, 107 Ga. App. 695 (1963) (accumulations of snow or
ice not an act of God).

E. Landlord for Tort Liability Purposes


1. Includes owners. O.C.G.A. 44-7-14. Dempsey v. Smith, 108 Ga. App. 88
(1963); Ween v. Saul, 88 Ga. App. 299 (1953); Aycock v. Gillhan, 53 Ga. App. 115
(1935); Crossgrove v. Atlantic Coast Line RR. Co., 30 Ga. App. 462 (1923). Liability of
owner due to management agent's failure to repair. Crow v. Evans, 183 Ga. App. 581
(1987) (punitive damages awarded). See Memos 86 and 283.
2. May include management agents.
a. Disclosure. At or before start of tenancy, any agent shall disclose in
writing to tenant (1) owner or owner's agent for serving process and receiving
notices; and (2) manager of premises. Person entering into lease who fails to so
disclose becomes agent of owner or landlord for notice purposes, but also takes on
some of owner or landlord's obligations. O.C.G.A. 44-7-3; Lee v. Huiet &
Powell, Inc., 142 Ga. App. 528, 529 (3) (1977) (agent of undisclosed principal
liable as owner); Wall Realty Co. v. Leslie, 54 Ga. App. 560, 562 (1936) (same);
Hill v. Liebman, Inc., 53 Ga. App. 462 (1936) (lessor/rent collectors).
b. Property managers. Managers of property may be liable for failure to
repair independently, but only where the agent assumes full control of property.
O'Connell v. Cora Bett Thomas Realty, Inc., 254 Ga. App. 311 (2002) (no
liability); Ramey v. Pritchett, 90 Ga. App. 745, 753-54 (1954); see also Sharp
Boylston Co. v. Bostick, 90 Ga. App. 46 (1954) (agent liable for affirmative
misfeasance).
3. Joint liability of landlord and agent. Napier v. Pool, 39 Ga. App. 187, 194-96
(1928); see also Crow v. Evans, 183 Ga. App. 581 (1987) (punitive damages awarded).
4. Liability for conduct of independent contractor. O.C.G.A. 51-2-5(4); Mason
v. Gracey, 189 Ga. App. 150 (1988) (no liability, but discusses exceptions to general rule
of nonliability); Warner v. Arnold, 133 Ga. App. 174, 175-76 (1975) (independent
contractor v. employee). See also Peachtree Cain Co. v. McBee, 254 Ga. 91(2) (1985)
(landlord responsible for intentional torts by hired security service).

5. Hiring/retention of competent employees


a. Negligence in employing incompetent repairman. Cunningham v.
Hodges, 150 Ga. App. 827 (1979) (known propensity for negligence with fire).
b. Where landlord arranges for tenant to make repairs, compare Bettis v.
Ryle, 176 Ga. App. 88 (1985) (no negligence shown); with Byne v. Mayor and
Council of Americus, 6 Ga. App. 48, 52 (1909) (landlord could not escape
liability for negligence of tenant acting as repair agent for landlord).
c. Liability for intentional torts of employees or agents, based on
negligent hiring/retention: TGM Ashley Lakes, Inc. v. Jennings, 264 Ga. App.
456 (2003) (murder by employee); Harvey Freeman & Sons v. Stanley, 259 Ga.
233 (1989) (sexual abuse); Razdan v. Parzen, 157 Ga. App. 848 (1981) (theft of
tenant's property by resident manager); see also Peachtree Cain Co. v. McBee,
254 Ga. 91(2) (1985).
d. Where resident manager has special relationship with tenants, may
give rise to special hiring duty of care in landlord. Harvey Freeman & Sons v.
Stanley, 259 Ga. 233 (1989).

F. Knowledge and Notice Issues (may relate to contract or tort liability)


1. Actual and constructive notice
a. Nature of notice.
i. Landlord may acquire actual or constructive notice of defects
from own knowledge or from inspection of premises, regardless of notice
or complaint from tenant(s). Home Owners Loan Corp. v. Brazzeal, 62
Ga. App. 683 (1946).
ii. Notice afforded by tenant must specify defect(s), to be
effective, but need not demand repair. Valdes Hotel Co. v. Ferrell, 17 Ga.
App. 93, 98 (1915). Landlord notified that premises need repair has duty
to inspect and repair as required. Is chargeable in addition with notice of
all defects which proper inspection would have disclosed. Stack v. Harris,
111 Ga. 149 (1900); Canfield v. Howard, 109 Ga. App. 566 (1964); Ball
v. Murray, 91 Ga. App. 686 (1955); Coker v. Murphey, 66 Ga. App. 586
(1942). This constructive notice includes latent defects which reasonably
should have been discovered in same portion of premises. Aycock v.
Houser, 96 Ga. App. 99, 101 (1) (1957). Landlord notified about defect
also is chargeable with notice of defect in adjacent portion of premises
which landlord could discover with exercise of ordinary care, when
repairing first defect. Coleman v. Davis, 59 Ga. App. 750 (1939); Shaddix
v. Eberhart, 55 Ga. App. 498 (1937).

iii. Verbal notice: Even if lease provision requires written notice


of defects, such provision is waived when landlord acts on verbal notice
without insisting upon written notice, especially if defects are shown to the
landlord. Re/Max Specialists v. National Life Ins. Co., 207 Ga. App. 624
(1993); Piano & Organ Center, Inc. v. Southland Bonded Whse., Inc., 139
Ga. App. 480 (1976); Overstreet v. Rhodes, 93 Ga. App. 422 (2), aff'd,
212 Ga. 521 (1956). Written notice is not required, despite lease terms,
where verbal notice is a better and more effective means of giving
landlord opportunity to take corrective measures. Big Apple Super
Market of Peachtree, Inc. v. W.J. Milner, Inc., 111 Ga. App. 282, 285(2)
(1965). Arguably, despite lease, notice in writing is not required for
defects covered by unavoidable repair duties imposed by O.C.G.A. 447-13, 44-7-14 and housing codes. See O.C.G.A. 44-7-2(b).
iv. Notice stating that "general repairs needed to house" was not
sufficiently specific to put landlord on notice of defective condition of
back porch. Duncan v. Platshek, 36 Ga. App. 100 (1926).
v. Landlord put on notice of patent defect also is charged with
knowledge of latent dangerous condition which a reasonably careful
inspection would have revealed. Brandywine Townhouses, Inc. v.
Morrison, 200 Ga. App. 425, 427 (1991). Notice of separate and
independent patent defect, in no way connected with latent defect, does
not put landlord on constructive notice of latent defect. Tribble v. Somers,
115 Ga. App. 847 (1967).
vi. Ordinarily, landlord is charged with notice of conditions
existing prior to tenant's possession. Spence v. C & S Nat. Bank, 195 Ga.
App. 294 (1990).
b. Proof of landlords knowledge of continuing or intermittent dangers:
evidence of prior incidents that tends to show condition, and knowledge of that
condition, is admissible. Thomas v. Shapiro, 189 Ga. App. 268 (1988); cf.
Pembrook Mgmt., Inc. v. Cossaboon, 157 Ga. App. 675, 677 (3) (1981)
(management agent's knowledge of prior accidents). Prior incidents must be
substantially similar. Sparks v. Pine Forest Enterprises, Inc., 174 Ga. App. 598
(1985).
c. Notice as to common grounds in complex: Nesmith v. Starr, 115 Ga.
App. 472 (1967) (landlord had actual knowledge of danger); Fincher v. Fox, 107
Ga. App. 695 (1963) (actual notice to landlord may be required for temporary
conditions). Notice of defects not required where landlord retains qualified
possession and general supervision. Davis v. Hall, 21 Ga. App. 265 (1917).

d. Effect of notice to agent who fails to disclose identity of owner. Lee v.


Huiet & Powell, Inc., 142 Ga. App. 528, 530 (4) (1977). See O.C.G.A. 44-7-3;
Subsection E.2.
e. Reasonable time to repair after notice: Parkhill Trust Fund, Inc. v.
Carroll, 115 Ga. App. 108 (1967) (two days notice of defective door may be
reasonable time); Shattles v. Blanchard, 87 Ga. App. 15, 17 (1952) (two days
notice of defective stairway providing only means of access may be reasonable
time); see also Booker v. J.T. Bickers Realty Co., 127 Ga. App. 614 (1972);
Fincher v. Fox, 107 Ga. App. 695 (1963); Brunswick Groc. Co. v. Spencer, 97
Ga. 764 (1895). Immediate repair duty, once landlord notified of dangerous
condition. Mullinax v. Cook, 115 Ga. App. 201, 205 (1967). Emergency repairs.
Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton Co., 5 Ga. App. 773 (1909).
2. Construction defects (tort issue): Landlord liability for injury from
construction defects, to tenant or to others on property with tenant's consent. See
O.C.G.A. 44-7-14.
Landlord is charged with knowledge of such defects where
construction was undertaken by landlord or under landlord's supervision or direction.
Monahan v. National Realty Co., 4 Ga. App. 680, 685 (1908); but see Martin v. JohnsonLemon, 271 Ga. 120, 124-25 (1999) (no liability where landlord minimally supervised
independent contractor); Hickman v. Toole, 31 Ga. App. 230 (1923) (where work done
by independent contractor, landlord is not liable until assumes responsibility for repair).
Also liable if construction work done by landlord's predecessor, and landlord knew or
should have known of improper construction before tenancy was created. Ross v.
Jackson, 123 Ga. 657 (1903). But see Rainey v. 1600 Peachtree, LLC, 255 Ga. App. 299,
301 (2002) (landlord liable only for those structural defects that would be discovered
during a pre-purchase building inspection).
3. Patent defects (tort issue):
a. Patent defect doctrine. Landlord under no tort duty to repair defect
obvious to tenant at time rental agreement was made. O'Connell v. Historic
Invests. of the South, Inc., 265 Ga. App. 262 (2004); Waddell v. Wofford Oil Co.,
84 Ga. App. 617 (1951). Tort duty despite patency of defect, if landlord promised
to make repairs. Richardson v. Palmour Court Apts., 170 Ga. App. 204 (1984);
Plant v. Lowman, 134 Ga. App. 752 (1975); Carter v. Brannon, 122 Ga. App. 812
(1970). Patent defect is a waiver doctrine, thus does not apply to defects about
which landlord has been notified but fails to repair before renewing tenancy.
Williams v. Jones, 26 Ga. App. 558 (1921).
b. Patent defect does not necessarily bar recovery if lack of repair
violates statute or administrative regulation. Johnston v. Ross, 264 Ga. App. 252,
255 (2003) (full bench) (a tenant who is aware of a condition that violates a
housing code does not necessarily appreciate the danger presented --- a danger
that has been studied and regulated by a governing body).

4. Latent Defects (tort issue):The landlord is liable for latent defects where they
could have been discovered by the exercise of reasonable diligence, where the
circumstances are such as to require that the landlord should have made an investigation
which when made would have necessarily resulted in discovery of the defects. Hall v.
Cohner, 134 Ga. App. 586, 587 (1975) (citation omitted). See also Country Club Apts.,
Inc. v. Scott, 154 Ga. App. 217, 219-220, aff'd, 246 Ga. 443 (1980) (latent defect rule
amounts to an implied warranty of reasonable safety); Grimes v. Gano, 111 Ga. App. 543
(1965).

G. Other Duties of Landlord


1. Implied duty to maintain furnished utilities and appliances. See Pindar, 1147.
2. Duty of owner to notify prospective tenant of property's propensity to flood.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-20 expressly creates tort liability.
3. Duty of landlord to notify prospective tenant of known lead-based paint and
lead-based paint hazards. 42 U.S.C. 4852d; 24 C.F.R. 35, Subpart H.
4. Housing authority approving dwelling for Section 8 occupancy is a "housing
project" under O.C.G.A. 8-3-3(10), and consequently must insure unit complies with
applicable sanitary, planning, zoning and building laws and ordinances (including
housing codes). O.C.G.A. 8-3-7. Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Jefferson, 223 Ga. App.
60 (1996) (2 of 3 judges also held that AHA was an "owner" of the Section 8 unit for
purposes of City of Atlanta's smoke detector ordinance, and as such, had duty to provide
smoke detector on premises if necessary).

XVIII. TENANT'S REMEDIES FOR FAILURE TO REPAIR


(CONTRACT BREACH).
A. Tenant's Choice of Remedies:
1. Repair and deduct.
2. Repair and sue.
3. Occupy without repair and claim diminution in value of premises. Shehane v.
Eberhart, 30 Ga. App. 265, 266(3) (1923); Lewis & Co. v. Chisolm, 68 Ga. 40(3), 46
(1881).
4. Right to these remedies subject to condition that need for repairs not be
caused by negligence of tenant, or of those for whose conduct tenant is responsible.
Raybestos Manhattan v. Friedman, 156 Ga. App. 880 (1981).

5. Landlord responsible for repairs needed due to natural wear and tear. Normal
wear and tear defined. Raybestos Manhattan v. Friedman, 156 Ga. App. 880 (1981);
Zeeman Mfg. Co. v. L. R. Sams Co., 123 Ga. App. 99, 102-03 (1970).

B. Repair and Deduct


1. If landlord fails to make repairs within reasonable time after notice of defects,
tenant may repair and deduct reasonable cost of repairs from subsequent rent payment.
Exigency of situation may warrant tenant in making repairs without prior notice.
Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton Co., 5 Ga. App. 773, 776-77 (1909). Where remedy is
used properly, landlord cannot evict for nonpayment. Johns v. Gibson, 60 Ga. App. 585
(1939).
2. Tenant is not required to use materials identical to original, in order to get
credit for full value of repairs. Tenant need only make reasonable replacement, using
suitable materials, and workers hired without negligence. Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton
Co., 5 Ga. App. 773 (1909).

C. Repair and Sue:


See Lewis & Co. v. Chisolm, 68 Ga. 40(3), 46 (1881); Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton
Co., 5 Ga. App. 773 (1909); see also Abrams v. Joel, 108 Ga. App. 662 (1963).

D. Occupy Without Repairs and Claim Diminution.


1. File affirmative suit. Imran v. Bone, 259 Ga. App. 591 (2003) (action failed
for lack of proof of amount of damages).
2. Occupy and counterclaim in dispossessory or other action. Swim Dixie Pool
Corp. v. Kraemer, 157 Ga. App. 748 (1981). Counterclaim may seek any damages which
might be sought by affirmative action.
a. Eviction action for non-payment of rent is defeated, if at time of filing
tenant's damages exceed rent due. Weaver v. Roberson, 134 Ga. 149, 157-58
(1916); Walker v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 174 Ga. App. 585 (1985); Cobb &
Ethridge, 28 1.
b. Tenant should be awarded money damages to extent that tenant's
damages exceed landlord's damages. Weaver v. Roberson, 134 Ga. 149, 160
(1916). See also Green v. Weaver, 164 Ga. App. 286 (1982); Savannah Inn
Towner Motor Inn, Inc. v. McCauley, 149 Ga. App. 209 (1979) (no rent owed
since damages resulting from failure to repair exceeded rent due).
c. Tenant's rental payments, after landlords failure to repair, do not stop
tenant from suing to recover damages for such failure or from recouping these
damages. Cohen v. Brunson, 14 Ga. App. 170 (1914).

3. Landlord's defenses generally: See Section XIX.D.

E. Housing Code Complaint


F. Constructive Eviction.
1. If applicable, defense will relieve tenant of obligation to pay rent. Overstreet
v. Rhodes, 212 Ga. 521 (1956); but see Mullinax v. Doughtie, 196 Ga. App. 747, 749
(1990) (jury rejected defense); Alston v. Georgia Credit Counsel, Inc., 140 Ga. App. 784
(1976) (trial courts judgment for tenant reversed as a matter of law).
2. Generally, this defense requires that tenant must vacate the premises.
Encyclopedia of Georgia Law, Landlord and Tenant, 41. See Magnolia Whses. v.
Morton & Realty Co., 102 Ga. App. 697, 698 (2) (1960); Morris v. Jones, 128 Ga. App.
847, 848(1) (1973). Some judges do not impose this requirement if tenant remains in an
uninhabitable unit due to lack of affordable replacement housing.
3. Generally, requires grave act of permanent character by landlord with intent of
depriving tenant of enjoyment of premises. Alston v. Georgia Credit Counsel, Inc., 140
Ga. App. 784, 785(1) (1976).
a. There must be actual expulsion of tenant or some landlord act of grave
and permanent character with intention of depriving tenant of enjoyment of
premises. But see Collins v. Economic Opp. Atlanta Inc., 159 Ga. App. 898, 900
(1981) (specific intent usually not required, unless landlord offers objective
justification). Act considered grave if it renders premises uninhabitable, or unfit
for use and benefit of tenant in accomplishing one or more substantial purposes of
the lease. Sunamerica Fin., Inc. v. 260 Peachtree St., Inc., 202 Ga. App. 790, 794
(1992) (asbestos); but see Jenkins v. Brice, 231 Ga. App. 843 (1998) (affirming
summary judgment for landlord). Utility termination may be such an act.
Roberts v. Roberts, 205 Ga. App. 371 (1992). But denial of utilities must be more
than temporary to constitute a constructive eviction. Delta Cleaner Supp. Co. v.
Mendel Drive Assocs., 286 Ga. App. 227, 229 (2007).
b. When personalty included in rental of premises, landlord's prevention
of tenant from using personalty may result in constructive eviction. Estridge v.
Janko, 96 Ga. App. 246, 256 (1957).
4. Traditional elements of constructive eviction by failure to repair: (i) failure to
repair results in premises unfit to carry on business or other purpose for which premises
were rented; and (ii) premises cannot be restored to a fit condition by ordinary repairs,
without unreasonable interference with occupancy. Overstreet v. Rhodes, 212 Ga. 521
(1956); Thirsk v. Coldwell Banker/Barton Ludwig Realtors, 172 Ga. App. 236 (1984)
(unrepaired roof); but see Hightower v. Daniel, 143 Ga. App. 217 (1977) (reversing
summary judgment in tenants favor).

a. Constructive eviction results when tenant vacates premises after


landlord fails in timely fashion to remedy municipal code violations that render
premises uninhabitable. Magnolia Whses. v. Morton & Realty Co., 102 Ga. App.
697 (1960).
b. Applies also where landlord frustrates possession by failing to provide
habitable premises at beginning of lease term. Hathaway v. Gorfine, 134 Ga.
App. 748 (1975).
5. Partial constructive eviction: Failure to repair a portion of the property,
rendering it uninhabitable or unusable, abates tenant's rent obligation in proportion to the
loss or allows tenant to recoup on account of loss. Wellbaum v. Murphy, 122 Ga. App.
654, 655-56 (1970) (rule equates to contract defense of partial failure of consideration).
See also Piano & Organ Center, Inc. v. Southland Bonded Whse., Inc.,139 Ga. App. 480
(1976); Park v. Reid, Strong & Robertson, 141 Ga. 681(3) (1914).
a. But where landlord's interference or failure to repair a portion of
property defeats tenant's purpose in renting entire property, constructive eviction
is total, not partial. Roberson v. Allen, 7 Ga. App. 142 (1909).
b. For measure of damages where partial failure of consideration, see
Christopher v. Griffin, 185 Ga. App. 499 (1988).

G. Lease Rescission:
When landlord fails to make repairs specified in lease arrangement by commencement of
term or within reasonable time thereafter, tenant not in occupancy may rescind lease.
Strohecker v. Barnes, 21 Ga. 430 (1857); Barnes v. Strohecker, 17 Ga. 340 (1855).
Landlord's implied covenant to deliver possession, see 19 E.G.L., Landlord and Tenant,
37.

H. Equitable Remedies:
Lease may be enforceable by specific performance: Peachtree on Peachtree Investors,
Ltd. v. Reed Drug Co., 251 Ga. 692 (1983) (but relief there limited to damages); Clark v.
Nelson, 234 Ga. 644 (1975) (interlocutory injunction affirmed). In a proper case seeking
to prevent irreparable damage to proper exercise of rights under lease, tenant may be
entitled to injunction. Ward v. Walker, 222 Ga. 451 (1966) (wrongful eviction).
1. Landlord's promise to make enumerated repairs is not specifically enforceable
where remedy at law adequate. Borochoff Props., Inc. v. Creative Printing Enterprises,
Inc., 233 Ga. 279 (1974).
2. Some cases suggest that loss of irreplaceable housing or other irreplaceable
interest in real property is irreparable injury for purposes of equitable relief. Ward v.
Walker, 222 Ga. 451 (1966); but see Imperial Hotel Co. v. Martin, 199 Ga. 801, 805

(1945) (plaintiffs proof failed). Threat to health or safety is irreparable. Poultryland,


Inc. v. Anderson, 200 Ga. 549, 559 60 (1946) (nuisance action). Remedy at law, to
exclude equitable relief, must be as practical and as efficient to ends of justice and its
prompt administration as equitable relief. Ward v. Walker, 222 Ga. 451, 453 (1966). So,
injunction requiring repairs conceivably might lie where failure to repair (or to provide
utilities) threatens tenant's health or safety. See Memo 454, TRO Brief.

XIX. FAILURE TO REPAIR CLAIMS


A. Causes of Action
1. Contract: Lewis & Co. v. Chisolm, 68 Ga. 40 (1881); Colquitt v. Rowland,
265 Ga. 905 (1995) (for costs of tenant's repairs and improvements); Walker v. Housing
Auth. of Atlanta, 174 Ga. App. 585 (1985) (diminution).
2. Tort (injury to person or property): Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126,
129 (1989); Total Equity Mgmt. Corp. v. Demps, 191 Ga. App. 21, 25 (1989); Big Apple
Super Market of Peachtree, Inc. v. W.J. Milner & Co., 111 Ga. App. 282, 284 (1965);
O.C.G.A. 51-1-6, 8.
3. Negligence Per Se: created by violation of some housing or building codes or
ordinances, which proximately causes injury. Biggs v. Long, 212 Ga. App. 195, 199 n.4
(1994).
4. Nuisance. Dyches Constr. Co. v. Strauss, 192 Ga. App. 454, 456 (1989).
5. Fair Business Practices Act: O.C.G.A. 10-1-399 et seq. Failure to repair
without deceptive act or practice did not establish prima facie case under Act. Simpson
v. Yonts, 197 Ga. App. 311 (1990).

B. Damages
1. To recover damages, tenant required to show not only that landlord breached
duty to repair, but that breach was proximate cause of tenant's injury. Brown v. RFC
Mgmt., 189 Ga. App. 603, 604 (1989); see also Mitchell v. Austin, 261 Ga. App. 585
(2003) (no proof tied Code violations to slip and fall).
2. Special damages are those which actually flow from an act; must be proved
before recovery in tort or contract. O.C.G.A. 1-12-2; Schill v. A.G. Spanos Devt., Inc.,
217 Ga. App. 260 (1995); Cobb & Eldridge, Georgia Law of Damages (2d ed.), 52-2.
a. Reasonable certainty test. Hayes v. Flaum, 138 Ga. App. 787 (1976);
Edgeman v. Thomas, 132 Ga. App. 866 (1974). See also Booker v. J.T. Bickers
Realty Co., 127 Ga. App. 614, 615-16 (1972).

b. Diminution in value of premises: Delta Cleaner Supp. Co. v. Mendel


Drive Assocs., 286 Ga. App. 227, 229-30 (2007) (landlord terminated water
service); Carpet Central, Inc. v. Johnson, 222 Ga. App. 26 (1996); Green v.
Weaver, 164 Ga. App. 286, 287-88 (1982); Roberson v. Weaver, 145 Ga. 626
(1916); see also Bradley v. Godwin, 152 Ga. App. 782, 783(1) (1979); Thomas v.
Campbell, 126 Ga. App. 675 (1972).
c. Proof of diminution damages:
i. Tenant opinion: Green v. Weaver, 164 Ga. App. 286, 288-89
(2) (1982); Thomas v. Campbell, 126 Ga. App. 675, 676(3) (1972).
ii. Investigator's opinion: Lee v. Huiet & Powell, Inc., 142 Ga.
App. 528, 529 (1977).
iii. Expert's opinion: Thomas v. Campbell, 126 Ga. App. 675,
676(3) (1972).
iv. Lay witness on normal wear and tear. Abernethy v. Cates, 182
Ga. App. 456 (1987).
v. Photos that enable jury to form opinion: Haywood v. Wooden
Peg, Inc., 174 Ga. App. 806 (1985); Oglethorpe Realty Co. v. Hazzard,
172 Ga. App. 98, 99 (1) (1984). See also Smith v. Smith, 125 Ga. App.
257 (1972) (photo showed condition for tort purposes).
vi. Video to show condition of the premises: Green, Georgia Law
of Evidence, 587; Mauet, Fundamentals of Trial Techniques, pp. 203-06.
vii. Jury permitted to view premises. Clark v. Sapp, 47 Ga. App.
91, 92 (1b) (1933).
viii. Trial judge or jury may form own opinion based on furnished
information: Kaplan v. Clark Co., 149 Ga. App. 780 (1979).
ix. Decider of fact is not bound even by unanimous witness
testimony as to rental value. McCarthy v. Lazarus, 137 Ga. 282 (2)
(1911); Radcliffe v. Jones, 46 Ga. App. 33, 34 (7) (1932).
x. Failed proof. Imran v. Bone, 259 Ga. App. 591 (2003);
Thomas v. Campbell, 126 Ga. App. 675, 676(3) (1972).
d. Tenant contractual damages other than diminution:
i. Costs of repairs. Colquitt v. Rowland, 265 Ga. 905 (1995).

ii. Increased utility expenses. Booker v. J.T. Bickers Realty Co.,


127 Ga. App. 614 (1972).
iii. Loss of rental income from subtenant. C.J.M. Corp. v.
B.O.T.H., 146 Ga. App. 767 (1978). But see McNaughton v. Stephens, 8
Ga. App. 545 (1910) (no recovery because tenant failed to mitigate).
iv. Loss of occupancy. Williams Wagon Wks. v. Gunn, 14 Ga.
App. 158 (1913) (measure of damages where landlord breaks agreement to
lease).
e. Personal property loss or damage:
i. Measure of recovery. Messmore v. Roth, 185 Ga. App. 862
(1988); Shadowood Assocs. v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209 (1984).
ii. Expenses for mitigative action in removing personal property
to safe location. Gavan v. Norcross, 117 Ga. 356, 359 (1903); see also
Moseley v. Rambo, 106 Ga. 597, 606-07 (1898) (on mitigation duty
generally).
f. Personal injury: Cohen v. Phipps, 33 Ga. App. 431 (1924) (measure of
damages for trier of fact to determine). See also Memo 458 (tort damages).
g. Mental distress: Valdosta Hous. Auth. v. Finnessee, 160 Ga. App. 552
(1981); Ivey v. Davis, 81 Ga. App. 598 (1950).
h. In tort claim where tenant had possession under successive landlords,
tenant bore burden to show damages and amount thereof from current landlords
failure to repair. Aiken v. Perry, 119 Ga. 263 (1898).
3. General Damages are those which the law presumes to flow from an act; may
be recovered without proof of amount. O.C.G.A. 51-12-2.
a. Includes property damage in an unascertainable amount, in intentional
tort actions. Sims v. Majors, 178 Ga. App. 679 (1986) (trespass action; changed
character of property after tree cutting); Alexander v. Holmes, 85 Ga. App. 124
(1951) (trespass by wrongful execution of distress warrant).
b. General damages (other than nominal damages, see below) are not
available on a claim for diminished rental value. Thomas v. Campbell, 126 Ga.
App. 675 (1972) (special damage claim; requires proof of amount of diminution);
but see id. at 677-79 (dissent). General damages are available to the extent trier
of fact finds physical suffering resulting from tortious failure to repair, especially
if housing code was violated. Peek v. Duffy, 172 Ga. App. 834, 835 (1984)
(unrepaired heating and air conditioning).

c. Pain and suffering. Measure of damages is jury's enlightened


conscience. Cohen v. Phipps, 33 Ga. App. 431 (1924); Towaliga Falls Power Co.
v. Sims, 6 Ga. App. 749, 761 (1909) (nuisance action). Not awarded for simple
headaches and aggravation suffered from breach of contract. Ginsberg v.
Termotto, 175 Ga. App. 265, 267-68(4) (1985). Absent physical injury, mental
anguish is compensable only in intentional tort cases. See, e.g., Swift Loan &
Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga. App. 556, 558 (1990). Where physical injury is
incurred, additional recoverable damages include resulting anxiety/worry or
mental distress; and impaired enjoyment of life, including future suffering. For
example, jury award of $10,000 to infant with no permanent physical injury from
rat bite was not excessive as a matter of law. Valdosta Hous. Auth. v. Finnessee,
160 Ga. App. 552 (1981).
d. Nominal Damages are appropriate compensation if injury is small, or
mitigating circumstances are strong, or no particular loss is shown. O.C.G.A.
51-12-4.
i. Amount varies with circumstances. Not restricted to small
award if violation of right is shown, substantial damages are claimed, and
some actual loss is proved, yet extent of damages is not susceptible to
proof with reasonable certainty. Ponce de Leon Condos. v. DiGirolamo,
238 Ga. 188 (1977) ($1,000 not excessive); Miller & Meier & Assocs. v.
Diedrich, 174 Ga. App. 249, 254, rev'd in part on other grds., 254 Ga. 734
(1985) ($130,000 award not reviewed on merits); First Fed. S & L Assn.
of Atlanta v. White, 168 Ga. App. 516 (1983) ($3,000 not excessive);
Georgia Power Co. v. Womble, 150 Ga. App. 28 (1979) ($25,000 award
not reviewed on merits).
ii. Available when tenant fails to establish diminution in a specific
amount. Walker v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 174 Ga. App. 585 (1985);
Bradley v. Godwin, 152 Ga. App. 782 (1979).
4. Punitive Damages. See O.C.G.A. 51-12-5.1 for requirements in general.
Must be supported by at least nominal damages. Foster v. Sikes, 202 Ga. 122, 126
(1947); Tilley v. Page, 181 Ga. App. 98, 99 (1986); Albert Props., Inc. v. Watkins, 143
Ga. App. 184, 185 (1977).
a. Purpose is to punish or penalize wrongdoers or to deter them from
committing acts of an aggravated nature, Collins v. Baker, 51 Ga. App. 669
(1935). Standards for review of amount of punitives award. Craig v. Holsey, 264
Ga. App. 742, 748-50 (2003) (full court), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 820 (2004).
i. May result from failure to repair as required by state law or by
housing code. Kaplan v. Sanders, 237 Ga. 132 (1976); Peek v. Duffy, 172
Ga. App. 834, 835 (1984). In case of personal injury, failure to make

effort to comply with safety requirements of building code may provide


clear and convincing evidentiary basis for award of punitive damages.
Windermere, Ltd. v. Bettes, 211 Ga. App. 177 (1993). See also Field
Developers, Inc. v. Johnson, 160 Ga. App. 180 (1981); and Memo 458.
ii. Qualifying conduct includes reckless disregard for, or
conscious indifference to, consequences. May cover repeated failure to
repair dangerous and unsanitary conditions, McWilliams v. Hayes, 190
Ga. App. 709 (1989); and ignoring knowledge of potentially hazardous
conditions, Crow v. Evans, 183 Ga. App. 581, 583 (2) (1987); see also
Stern's Gallery of Gifts, Inc. v. Corporate Prop. Investors, Inc., 176 Ga.
App. 586, 591 (1985) (refusal to reimburse tenant for damages due to
failure to repair). Rossville Apts. Co. v. Britton, 178 Ga. App. 194 (1986)
(evidence re failure to maintain dumpster insufficient; punitives reversed);
Simpson v. Yonts, 197 Ga. App. 311 (1990) (trial courts failure to impose
punitives not error in light of mixed facts re repair attempts).
iii. Evidence of prior and subsequent similar incidents admissible
to show malice, willful or wanton conduct, or entire want of care, thus to
authorize punitive damages. Moore v. Thompson, 255 Ga. 236 (1985);
Wood v. D.G. Jenkins Homes, Inc., 255 Ga. App. 572 (2002); Worn v.
Warren, 191 Ga. App. 448 (1989); Gunthorpe v. Daniels, 150 Ga. App.
113 (1979).
iv. "Pattern" evidence is admissible specifically to show landlord's
reckless disregard for or conscious indifference to circumstances.
McWilliams v. Hayes, 190 Ga. App. 709 (1989) (landlord's awareness of
problems in contiguous apartments); Crow v. Evans, 183 Ga. App. 581
(1987) (same); see also Dyches Constr. Co. v. Strauss, 192 Ga. App. 454,
459 460 (1989) (nuisance action) ($50,000 in punitive damages, which
accompanied $2,000 in general and special damages, was not excessive,
where large scale trailer park landlord ignored repeated complaints to fix
septic tank overflows that affected many tenants).
v. Lock out and later suit against tenant for unpaid rent accruing
shows landlord's maliciousness. Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195
Ga. App. 556, 557 (1990).
vi. Punitives may be awarded against owner on basis of
management agent's conduct. Simpson v. Yonts, 197 Ga. App. 311
(1990); Crow v. Evans, 183 Ga. App. 581 (1987).
vii. Award of punitive damages against government entities
violates Georgia public policy. Martin v. Hosp. Auth. of Clarke County,
264 Ga. 626 (1993); MARTA v. Boswell, 261 Ga. 427 (1991); Georgia
Ports Auth. v. Hutchinson, 209 Ga. App. 726 (1993). This policy may

prohibit awarding punitive damages against housing authorities and other


government landlords. In any event, the policy does not prevent award of
damages to wounded feelings under O.C.G.A. 51-12-6, even if award
may be punitive in part. Ralston v. Dahlonega, 236 Ga. App. 386 (1999).
5. Vindictive Damages. Compensation where injury is exclusively to peace,
happiness or feelings, and injurious conduct is malicious, willful or wanton. O.C.G.A.
51-12-6; Mowell v. Marks, 277 Ga. App. 524 (2006); H.J. Russell & Co. v. Jones, 250
Ga. App. 28, 30-31 (2001).
C. Litigation Expenses.
1. Attorney's fees awarded pursuant to lease. See O.C.G.A. 44-7-2(c) (any fee
provision in written lease shall be mutual). Therefore any unilateral provision for
landlords recovery should be construed to permit tenant to recover as well. Legal Aid
lawyers may recover attorney fees under such mutual contract provisions, as an exception
to the general prohibition in 45 C.F.R. 1642.1. LSC Off. of Legal Affairs, External Op.
2003-1014.
2. Statutory expense awards, including attorney's fees, for misconduct. See
O.C.G.A. 13-6-11; Georgia-Carolina Brick & Tile Co. v. Brown, 153 Ga. App. 747,
749-54 (1980) (bad faith or unnecessary trouble and expense); Windermere, Ltd. v.
Bettes, 211 Ga. App. 177, 179 (1993) (bad faith).

D. Landlord's Tort Defenses


1. Assumption of risk and contributory negligence.
a. Generally: Stack v. Harris, 111 Ga. 149, 151 (1900); Spence v. C & S
Nat. Bank, 195 Ga. App. 294, 296 (1990); Canfield v. Howard, 109 Ga. App. 566
(1964). See also Lewis & Co. v. Chisolm, 68 Ga. 40, 46 (1881).
i. These tort defenses are related (sometimes overlap), but are
distinct nevertheless. If shown, assumption of risk is a complete defense.
Contributory negligence may result only in a proportional reduction of the
award. Plant v. Lowman, 134 Ga. App. 752, 753 (1975).
ii. These defenses ordinarily are not susceptible to summary
adjudication. Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126, 129(5) (1989);
Brown v. RFC Mgmt., 189 Ga. App. 603 (1989); Watts v. Jaffs, 216 Ga.
App. 565 (1995); Canfield v. Howard, 109 Ga. App. 566 (1964).
iii. Continued use of premises does not necessarily bar tenant's
recovery as a matter of law. Lee v. Huiet & Powell, Inc., 142 Ga. App.
528, 530 (1977); Bastien v. Metropolitan Park Lake Assoc., 209 Ga. App.
881, 882 (1993); but see Clements v. Blanchard, 141 Ga. 311 (1913)

(where landlord's failure to repair rendered dwelling uninhabitable,


tenant's failure to move within reasonable time after landlord's positive
refusal to repair constituted negligence that barred recovery for personal
injury damages resulting from repair failure).
iv. Some recent cases (after Thompson v. Crownover) somewhat
weaken landlords defenses of superior knowledge and assumption of risk.
See, e.g., Phillips v. King, 214 Ga. App. 712 (1989). But see, Ethridge v.
Davis, 243 Ga. App. 11 (2000); Standard Mgmt. Co. v. Scott, 229 Ga.
App. 36 (1997); Steele v. Chappell, 222 Ga. App. 451 (1996); Hall v.
Thompson, 193 Ga. App. 574 (1989) (even if conditions hazardous and
landlord negligent, landlord is not liable if tenant had equal or superior
knowledge of defects and failed to avoid by exercising ordinary care).
v. Tenant is charged with knowledge of defects actually observed,
or so obvious that failure to observe them cannot be reasonably excused.
Wells v. C & S Trust Co., 199 Ga. App. 31 (1991) (unlighted stairway).
vi. Tenant must have actual or constructive knowledge of both
defect and its inherent danger. Smith v. Smith, 125 Ga. App. 257 (1972).
vii. Duty to refrain from using dangerous portion of premises about
which tenant has knowledge. Taylor v. Boyce, 105 Ga. App. 434 (1962);
Holloway v. Feinberg, 100 Ga. App. 160 (1959); Sixth Street Corp. v.
Daniel, 80 Ga. App. 680 (1950). "Necessity" exception: McCullough v.
Briarcliff Summit, 237 Ga. App. 630, 632(2) (1999) (unlit stairwell);
Carey v. Bradford, 218 Ga. App. 325 (1995) (unlit stairway); Thompson v.
Crownover, 259 Ga. 126, 130 (1989) (heater).
viii. Even after notice of rotten portion of floor, tenant may
continue to use remaining portion of floor, which part appears to be in
good condition. Harris v. Riser, 30 Ga. App. 765, 766 (1923); see also
Alexander v. Owen, 18 Ga. App. 326 (1916) (stairs); Roach v. Le Gree, 18
Ga. App. 250, 252 (1916).
ix. Use of premises after landlord assured tenant that defects were
repaired. Shadowood Assocs. v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209, 209 210(1)
(1984). See also Sixth Street Corp. v. Daniel, 80 Ga. App. 680, 682
(1950) (even without assurances, under the circumstances tenant could
assume repairs were completed and completed properly).
x. Same defenses may bar tort claims by invitees. Brandywine
Townhouses, Inc. v. Morrison, 200 Ga. App. 425, 427-28 (1991).
Superior knowledge (of loose bricks) by tenant and invitee prevented
recovery by invitee's child hurt by bricks. Smith v. Housing Auth. of

Athens, 212 Ga. App. 503 (1994) (landlord's knowledge of brick wall
problems not superior since problems elsewhere not substantially similar).
xi. Defenses of comparative negligence, assumption of risk and
contributory negligence are not valid defenses to intentional, willful or
wanton and reckless torts. Waldo v. Moore, 241 Ga. App. 797, 801
(2000) (dissent); Hopkins v. First Union Bank, 193 Ga. App. 109, 111
(1989).
xii. But landlord may raise these defenses against negligent
hiring/retention claims where injuries are caused by employees
intentional act. Harvey Freeman & Sons v. Stanley, 259 Ga. 233 (1989)
(sexually abusive resident manager).
b. Residential tenants are permitted to pursue their premises liability
claims even though they had knowingly risked injury where the tenant is
required to traverse a known hazard in order to enter or leave his home. Martin
v. Consolidated Stores Corp., 248 Ga. App. 812, 814 (2001). See also Thompson
v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126, 130(6) (1989) (rule of necessity applied to space
heater).
c. Slip and fall claims: Gateway Mgmt. Co. v. Sutton, 189 Ga. App. 296
(1988); Jordan v. Rabenstein, 189 Ga. App. 119 (1988); Grier v. Jeffco Mgmt.
Co., 176 Ga. App. 158 (1985); Richardson v. Palmour Court Apts., 170 Ga. App.
204 (1984); Shadowood Assocs. v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209 (1984); Vizzini v.
Blonder, 165 Ga. App. 840 (1983). Principal issue is whether landlord or tenant
has superior knowledge of the specific hazard which precipitates a fall. Augusta
Country Club, Inc. v. Blake, 280 Ga. App. 650 (2006) (magnolia seed pod);
Flores v. Strickland, 259 Ga. App. 335 (2003) (recent accumulation of leaves);
Showalter v. Villa Prado Assoc., 182 Ga. App. 705 (1987). In order to recover,
tenant must show (1) landlord had actual or constructive knowledge and (2) tenant
lacked knowledge despite exercise of ordinary care. Padilla v. Hinesville Hous.
Auth., 235 Ga. App. 409 (1998). (For superior knowledge as between landlord
and guest, see Yon v. Shimeall, 257 Ga. App. 845 (2002) (guest successfully
traversed steep stairs several times before fall); Hohnerlein v. Thomas, 186 Ga.
App. 282 (1988).)
d. Children of tender years. Williams v. Jones, 26 Ga. App. 558 (1921).
2. Members of tenant's household, guests and visitors stand in tenant's shoes and
are controlled by same general rules governing tenant as to right of recovery for injuries
resulting from failure to repair. Carter v. Brannon, 122 Ga. App. 812 (1970); Crossgrove
v. Atlantic Coast Line RR. Co., 30 Ga. App. 462 (1923).

a. But applied individually. Even if tenant is aware of defects, if injured


tenant's invitee was not and could not reasonably have know of them, claim is not
barred. Rogers v. Columbus Bank & Trust Co., 111 Ga. App. 792 (1965).
b. Likewise, defenses available against adult tenant (such as contributory
negligence) do not necessarily apply to tenant's child of tender years, who may
not appreciate the risk. Carter v. Brannon, 122 Ga. App. 812 (1970).

XX. RETALIATORY EVICTION


A. Local Ordinance Protections
1. Atlanta Housing Code prohibits landlord from evicting tenant for making
complaint or inspection request under the Code. Atlanta Housing Code, Section 8(b)(1).
2. Other codes or ordinances need to be reviewed for similar provisions.

B. Georgia Law
1. Retaliatory eviction arguably is prohibited by O.C.G.A. 44-7-2, which
provides that a residential landlord may not "otherwise avoid" its general repair duties
nor its duties under certain housing codes, which include City of Atlanta's housing code.
See also O.C.G.A. 9-11-11.1 (anti-SLAPP statute), which embodies states policy of
protecting constitutional rights to freedom of speech and petitioning government for
redress of grievances, against abusive discouragement through the judicial process.
Providence Constr. Co. v. Bauer, 229 Ga. App. 679 (1997), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1069
(1999); but see Berryhill v. Georgia Community Support & Solutions, Inc., 281 Ga. 439
(2006) (anti-SLAPP protections unavailable absent official complaint).
2. The decided Georgia cases suggest the potential for an affirmative defense of
retaliatory eviction, for complaints of lack of repair. See Brady v. Atlanta Hous. Auth.,
165 Ga. App. 335 (1982) (record examined for retaliatory motive); Whipper v. Kirk, 156
Ga. App. 218, 220 (1980) (tenant claimed dispossessory proceedings have arisen from
the defendant's assertion of the landlord's duty to keep the premises in repair).
3. Evidence of landlord's motive for evicting may be admissible for purposes
other than to show retaliatory eviction. Contrast Smiths Props., Inc. v. RTM Enterprises,
Inc., 160 Ga. App. 102 (1981) (evidence was admissible to counter landlords claims of
lease violation); with Green v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 164 Ga. App. 205, 206-07
(1982) (potential retaliation for tenant leadership irrelevant if AHA had good cause to
evict); Cunningham v. Moore, 60 Ga. App. 850, 858 (1939) (motive immaterial where
rent admittedly unpaid).

XXI. MISCELLANEOUS RENT, FEES, AND DAMAGE


ISSUES
A. Rent Increases
1. Period of advance notice of rent increase must be equal in duration to any
required notice to terminate lease or rental agreement. Childrey v. Brantley, 52 Ga. App.
146 (1935). See also Auburn Maranatha Inst., Inc. v. Georgia Korean Church, 232 Ga.
App. 415, 417(3) (1998).
2. Sixty days notice required to increase rent to tenant at will, since under
O.C.G.A. 44-7-7, same period of notice required to terminate a tenancy at will. D. Jack
Davis Corp. v. Karp, 175 Ga. App. 482 (1985). Therefore notice of immediate rent
increase to tenant at will takes effect only after 60 days. Alexander v. Steining, 197 Ga.
App. 328, 332 (1990); see also Auburn Maranatha Inst., Inc. v. Georgia Korean Church,
232 Ga. App. 415, 417(3) (1998).
3. Co-landlords cannot change rent or other lease provisions without majority
agreement. Givens v. Dunn Labs. Inc., 138 Ga. App. 26, 28 (1976) (one of two landlords
alone could not notice a rent increase).

B. Liquidated Damages v. Penalties


1. Liquidated damages clauses may cover all sorts of contingencies. Residential
tenants most often face them in the form of standard charges for late payments (see
below).
2. "[I]n cases of doubt, the courts favor the construction which holds the
stipulated sum to be a penalty, and limits the recovery to the amount of damages actually
shown, rather than a liquidation of the damages. Fortune Bridge Co. v. DOT, 242 Ga.
531, 532 (1978) (citation omitted). Any liquidated damages provision is enforceable only
if (a) damage from breach is difficult to estimate accurately; (b) provision is intended as a
damage remedy, not as a penalty; and (c) stipulated damage amount is reasonable preestimate of loss. Oami v. Delk Interchange, Ltd., 193 Ga. App. 640 (1989 (full court);
Krupp Realty Co. v. Joel, 168 Ga. App. 480 (1983) (full court). Burden is on defaulting
party to show provision is penalty, Liberty Life Ins. Co. v. T.B. Hartley Constr. Co., 258
Ga. 808, 809 (1989); except where defaulter invokes liquidated payment clause in an
attempt to cap its damages, Alexander v. Steining, 197 Ga. App. 328, 331-32 (1990)
(unenforceable liquidated amount leaves landlord free to recover actual damages
exceeding amount specified in contract). If contract is ambiguous as to remedies,
stipulated sum will be construed as penalty. Southeastern Land Fund, Inc. v. Real Estate
World, Inc., 237 Ga. 227 (1976). But see Fortune Bridge Co. v. DOT, 242 Ga. 531, 532
(1978) (no ambiguity).

3. Damages provisions due to tenant's breach of lease. Krupp Realty Co. v. Joel,
168 Ga. App. 480 (1983) (full court) (late payments); Jones v. Clark, 147 Ga. App. 657
(1978) (provision in commercial lease accelerating all future rents upon tenants default
was penalty); Smith v. Warshaw, 121 Ga. App. 72 (1970) (provision for two months rent
for vacating early was void where lease retained landlords option of recovering actual
damages).
4. Requiring later payment of introductory incentive "excused rent," upon
tenants breach, not a penalty. Manning & Assocs. Personnel, Inc. v. Trizec Props., Inc.,
212 Ga. App. 600 (1994).
5. Requiring repayment of landlord's initial cost to prepare premises for
defaulting tenant is not reasonable estimate of the added cost to prepare premises for
reoccupancy, thus constitutes a penalty. Id.
6. Lease provision requiring double rent when tenant held over was contractual
rent term, not penalty, First Cap. Inst. Real Estate, Ltd. v. Pennington, 186 Ga. App. 617
(1988) (full bench).
7. Forfeiture of goods or money, where tenant fails to exercise purchase option,
must satisfy liquidated damages test (not amount to a penalty) in order to be enforceable.
Fields v. Smith, 190 Ga. App. 369 (1989).
8. Lease could not limit tenant's damage recovery for lease violation to amount
of rent due, absent appropriate showing to justify liquidated damages, see Godbee v.
Clement Invests., 177 Ga. App. 81 (1985).

C. Late Fees and interest on late payments.


1. Late Fees
a. Must be spelled out in lease, including dollar amount and date after
which they accrue, in order to be enforceable.
b. Whether late fees are an unenforceable penalty or instead enforceable
depends upon three-part test for liquidated damages (see above), most importantly
whether contract fees are a reasonable pre-estimate of landlords probable losses.
Krupp Realty Co. v. Joel, 168 Ga. App. 480 (1983) (full court) (approving $50
flat fee if rent paid after 5th day of month). See also Oami v. Delk Interchange,
Ltd., 193 Ga. App. 640 (1989) (full court) (commercial lease).
c. Late fees do not make a lease usurious. Krupp Realty Co. v. Joel, 168
Ga. App. 480 (1983).
2.

Interest on late payments.

a. Unpaid rent bears interest from date due. O.C.G.A. 7-4-15, 44-716; Parker v. Gortatowsky, 129 Ga. 623 (1907); In re Central of Ga. R. Co., 47
F.Supp. 786 (S.D.Ga. 1942).
b. If lease does not specify a rate, legal rate of interest is found in O.C.G.A. 74-2.

D. Retention of Tenant's Property.


1. Lease may provide that tenant's personal property remaining on premises after
expiration or termination defaults to landlord and becomes landlord's property. Kurc v.
Herren, 196 Ga. App. 331 (1990).
2. Such a provision is not a damage remedy and therefore is not subject to
liquidated damages analysis. Id. at 332-33 (1990).

E. Future Rent:
Clause accelerating future rents is usually treated as unenforceable if it fails either to
consider likelihood of reletting, or to provide for reduction of future rents to present
value. Nobles v. Jiffy Market Food Store Corp., 260 Ga. App. 18 (2003) (liquidated
damages analysis applied to commercial lease); Taylor v. Commercial Credit Equip.
Corp., 170 Ga. App. 322 (1984) (no present value calculation on commercial lease).

F. Landlord Has No Duty to Mitigate by Reletting Premises:


General duty of party suffering from breach of contract to mitigate damages does not
apply to landlord after tenant breaks lease. Shaheen & Co. v. Dickson, 207 Ga. App. 328
(1993). But see Section IV.B. The decided cases occasionally describe this as a principle
applicable to commercial leases, see, e.g., Allen v. Harkness Stone Co., 271 Ga. App.
397, 400 (2004); but no Georgia case discusses any potential exception for residential
leases.

G. Tenants Have Duty to Mitigate Damages:


General duty of party suffering from breach of contract or tort to mitigate damages
applies with full force to tenants. See Gulden v. Newberry Wrecker Ser., Inc., 154 Ga.
App. 130, 133 (1980) (faulty lease); Super Market of Peachtree, Inc. v. W. J. Milner &
Co., 111 Ga. App. 282, 287-88(5) (1965) (personal property damage); White v. Thacker,
89 Ga. App. 656, 660 (1954) (personal injury).

XXII. SECURITY DEPOSITS


A. Security Deposit Act, O.C.G.A. 44-7-30 et seq.
1. Security deposit: defined generally as money or other security given by tenant
to landlord in connection with residential lease. Definitional exception: does not include
any nonrefundable fees, service fees or utility payments. O.C.G.A. 44-7-30 (3).
2. Coverage exception: statute does not apply to landlord who is natural person if
family unit owns 10 or fewer dwelling units, unless hires manager(s). O.C.G.A. 44-736; McKay v. Nally, 173 Ga. App. 372 (1985).
3. Landlord must put deposits in escrow account, or else must post surety bond.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-31, 44-7-32.
4. Landlord shall present tenant with pre-occupancy listing of defects. O.C.G.A.
44-7-33(a).
5. Landlord also shall conduct post-occupancy inspection and provide itemized
damage listing, with tenant having right to dissent. O.C.G.A. 44-7-33(b). Tenant may
be bound unless does dissent. O.C.G.A. 44-7-33(c).
6. To preserve any right to recover on deposit for damage to premises, landlord
shall comply timely with all statutory requirements. O.C.G.A. 44-7-35(a), (b).
7. Return and/or Retention of Security Deposit.
a. General rule requires return. Landlord may not withhold any portion
of deposit for ordinary wear and tear. Any withholding shall be supported by
statement of reasons mailed to tenant. O.C.G.A. 44-7-34(a).
b. Landlord may withhold for any unpaid rent (as opposed to damage to
premises) even without complying with statutory accounting requirements. See
Zakaria v. McElwaney, 174 Ga. App. 149 (1985); Kimber v. Towne Hills Devt.
Corp.,156 Ga. App. 410 (1980).
c. When tenant accepts and cashes partial refund of security deposit
along with itemized accounting for withheld amount, accord and satisfaction
results. Chrietzberg v. Kristopher Woods, Ltd., 162 Ga. App. 517 (1982).
d. Mailing security deposit withholding letter to tenants last known
address by first class mail is sufficient statutory notice. Cannon v. Wesley
Plantation Apts., 256 Ga. App. 244, 247 (2002).

B. Remedies for Landlord's Noncompliance.

1. Landlord who improperly fails to return security deposit becomes liable to


tenant for 3 times sum improperly withheld, plus reasonable attorney's fees, except
liability shall be limited to sum erroneously withheld if landlord shows by preponderance
of evidence that error was unintentional and bona fide, despite adequate procedures.
O.C.G.A. 44-7-35(c). Attorney's fee award is mandatory in case of any intentional
violation. Preece v. Turman Realty Co., 228 Ga. App. 609 (1997).
2. These remedies apply if any part of security deposit is wrongfully withheld.
Pleasant v. Luther, 195 Ga. App. 889 (1990).
3. Landlord's failure to provide tenant with statutorily required listings barred
landlord's insurers subrogation action for catastrophic damages to premises caused by
tenant. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Bajalia, 216 Ga. App. 707 (1995). Insurer not so
barred, however, if landlord does not wrongfully retain tenants security deposit.
Traveler's Ins. Co. v. Linn, 235 Ga. App. 641, 642-43 (1998).

TABLE OF CITATIONS
Cases
404 Music Group v. Bass, 170 Ga. App. 113 (1984)........................................................ 36
A.G. Spanos Devt., Inc. v. Caras, 170 Ga. App. 243 (1984) ............................................ 36
Abernethy v. Cates, 182 Ga. App. 456 (1987)...................................................... 44, 51, 85
Able Craft, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 167 Ga. App. 725 (1983) ...................................... 31, 32, 57
Abrams v. Joel, 108 Ga. App. 662 (1963) ........................................................................ 79
Abushmais v. Erby, 282 Ga. 619 (2007). ......................................................................... 56
Adair v. Allen, 18 Ga. App. 636 (1916) ........................................................................... 66
Adams v. Wright, 242 Ga. 330 (1978).............................................................................. 22
Aiken v. Perry, 119 Ga. 263 (1898) .................................................................................. 87
Albert Props., Inc. v. Watkins, 143 Ga. App. 184 (1977)........................................... 18, 89
Alexander v. Holmes, 85 Ga. App. 124 (1951) ................................................................ 87
Alexander v. Owen, 18 Ga. App. 326 (1916) ................................................................... 93
Alexander v. Steining, 197 Ga. App. 328 (1990) ................................................. 29, 97, 98
Allen v. Harkness Stone Co., 271 Ga. App. 397 (2004) ................................................. 100
Allen v. Peachtree Airport Pk., 231 Ga. App. 549 (1998) .................................................. 6
Allen v. Tucker Fed. Bank, 236 Ga. App. 245 (1998) ...................................................... 54
Allison v. Hodo, 84 Ga. App. 790 (1951) ................................................................... 17, 21
Alston v. Georgia Credit Counsel, Inc., 140 Ga. App. 784 (1976)................................... 80
Alston v. Insured Credit Servs., Inc., 143 Ga. App. 172 (1977) ....................................... 58
America Net, Inc. v. U.S. Cover, Inc., 243 Ga. App. 204 (2000) ......................... 21, 48, 53
American Med. Transp. Group v. Glo-An, Inc., 235 Ga. App. 464 (1998)................ 37, 61
Anthony Shoals Power Co. v. Fortson, 138 Ga. 460 (1912) .............................................. 9
Anthony v. Ausburn, 254 Ga. 472 (1985) ........................................................................ 11
Arnold v. Selman, 83 Ga. App. 145 (1951) ...................................................................... 56
Ashley v. Balcor Prop. Mgmt., Inc., 205 Ga. App. 590 (1992) ........................................ 68
Asian Sq. Partners, L.P. v. Cuong, 238 Ga. App. 165 (1999) .......................................... 11
Atlanta Airmotive, Inc. v. Newnan-Coweta Airport Auth., 208 Ga. App. 906 (1993) .... 25
Atlanta Js, Inc. v. Houston Foods, Inc., 237 Ga. App. 415 (1999)............................ 50, 53
Auburn Maranatha Inst., Inc. v. Georgia Korean Church, 232 Ga. App. 415 (1998) 29, 63,
97
Augusta Country Club, Inc. v. Blake, 280 Ga. App. 650 (2006) ...................................... 95
Augusta Tennis Club, Inc. v. Leger, 186 Ga. App. 440, 442-43(2) (1988) ...................... 25
Ausburn v. Anthony, 173 Ga. App. 505, rev'd for other reasons, 254 Ga. 472 (1985) .... 58
Aycock v. Gillhan, 53 Ga. App. 115 (1935) ..................................................................... 71
Aycock v. Houser, 96 Ga. App. 99 (1957) ....................................................................... 74
Baker v. G. T., Ltd., 194 Ga. App. 450 (1990) ........................................................... 53, 55
Baker v. Housing Auth. of Savannah, 152 Ga. App. 64 (1979) ........................... 27, 43, 59
Baker v. Housing Auth. of Waynesboro, 268 Ga. App. 122 (2004) ................................. 57
Bales v. Shelton, 260 Ga. 335 (1990) ............................................................................... 49
Ball v. Murray, 91 Ga. App. 686 (1955) ........................................................................... 74
Bank of Cumming v. Moseley, 243 Ga. 858 (1979) ......................................................... 47
Barnes v. Strohecker, 17 Ga. 340 (1855) .......................................................................... 82

Barnett v. Culberson, 62 Ga. App. 582 (1940) ................................................................. 58


Bass v. West, 110 Ga. 698 (1900) ................................................................................ 6, 17
Bastien v. Metropolitan Park Lake Assoc., 209 Ga. App. 881 (1993) ....................... 70, 92
Baxley v. Davenport, 75 Ga. App. 659 (1947) ................................................................. 13
Bayshore Co. v. Pruitt, 175 Ga. App. 679 (1985) ....................................................... 68, 69
Bell v. Cohran, 244 Ga. App. 510 (2000) ......................................................................... 49
Bellamy v. FDIC, 236 Ga. App. 747 (1999) ............................................................... 37, 39
Beneficial Fin. Co. v. Young, 167 Ga. App. 743 (1983) .................................................... 7
Bentley-Kessinger, Inc. v. Jones, 186 Ga. App. 466 (1988)....................................... 15, 61
Berryhill v. Georgia Community Support & Solutions, Inc., ___ Ga. ___ (2006) ........... 96
Bettis v. Ryle, 176 Ga. App. 88 (1985) ............................................................................ 73
Beveridge v. Simmerville, 26 Ga. App. 373 (1920) ................................................... 19, 32
Bhindi Bros. v. Patel, 275 Ga. App. 143 (2005) ......................................................... 34, 50
Bible v. Allday, 93 Ga. App. 231 (1956) ............................................................................ 7
Big Apple Super Market of Peachtree, Inc. v. W.J. Milner, Inc.,111 Ga. App. 282, 285(2)
(1965) ............................................................................................................................ 75
Biggs v. Long, 212 Ga. App. 195 (1994).......................................................... 7, 68, 70, 84
Blanton v. Moseley, 133 Ga. App. 144 (1974) ................................................................... 8
Block v. Brown, 199 Ga. App. 127 (1991) ......................................................................... 6
Block v. Voyager Life Ins. Co., 251 Ga. 162 (1983) ........................................................ 23
Booker v. J.T. Bickers Realty Co., 127 Ga. App. 614 (1972) ........................ 67, 76, 84, 86
Booker v. Trizec Props., Inc., 184 Ga. App. 782 (1987) .................................................. 31
Borochoff Props., Inc. v. Creative Printing Enterprises, Inc., 233 Ga. 279 (1974) .......... 83
Bowen v. Ball, 215 Ga. App. 640 (1994) ......................................................................... 54
Brackett v. Cartwright, 231 Ga. App. 536 (1998) ...................................................... 29, 43
Braddy v. Dessau Realty & Ins. Co., 148 Ga. App. 589 (1978) ....................................... 23
Braddy v. Dessau Realty, 148 Ga. App. 589 (1978)........................................................... 7
Bradley v. Godwin, 152 Ga. App. 782 (1979) ............................................................ 85, 88
Bradshaw v. Jackson Hills Apts., 169 Ga. App. 447 (1984) ............................................ 46
Brady v. Atlanta Hous. Auth., 165 Ga. App. 335 (1982) ................................................. 96
Branch v. WESAV Fin. Corp., 198 Ga. App. 347 (1991) .................................................. 6
Brandywine Townhouses Inc. v. Morrison, 200 Ga. App. 425 (1991)............................. 75
Brandywine Townhouses, Inc. v. Morrison, 200 Ga. App. 425 (1991)............................ 94
Braner v. Southern Trust Ins. Co., 255 Ga. 117 (1985) .................................................... 45
Brannen/Goddard v. PNC Reality, 238 Ga. App. 387 (1999) .......................................... 10
Bread of Life Bapt. Church v. Price, 194 Ga. App. 693 (1990) ....................................... 54
Brittany Apts. v. Chapman, 141 Ga. App. 168 (1977) ..................................................... 51
Brooks v. Hicks, 230 Ga. 500 (1973) ......................................................................... 41, 58
Brown Realty Assocs. v. Thomas, 193 Ga. App. 847 (1989) ........................................... 52
Brown v. Cobb Fed. S&L Assn, 116 Ga. App. 766 (1967) ............................................. 21
Brown v. RFC Mgmt., 189 Ga. App. 603 (1989) ....................................................... 84, 92
Brown v. Rutledge, 263 Ga. 470 (1993) ........................................................................... 49
Browning v. Fed. Home Loan Mtge. Corp., 210 Ga. App. 115 (1993) ...................... 22, 23
Browning v. Guest, 147 Ga. 400 (1917) ........................................................................... 45
Brunswick Groc. Co. v. Spencer, 97 Ga. 764 (1895) ................................................. 71, 76
Buchanan v. Bowman, 820 F.2d 359 (11th Cir. 1987) ..................................................... 46

Burell v. Pirkle, 156 Ga. 398 (1923) ................................................................................. 20


Burger King Corp. v. Garrick, 149 Ga. App. 186 (1979) ................................................. 44
Byne v. Mayor and Council of Americus, 6 Ga. App. 48 (1909) ..................................... 73
Byrne v. Bearden, 27 Ga. App. 149 (1921) ...................................................................... 29
C & A Land Co. v. Rudolf Invest. Corp., 163 Ga. App. 832 (1982) .......................... 27, 59
C.J.M. Corp. v. B.O.T.H., 146 Ga. App. 767 (1978) ........................................................ 86
Caffey v. Pattillo, 64 Ga. App. 382 (1941) ....................................................................... 22
Cain v. Vontz, 703 F.2d 1279 (11th Cir. 1983) ................................................................ 69
California Fed. S & L Assn. v. Day, 193 Ga. App. 690 (1989) .................................. 15, 29
Canfield v. Howard, 109 Ga. App. 566 (1964) ..................................................... 66, 74, 92
Cannon v. Laing, 153 Ga. 88 (1922) ................................................................................ 16
Cannon v. Wesley Plantation Apts., 256 Ga. App. 244 (2002) ...................................... 102
Cardenas v. Limon, 250 Ga. App. 694 (2001) ............................................................ 43, 56
Carey v. Bradford, 218 Ga. App. 325 (1995) ................................................................... 93
Carlton v. Hoskins, 134 Ga. App. 558 (1975) .................................................................. 65
Carpet Central, Inc. v. Johnson, 222 Ga. App. 26 (1996) ................................................. 64
Carter v. Brannon, 122 Ga. App. 812 (1970)........................................................ 77, 95, 96
Carter v. Landel/Arundel, Inc., 172 Ga. App. 115 (1984) ................................................ 48
Castro v. Hidden Village Apts., 216 Ga. App. 251 (1995) ............................................... 49
Central of Ga. R. Co. in re, 47 F.Supp. 786 (S.D.Ga. 1942) .......................................... 100
Chalkey v. Ward, 119 Ga. App. 227 (1969) ......................................................... 12, 28, 61
Chapman v. Nation, 193 Ga. App. 632 (1989) ................................................................. 59
Cheeves v. Horne, 167 Ga. App. 786 (1983) .................................................................... 60
Childers v. Speer, 63 Ga. App. 848 (1940) ....................................................................... 66
Childrey v. Brantley, 52 Ga. App. 146 (1935).................................................................. 97
Chrietzberg v. Kristopher Woods, Ltd.,162 Ga. App. 517 (1982) ................................. 102
Christopher v. Griffin, 185 Ga. App. 499 (1988) ............................................................. 82
Clark v. Nelson, 234 Ga. 644 (1975) ................................................................................ 82
Clark v. Sapp, 47 Ga. App. 91 (1b) (1933) ....................................................................... 85
Clements v. Blanchard, 141 Ga. 311 (1913) ..................................................................... 92
Cloud v. Georgia Central Credit Union, 214 Ga. App. 594 (1994) .................................. 50
Cloud v. Groves, 135 Ga. App. 50 (1975) ........................................................................ 39
CM3, Inc. v. Associated Realty Investors/Prado, 201 Ga. App. 428 (1991) .................... 12
Coffey Enterprises Realty & Devt. Co. v. Holmes, 233 Ga. 937 (1975) .......................... 25
Cohen v. Brunson, 14 Ga. App. 170 (1914) ..................................................................... 80
Cohen v. Phipps, 33 Ga. App. 431 (1924) ........................................................................ 87
Coker v. Murphey, 66 Ga. App. 586 (1942) ..................................................................... 74
Coleman v. Davis, 59 Ga. App. 750 (1939)...................................................................... 74
Collins v. Baker, 51 Ga. App. 669 (1935) .................................................................. 20, 89
Collins v. Economic Opp. Atlanta Inc., 159 Ga. App. 898 (1981) ............................. 63, 81
Colonial Self Storage Etc., Inc. v. Concord Props., Inc., 147 Ga. App. 493 (1978) ........ 12
Colquitt v. Rowland, 265 Ga. 905 (1995) .................................................................. passim
Commerce Props. v. Linthicum, 209 Ga. App. 853 (1993) .............................................. 68
Community Education Center, Inc. v. Cohen, 158 Ga. App. 456 (1981) ................... 39, 42
Continental Cas. Co. v. Union Camp Corp., 230 Ga. 8 (1973) ........................................ 59
Contra, Pertillo v. Forest Ridge, Ltd., 166 Ga. App. 552 (1983) ..................................... 32

Contrast Smiths Props., Inc. v. RTM Enterprises, Inc., 160 Ga. App. 102 (1981) ......... 97
Cooperwood v. Auld, 175 Ga. App. 694 (1985) ............................................................... 68
Cornelius v. Finley, 202 Ga. App. 192 (1992)............................................................ 39, 43
Cornell v. Camellia Corp., 449 Ga. 248 (1981) ................................................................ 70
Country Club Apts., Inc. v. Scott, 154 Ga. App. 217 (1980), aff'd, 246 Ga. 443 (1980) . 77
Country Club Apts., Inc. v. Scott, 246 Ga. 443 (1980) .................................................... 63
Cox v. Walter M. Lowney Co., 35 Ga. App. 51 (1925) ................................................... 64
Craig v. Holsey, 264 Ga. App. 742 (2003) (full court), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 820 (2004)
....................................................................................................................................... 89
Crain v. Daniel, 79 Ga. App. 647 (1949) .......................................................................... 22
Crossgrove v. Atlantic Coast Line RR. Co., 30 Ga. App. 462 (1923) .................... 7, 72, 95
Crow v. Evans, 183 Ga. App. 581 (1987) ............................................................. 72, 89, 90
Crowder v. Larson, 236 Ga. App. 858 (1999) .................................................................... 6
Crymes v. Crymes, 148 Ga. App. 299 (1978) .................................................................. 47
Cunningham v. Hodges, 150 Ga. App. 827 (1979) .......................................................... 73
Cunningham v. Moore, 60 Ga. App. 850 (1939) .............................................................. 97
D. Jack Davis Corp. v. Karp, 175 Ga. App. 482 (1985) ................................................... 97
Davis v. Crum, 263 Ga. App. 682 (2003) ......................................................................... 70
Davis v. Garden Servs., 155 Ga. App. 34 (1980) ............................................................. 71
Davis v. General Gas Corp., 106 Ga. App. 317 (1962) .................................................... 67
Davis v. Hall, 21 Ga. App. 265 (1917) ............................................................................. 76
Davis v. Hybrid Indus., Inc., 142 Ga. App. 722 (1977) .................................................... 34
Davis v. State, 147 Ga. App. 107 (1978) .................................................................... 16, 26
Davita, Inc. v. Othman, 270 Ga. App. 93 (2004) .............................................................. 54
Delta Cleaner Supp. Co. v. Mendel Drive Assocs., 286 Ga. App. 227, 229 (2007) ......... 18
Delta Cleaner Supp. Co. v. Mendel Drive Assocs., 286 Ga. App. 227, 229 (2007). ........ 81
Delta Cleaner Supp. Co. v. Mendel Drive Assocs., 286 Ga. App. 227, 229-30 (2007) ... 84
Demarest v. Moore, 201 Ga. App. 90 (1991) ............................................................. 67, 68
Dempsey v. Smith, 108 Ga. App. 88 (1963) ..................................................................... 71
Denise v. Cannon, 219 Ga. App. 765 (1996) .................................................................... 69
Deriso v. Castleberry, 202 Ga. 174 (1947) ................................................................. 20, 28
Desverges v. Merchant, 18 Ga. App. 248 (1916) ............................................................. 65
Dickens v. First Cap. Inc. Prop., 187 Ga. App. 607 (1988) .............................................. 33
Diffley v. Marshalls at East Lake, 227 Ga. App. 343 (1997) .......................................... 66
Diner One, Inc. v. Bank South, 219 Ga. App. 702 (1995) .................................................. 9
Diplomat Rest., Inc. v. Anthony, 180 Ga. App. 431 (1986) ............................................. 41
Doe v. Briargate, 227 Ga. App. 408 (1997) ...................................................................... 69
Doe v. Prudential-Bache, 268 Ga. 604 (1997) .................................................................. 69
Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton Co., 5 Ga. App. 773 (1909) ................................ 65, 76, 79
Dougherty v. Taylor & Norton Co., 5 Ga. App. 773(1) (1909) ........................................ 79
Downs v. Powell, 215 Ga. 62 (1959) ................................................................................ 65
Draper & Kramer, Inc. v. Lerow, 143 Ga. App. 413 (1977) .............................................. 6
Dublin Pub, Inc. v. Mutual Life Ins. Co., 191 Ga. App. 677 (1989) .................... 28, 51, 57
Duncan v. Lagunas, 253 Ga. 61 (1984) ............................................................................ 59
Duncan v. Platshek, 36 Ga. App. 100 (1926) ................................................................... 75
Dwyer v. Anand, 210 Ga. App. 419 (1993) ...................................................................... 44

Dyches Constr. Co. v. Strauss, 192 Ga. App. 454 (1989) .......................................... 84, 90
Eckles v. Atlanta Technology Group, Inc., 267 Ga. 801 (1997) ...................................... 24
Edgeman v. Thomas, 132 Ga. App. 866 (1974) ............................................................... 84
Entelman v. Haygood, 95 Ga. 390 (1895) ........................................................................ 16
Erfani v. Bishop, 251 Ga. App. 20 (2001) ........................................................................ 14
Estridge v. Janko, 96 Ga. App. 246 (1957) ....................................................................... 81
Ethridge v. Davis, 243 Ga. App. 11 (2000) ...................................................................... 92
Ethridge v. Thurmond, 174 Ga. App. 741 (1985) ............................................................. 24
Evergreen Props. v. Stafford, 190 Ga. App. 659 (1989) ................................................... 11
Executive Fitness, LLC v. Healey Bldg. LP, ___ Ga. App. ___ [Mar. 10, 2008] ............ 51
Farlow v. Central Oil Co., 74 Ga. App. 349 (1946) ......................................................... 29
Farm Supp. Co. v. Cook, 116 Ga. App. 814 (1967) ......................................................... 10
Favors v. Arnold, 181 Ga. App. 286 (1986) ............................................................... 43, 44
Ferguson v. United Ins. Co. of America, 163 Ga. App. 282 (1982) ................................. 63
Field Developers, Inc. v. Johnson, 160 Ga. App. 180 (1981) ........................................... 89
Fields v. Smith, 190 Ga. App. 369 (1989) ........................................................................ 99
Financial Sec. Assur., Inc. v. Tollman-Hundley Dalton, L.P., 165 B.R. 698 (N.D. Ga.
1994), revd on other grds., 74 F.3d 1120 (11th Cir. 1996)............................................ 6
Fincher v. Fox, 107 Ga. App. 695 (1963) ................................................................... 66, 71
First Cap. Inst. Real Estate, Ltd. v. Pennington, 186 Ga. App. 617 (1988) ...................... 99
First Fed. S & L Assn. of Atlanta v. White, 168 Ga. App. 516 (1983) ............................ 88
Flores v. Strickland, 259 Ga. App. 335 (2003) ................................................................. 95
Ford & Assocs., 165 Ga. App. 753 (1983) ....................................................................... 51
Fortune Bridge Co. v. DOT, 242 Ga. 531 (1978) ............................................................. 98
Foster v. Sikes, 202 Ga. 122, 126 (1947).......................................................................... 89
Fowler v. Logan, 41 Ga. App. 110 (1929) ........................................................................ 57
FPI v. Seaton, 240 Ga. App. 880 (1999) ........................................................................... 68
Fulton Co. v. Collum Props., 193 Ga. App. 774 (1989) ................................................... 11
Garner v. LaMarr, 88 Ga. App. 364 (1953) ........................................................................ 6
Gateway Mgmt. Co. v. Sutton, 189 Ga. App. 296 (1988) ................................................ 95
Gavan v. Norcross, 117 Ga. 356 (1903) ........................................................................... 86
Gay v. American Oil Co., 115 Ga. App. 18 (1967) .......................................................... 58
General Motors Corp. v. Moseley, 213 Ga. App. 875 (1994) .......................................... 46
Gentry v. Chateau Props., 236 Ga. App. 371 (1999) ...................................................... 6, 8
Georgia Ports Auth. v. Hutchinson, 209 Ga. App. 726 (1993) ......................................... 91
Georgia Power Co. v. Womble, 150 Ga. App. 28 (1979) ................................................. 88
Georgia v. Sanks, 225 Ga. 88 (1969), appeal dismissed, 401 U.S. 144 (1971) ............... 16
Georgia-Carolina Brick & Tile Co. v. Brown, 153 Ga. App. 747 (1980) ........................ 91
Giles v. Vastakis, 262 Ga. App. 483 (2003) ..................................................................... 55
Ginsberg v. Termotto, 175 Ga. App. 265 (1985) .............................................................. 88
Givens v. Dunn Labs. Inc., 138 Ga. App. 26 (1976) ........................................................ 97
Glen Oak, Inc. v. Henderson, 258 Ga. 455 (1988) ........................................................... 51
Godbee v. Clement Invests., 177 Ga. App. 81 (1985) ...................................................... 99
Goerndt v. State, 144 Ga. App. 93 (1977) .................................................................... 6, 20
Golden Key & Lounge, Inc. v. Key Mgmt. Corp., 137 Ga. App. 251 (1976) ............ 40, 41
Gomez v. Julian LeCraw & Co., 269 Ga. App. 576 (2004).............................................. 13

Goolsby v. McNair, 97 Ga. App. 491 (1958) ................................................................... 35


Greater Leasing, Inc. v. Hill, 158 Ga. App. 547 (1981) ................................................... 59
Green Room, Inc. v. Confederation Life Ins. Co., 215 Ga. App. 221 (1994) ................... 32
Green v. Carver State Bank, 178 Ga. App. 798 (1986) .............................................. 22, 23
Green v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 164 Ga. App. 205 (1982) ......................................... 97
Green v. Lindsey, 456 U.S. 444 (1982) ............................................................................ 34
Green v. Weaver, 164 Ga. App. 286 (1982) ................................................... 63, 80, 84, 85
Greenhill v. Allen, 181 Ga. App. 532 (1987) ................................................................... 57
Gresham v. Atlanta Gas Light Co., 193 Ga. App. 841 (1989).......................................... 70
Grier v. Jeffco Mgmt. Co., 176 Ga. App. 158 (1985) ................................................. 71, 95
Griffeth v. Wilmore, 46 Ga. App. 96 (1932) .................................................................... 35
Griffiths v. Rowe Props., 271 Ga. App. 344 (2005) ......................................................... 68
Grimes v. Gano, 111 Ga. App. 543 (1965) ....................................................................... 77
Gu v. Liu, 262 Ga. App. 443 (2003) ................................................................................... 9
Gulden v. Newberry Wrecker Ser., Inc., 154 Ga. App. 130 (1980) ............................... 101
Gully v. Glover, 190 Ga. App. 238 (1989) ....................................................................... 12
Gunthorpe v. Daniels, 150 Ga. App. 113 (1979) .............................................................. 90
Guptill v. Macon Stone Supp. Co., 140 Ga. 696 (1913) ................................................... 60
H.J. Russell & Co. v. Jones, 250 Ga. App. 28 (2001) ...................................................... 91
H.J. Russell & Co. v. Manuel, 264 Ga. App. 273 (2003) ................................................. 53
Hall v. Cohner, 134 Ga. App. 586 (1975) ......................................................................... 77
Hall v. Thompson, 193 Ga. App. 574 (1989) ................................................................... 93
Hall v. VNB Mtge. Corp., 170 Ga. App. 867 (1984).................................................. 15, 30
Hallisy v. Snyder, 219 Ga. App. 128 (1995) ...................................................................... 7
Hamilton v. Darden, 79 Ga. App. 554 (1940) .................................................................. 22
Han v. Trend Mgmt. Group, 194 Ga. App. 265 (1990) .................................................... 16
Hand v. Pelham Banking Co., 186 Ga. App. 520 (1988) ................................................... 8
Handler v. Hulsey, 199 Ga. App. 751 (1991) ................................................................... 55
Hardin v. Macon Mall, 169 Ga. App. 793 (1984)............................................................. 61
Harkins v. Boyd, 136 Ga. App. 365 (1975) ...................................................................... 31
Harmon v. W. James Wilson & Assocs., 124 Ga. App. 760 (1971) ................................. 41
Harris v. Riser, 30 Ga. App. 765 (1923) ........................................................................... 93
Harris v. Sloan, 199 Ga. App. 340 (1991) ........................................................................ 66
Harvey Freeman & Sons v. Stanley, 259 Ga. 233 (1989)........................................... 73, 94
Hathaway v. Gorfine, 134 Ga. App. 748 (1975) ............................................................... 82
Hayes v. Flaum, 138 Ga. App. 787 (1976) ....................................................................... 84
Haynes v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 154 Ga. App. 519 (1980) ....................................... 67
Haywood v. Wooden Peg, Inc., 174 Ga. App. 806 (1985) ............................................... 85
Healey Real Estate & Co. v. Wilson, 74 Ga. App. 63 (1946)........................................... 21
Heaton v. Fulton Nat. Bank, 46 Ga. App. 773 (1933) ........................................................ 9
Hemmerich v. Southeastern Props. Grp. L.P., 230 Ga. App. 697 (1998) ......................... 59
Henderson v. Colony West, Ltd., 175 Ga. App. 676 (1985) ............................................ 32
Henry v. Wild Pines Apts., 177 Ga. App. 576 (1986) ................................................ 21, 35
Hickman v. Toole, 31 Ga. App. 230 (1923) ..................................................................... 76
Hicks v. Beacham, 131 Ga. 89 (1908) .................................................................. 21, 25, 60
Hightower v. Daniel, 143 Ga. App. 217 (1977)................................................................ 81

Hill v. Hill, 241 Ga. 218 (1978) ........................................................................................ 35


Hill v. Kitchens, 39 Ga. App. 789 (1929) ..................................................................... 8, 30
Hill v. Levenson, 259 Ga. 395 (1989) .................................................................. 43, 53, 56
Hill v. Liebman, Inc., 53 Ga. App. 462 (1936) ........................................................... 67, 72
Hill v. Paradise Apts., Inc., 182 Ga. App. 834 (1987) ...................................................... 27
Hill v. Tschannen, 264 Ga. App. 288 (2003) .................................................................... 70
Hitchcock v. Mayfield, 133 Ga. App. 546 (1974) ............................................................ 69
Hodkinson v. Maloof, 137 Ga. App. 602 (1976) .............................................................. 21
Hohnerlein v. Thomas, 186 Ga. App. 282 (1988) ............................................................ 95
Holloway v. Feinberg, 100 Ga. App. 160 (1959) ............................................................. 93
Holy Fellowship Church of God v. Greater Travelers Rest Bapt. Church, 236 Ga. App.
177 (1999) ..................................................................................................................... 36
Home Owners Loan Corp. v. Brazzeal, 62 Ga. App. 683 (1946) ..................................... 73
Hopkins v. First Union Bank, 193 Ga. App. 109 (1989) .................................................. 94
Hose v. Jason Prop. Mgmt. Co., 178 Ga. App. 661 (1986) .............................................. 34
Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Berryhill, 146 Ga. App. 374 (1978) .................................... 30
Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Green, 169 Ga. App. 211 (1983) ......................................... 26
Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Hudson, 250 Ga. App. 109 (1982) ...................................... 34
Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Hudson,250 Ga. App. 109 (1982) ....................................... 51
Housing Auth. of Atlanta v. Jefferson, 223 Ga. App. 60 (1996) ...................................... 78
Housing Auth. of Columbus v. Jackson, 216 Ga. App. 51 (1995) ................................... 57
Housing Auth. of Decatur v. Bigsby, 200 Ga. App. 878 (1991) ...................................... 49
Housing Auth. of Decatur v. Brown, 180 Ga. App. 483 (1986) ....................................... 28
Housing Auth. of DeKalb County v. Pyrtle, 167 Ga. App. 181 (1983) ............................ 27
Howe v. Roberts, 259 Ga. 617 (1989) ........................................................................ 23, 53
Howell Gas of Athens, Inc. v. Coile, 112 Ga. App. 732 (1965) ....................................... 13
Howington v. Ferguson & Sons, Inc., 147 Ga. App. 636, 638 (1978) ............................. 60
Hummingbird Props., Inc. v. Arnita Scott, Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Civil
Action No. 95ed0232572 (6-6-95) .......................................................................... 24, 53
Hunter v. Ranitz, 88 Ga. App. 182 (1953) .......................................................................... 7
Hyman v. Leathers, 168 Ga. App. 112 (1983) ...................................................... 25, 33, 50
Imperial Hotel Co. v. Martin, 199 Ga. 801 (1945) ........................................................... 83
Imran v. Bone, 259 Ga. App. 591 (2003) ................................................................... 79, 86
International Indus., Inc. v. Dantone, 147 Ga. App. 247 (1978) ...................................... 10
Ivey v. Davis, 81 Ga. App. 598 (1950) ................................................................. 18, 20, 87
J.W. Truck Sales, Inc. v. Hartrampf Outdoor, L.L.L.P., ___ Ga. App. ___(1) (2006) ..... 47
Jackson v. Post Props., 236 Ga. App. 701 (1999) ............................................................. 67
James v. Hill, 90 Ga. App. 734 (1959) ............................................................................. 57
Jefferson v. Kennedy, 41 Ga. App. 672 (1930) ................................................................ 30
Jelks v. World of Realty, Inc., 153 Ga. App. 720 (1980) ................................................. 42
Jenkins v. Brice, 231 Ga. App. 843 (1998) ....................................................................... 81
Jenkins v. Smith, 92 Ga. App. 296 (1) (1955) .................................................................. 13
Jessop v. Carmichael Mgmt., Inc., 273 Ga. App. 199 (2005)........................................... 66
Jet Air, Inc. v. Management/USA, Inc., 180 Ga. App. 648 (1986) .................................. 31
Jett v. Wolfe, 75 Ga. App. 155 (1947) .............................................................................. 32
Johns v. Gibson, 60 Ga. App. 585 (1939) ......................................................................... 79

Johnson v. Ashkouti, 193 Ga. App. 810 (1989)................................................................ 61


Johnson v. Atlanta Hous. Auth., 243 Ga. App. 157 (2000) .............................................. 70
Johnson v. Gwinnett County Bank, 156 Ga. App. 597 (1980) ......................................... 48
Johnson v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 198 Ga. App. 816 (1991) ............................... 36, 52
Johnson v. Howard, 92 Ga. App. 96 (1955) ..................................................................... 18
Johnson v. Monumental Props., Inc., 141 Ga. App. 151 (1977)....................................... 24
Johnson v. Nelson Rives Realty, Inc., 245 Ga. App. 638 (2000) ..................................... 50
Johnson v. Watkins, 26 Ga. App. 759 (1921) ..................................................................... 5
Johnston v. Ross, 264 Ga. App. 252 (2003) ............................................................... 70, 77
Jones v. Atlanta Hous. Auth., 148 Ga. App. 605 (1979) .................................................. 28
Jones v. Campbell, 198 Ga. App. 83 (1990) ..................................................................... 65
Jones v. Clark, 147 Ga. App. 657 (1978).......................................................................... 98
Jones v. Cooke, 169 Ga. App. 516 (1984) ........................................................................ 36
Jordan v. Placer Holding Co., 213 Ga. App. 218 (1994) .................................................... 6
Jordan v. Rabenstein, 189 Ga. App. 119 (1988) ............................................................... 95
Judge v. Wellman, 198 Ga. App. 782 (1991) ................................................................... 10
Kace Invests. v. Hull, 263 Ga. App. 296 (2003) ................................................................. 5
Kaplan v. Sanders, 237 Ga. 132 (1976) ............................................................................ 89
Kappelmeier v. Household Realty Corp., 265 Ga. App. 564 (2004) ................................ 38
Kaylor v. Romines, 85 Ga. App. 839 (1952) ................................................................... 64
Kelley v. Daugherty, 201 Ga. App. 291 (1991) ................................................................ 40
Kellos v. Parker Sharpe, Inc., 245 Ga. 130, 135 n.3 (1980) ............................................. 57
Kenney v. Pitts, 73 Ga. App. 450 (1946) .......................................................................... 29
Kerlin v. Lane Co., 165 Ga. App. 622 (1983) .................................................................. 17
Kimber v. Towne Hills Devt. Corp., 156 Ga. App. 401 (1980) ................................. 14, 61
Kimber v. Towne Hills Devt. Corp.,156 Ga. App. 410 (1980) ...................................... 102
Kleinberg v. Lyons, 39 Ga. App. 774 (1929) ................................................................... 67
Krueger v. Paul, 141 Ga. App. 73 (1977) ......................................................................... 12
Krupp Realty Co. v. Joel, 168 Ga. App. 480 (1983)................................................... 98, 99
Krupp Realty Co., 168 Ga. App. 480 (1983) (full court).................................................. 98
Kunian v. Mangel Stores, 140 Ga. App. 244 (1976) ........................................................ 60
Kurc v. Herren, 196 Ga. App. 331 (1990) ...................................................................... 100
Lamb v. Housing Auth. of Vidalia, 146 Ga. App. 786 (1978) ................................... 35, 36
Lanier v. Romm, 131 Ga. App. 531 (1974) ...................................................................... 57
Largo Villas Homeowners' Assn. v. Bunce, 279 Ga. App. 524 (2006) ............................ 53
Lawson v. Crawford, 220 Ga. App. 447 (1996) ......................................................... 14, 15
Lee v. Huiet & Powell, Inc. 142 Ga. App. 528 (1977) ............................................... 85, 92
Lee v. Huiet & Powell, Inc., 142 Ga. App. 528 (1977) .............................................. 72, 76
Lee v. Tollerson, 139 Ga. App. 446 (1976) ...................................................................... 47
Leonard v. Donald, 134 Ga. App. 482 (1975) .................................................................. 47
Leverette v. Moran, 153 Ga. App. 825 (1980).................................................................. 41
Lewis & Co. v. Chisolm, 68 Ga. 40 (1881) .......................................................... 78, 83, 92
Lewis v. Countrywide Fund. Corp., 225 Ga. App. 440 (1997) ........................................ 47
Lewis v. Rickenbaker, 174 Ga. App. 371 (1985) ............................................................. 18
Liberty Life Ins. Co. v. T.B. Hartley Constr. Co., 258 Ga. 808 (1989) ............................ 98
Lidster v. Jones, 176 Ga. App. 392 (1985) ....................................................................... 68

Liles v. Still, 176 Ga. App. 65 (1985) ................................................................................. 6


Linch v. McNeil Real Estate Fund, 146 Ga. App. 505 (1978) ................................... 12, 60
Lipshutz v. Shantha, 144 Ga. App. 196 (1977) ................................................................ 40
Littman v. Suburban Opticians, 244 Ga. 702 (1979) ........................................................ 27
Livaditis v. American Cas. Co., 117 Ga. App. 297 (1968) ............................................... 13
Love v. McDevitt, 114 Ga. App. 734 (1966) .................................................................... 15
Lumpkin v. Provident Loan Soc., Inc., 15 Ga. App. 816 (1914) ...................................... 65
Lunsford Co. v. Klingenberg, 138 Ga. App. 791 (1976) .................................................. 31
Lunsford v. Income Props., Inc. 254 Ga. 55 (1985) ........................................................... 8
Mack v. Third Bedford Pines Apts. Ltd., 193 Ga. App. 838 (1989) ............................... 49
Mackenzie v. Minis, 132 Ga. 323 (1900) ..................................................................... 7, 17
Magnolia Whses. v. Morton & Realty Co., 102 Ga. App. 697 (1960) ....................... 80, 81
Mahoney v. McKenzie, 27 Ga. App. 245 (1921).............................................................. 59
Main Station, Inc. v. Atel I, Inc., 190 Ga. App. 205 (1989) ............................................. 60
Management Search Inc. v. Kinard, 231 Ga. 26 (1973) ................................................... 33
Manning & Assocs. Personnel, Inc. v. Trizec Props., Inc., 212 Ga. App. 600 (1994) ..... 99
Marcelli v. Teasley, 72 Ga. App. 421 (1945) ............................................................. 19, 20
Mariner Health Care, Inc. v. Mariner Healthcare, Inc., ___ Ga. App. ___, ___ [No.
A06A0775, July 11, 2006] ...................................................................................... 12, 13
Marsh v. RTC, 211 Ga. App. 216 (1993) ......................................................................... 23
Marshall v. Cozart, 94 Ga. App. 614 (1956) .................................................................... 35
MARTA v. Boswell, 261 Ga. 427 (1991) ......................................................................... 91
Martin v. Consolidated Stores Corp., 248 Ga. App. 812 (2001) ...................................... 94
Martin v. Hosp. Auth. of Clarke County, 264 Ga. 626 (1993) ......................................... 91
Martin v. Johnson-Lemon, 271 Ga. 120 (1999).................................................... 65, 66, 76
Maslia v. Hall, 121 Ga. App. 740 (1970).......................................................................... 17
Mason v. Gracey, 189 Ga. App. 150 (1988) ..................................................................... 72
Matlock v. Brown, 98 Ga. App. 579 (1958) ..................................................................... 58
Mattox v. Chapman, 67 Ga. App. 465 (1942) .................................................................. 29
May v. May, 165 Ga. App. 461 (1983) ............................................................................... 5
May v. Poole, 174 Ga. App. 224 (1985) ........................................................................... 26
Mayer v. Morehead, 106 Ga. 434 (1898).......................................................................... 65
McCarthy v. Lazarus, 137 Ga. 282 (2) (1911) .................................................................. 86
McCullough v. Briarcliff Summit, 237 Ga. App. 630 (1999) .............................. 62, 68, 93
McKay v. Nally, 173 Ga. App. 372 (1985) .................................................................... 101
McMillan v. Rodgers, 32 Ga. App. 647 (1924) ................................................................ 33
McNaughton v. Stephens, 8 Ga. App. 545 (1910) ............................................................ 86
McNeill v. Smith, 76 Ga. App. 426 (1948) ...................................................................... 22
McSwain v. Edge, 6 Ga. App. 9 (1909) ............................................................................ 24
McWilliams v. Hayes, 190 Ga. App. 709 (1989) ....................................................... 89, 90
Mendel v. Pinkard, 108 Ga. App. 128 (1963) ................................................................... 28
Messmore v. Roth, 185 Ga. App. 862 (1988) ............................................................. 19, 86
Metro Mgmt. Co. v. Parker, 247 Ga. 625 (1981).................................................. 26, 30, 32
Milford v. Shackleford, 17 Ga. App. 436 (1916).............................................................. 58
Miller & Meier & Assocs. v. Diedrich, 174 Ga. App. 249, rev'd in part on other grds., 254
Ga. 734 (1985) .............................................................................................................. 88

Mitcham v. Reese, 190 Ga. App. 689 (1989) ................................................................... 41


Mitchell v. Austin, 261 Ga. App. 585 (2003) ................................................................... 84
Mitchell v. Excelsior Sales & Imports, 243 Ga. 813 (1979)............................................. 50
Monahan v. National Realty Co., 4 Ga. App. 680 (1908) ................................................ 76
Monumental Props., Inc. v. Johnson, 136 Ga. App. 39 (1975) ........................................ 38
Moore v. Collins, 36 Ga. App. 701 (1927) ....................................................................... 33
Moore v. Thompson, 255 Ga. 236 (1985) ........................................................................ 90
Moran v. Mid-State Homes, Inc., 171 Ga. App. 618 (1984) ............................................ 41
Morris v. Britt, 275 Ga. App. 293 (2005) ......................................................................... 63
Morris v. Jones, 128 Ga. App. 847 (1973)........................................................................ 80
Moseley v. Rambo, 106 Ga. 597 (1898) ..................................................................... 16, 87
Mountain Hardwoods & Pine, Inc. v. Coosa River Sawmill Co., 233 Ga. 414 (1975) ... 37,
39
Mowell v. Marks, 277 Ga. App. 524 (2006) ..................................................................... 91
Mullinax v. Cook, 115 Ga. App. 201 (1967) .................................................................... 76
Mullinax v. Doughtie, 196 Ga. App. 747 (1990) .............................................................. 80
Mullis v. Shaheen, 217 Ga. App. 277 (1995) ................................................................... 61
Murray v. Thompson, 149 Ga. App. 852 (1979) .............................................................. 17
Mutual Ins. Co. v. Dublin Pub, Inc., 190 Ga. App. 94 (1989) .......................................... 45
Myers v. North Georgia Title & Tax Free Exch., Inc., 241 Ga. App. 379 (1999)............ 52
Napier v. Pool, 39 Ga. App. 187 (1928) ........................................................................... 72
National Heritage Corp. v. Mt. Olive Mem. Gardens, Inc., 244 Ga. 240 (1979) ............. 52
Navaho Corp. v. Stuckey, 141 Ga. App. 271 (1977) ........................................................ 34
Nesmith v. Starr, 115 Ga. App. 472 (1967) ................................................................ 68, 75
Nickerson v. Candler Bldg., Inc., 156 Ga. App. 396 (1980) ............................................ 44
Nixon v. A.F.M., Inc., 176 Ga. App. 546 (1985).............................................................. 49
Noble v. Bethlehem Hous. Auth., 617 F.Supp. 248 (E.D. Pa. 1985)................................ 14
Nobles v. Jiffy Market Food Store Corp., 260 Ga. App. 18 (2003) ............................... 100
Nobles v. Jiffy Market. Food Store Corp., 260 Ga. App. 18 (2003) ................................ 61
Northgate Village Apts. v. Smith, 207 Ga. App. 479 (1993) ........................................... 50
Nunn v. Taylor, 177 Ga. App. 44 (1985) .................................................................... 26, 60
Oami v. Delk Interchange, Ltd., 193 Ga. App. 640 (1989 (full court) ............................. 98
Oastler v. Wright, 201 Ga. 649 (1946) ............................................................................. 27
O'Connell v. Cora Bett Thomas Realty, Inc., 254 Ga. App. 311 (2002) .......................... 72
O'Connell v. Historic Invests. of the South, Inc., 265 Ga. App. 262 (2004) .................... 77
Officenters Intl Corp. of Atlanta v. Interstate North Assocs., 166 Ga. App. 93 (1983) .. 41
Officenters Intl. Corp. of Atlanta v. Interstate North Assoc., 166 Ga. App. 93 (1983) .... 44
Oglethorpe Realty Co., v. Hazzard, 172 Ga. App. 98 (1984) ........................................... 85
Overstreet v. Rhodes, 212 Ga. 521 (1956).................................................................. 80, 81
Overstreet v. Rhodes, 93 Ga. App. 422, aff'd, 212 Ga. 521 (1956) .................................. 74
Owens v. BarclaysAmerican/Mtge. Corp., 218 Ga. App. 160 (1995) .............................. 17
Pace v. Radcliff Mem. Presbyterian Church, Inc., 76 Ga. App. 840 (1947) ...................... 9
Padilla v. Hinesville Hous. Auth., 235 Ga. App. 409 (1998) ........................................... 95
Park v. Reid, Strong & Robertson, 141 Ga. 681 (1914) ................................................... 82
Parker v. Gortatowsky, 129 Ga. 623 (1907) ................................................................... 100
Parkhill Trust Fund, Inc. v. Carroll, 115 Ga. App. 108 (1967)................................... 10, 76

Patrick v. Glass, 188 Ga. App. 737 (1988) ....................................................................... 48


Patrick v. Macon Hous. Auth., 250 Ga. App. 806 (2001) ................................................ 68
Payne v. Seagars, 13 Ga. App. 101 (1913) ....................................................................... 58
Peachtree Cain Co. v. McBee, 254 Ga. 91 (1985) ............................................................ 71
Peachtree on Peachtree Investors, Ltd. v. Reed Drug Co., 251 Ga. 692 (1983) ......... 10, 27
Peek v. Duffy, 172 Ga. App. 834, 835 (1984) ............................................................ 87, 89
Pembrook Mgmt., Inc. v. Cossaboon, 157 Ga. App. 675 (1981) ..................................... 75
Perimeter Mall, Inc. v. Retail Sense, Inc., 162 Ga. App. 465 (1982) ............................... 26
Pertillo v. Forest Ridge Ltd., 166 Ga. App. 552 (1983) ............................................... 7, 26
Pharr v. Burnette, 158 Ga. App. 473 (1981) ..................................................................... 64
Phillips v. King, 214 Ga. App. 712 (1989) ....................................................................... 92
Piano & Organ Center, Inc. v. Southland Bonded Whse., Inc., 139 Ga. App. 480 (1976)
....................................................................................................................................... 74
Piano & Organ Center, Inc. v. Southland Bonded Whse., Inc.,139 Ga. App. 480 (1976) 82
Pitman v. Griffeth, 131 Ga. App. 489 (1974) ............................................................. 12, 27
Pitman v. Griffeth, 231 Ga. 136 (1973) ............................................................................ 20
Pittman v. U.S. Shelter Corp., 150 Ga. App. 37 (1979) ................................................... 43
Plant v. Lowman, 134 Ga. App. 752 (1975) ......................................................... 68, 77, 92
Pleasant v. Luther, 195 Ga. App. 889 (1990) ................................................................. 102
Plott v. Cloer, 219 Ga. App. 130 (1995) ........................................................................... 68
Plowden v. Hall, 55 Ga. App. 321 (1937) ........................................................................ 60
Point Apts., Inc. v. Bryant, 99 Ga. App. 110 (1959) ........................................................ 63
Ponce de Leon Condos. v. DiGirolamo, 238 Ga. 188 (1977) ........................................... 88
Poor v. Leader Fed. Bank for Savings, 221 Ga. App. 889 (1996) .................................... 46
Poultryland, Inc. v. Anderson, 200 Ga. 549 (1946) .......................................................... 83
Preece v. Turman Realty Co., 228 Ga. App. 609 (1997) .......................................... 47, 102
Price v. Age, Ltd., 194 Ga. App. 141 (1990) .................................................................... 44
Pritchett v. King, 56 Ga. App. 788 (1937) ........................................................................ 26
Proffitt v. Housing Systems, Inc., 154 Ga. App. 114 (1980) ...................................... 30, 32
Providence Constr. Co. v. Bauer, 229 Ga. App. 679 (1997), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1069
(1999) ............................................................................................................................ 96
Radcliffe v. Jones, 46 Ga. App. 33 (1932)........................................................................ 86
Radioshack Corp. v. Cascade Crossing II, LLC, 282 Ga. 841 (2007). ............................. 45
Raiford v. Department of Transportation, 206 Ga. App. 114, 117-18 (1992) .................... 8
Rainey v. 1600 Peachtree, LLC, 255 Ga. App. 299 (2002) .............................................. 76
Rakestraw v. Lubbock, 26 Ga. App. 330 (1920) .............................................................. 26
Ralston v. Dahlonega, 236 Ga. App. 386 (1999) .............................................................. 91
Ramey v. Pritchett, 90 Ga. App. 745 (1954) .................................................................... 72
Ranger v. First Family Mtge. Corp., 176 Ga. App. 715 (1985) ........................................ 32
Ranwez v. Roberts, 268 Ga. App. 80 (2004) .................................................................... 66
Ray M. Wright, Inc. v. Jones, 239 Ga. App. 521 (1999) .................................................. 48
Ray v. Holden, 62 Ga. App. 554 (1939) ........................................................................... 22
Raybestos Manhattan v. Friedman, 156 Ga. App. 880 (1981) ......................................... 78
Raymond v. Strickland, 124 Ga. 504 (1905) .................................................................... 19
Razdan v. Parzen, 157 Ga. App. 848 (1981) .................................................................... 73
Re/Max Specialists v. National Life Ins. Co., 207 Ga. App. 624 (1993) ......................... 74

Reahard v. Ivester, 188 Ga. App. 17 (1988) ..................................................................... 45


Realty Lenders, Inc. v. Levine, 286 Ga. App. 326 (2007). ............................................... 45
Retail Union Health & Welfare Fund v. Seabrum, 240 Ga. 695 (1978)..................... 21, 39
Richardson v. Palmour Court Apts., 170 Ga. App. 204 (1984) .................................. 77, 95
Rivera v. Housing Auth. of Fulton County, 163 Ga. App. 648 (1982)............................. 47
Roach v. Le Gree, 18 Ga. App. 250 (1916) ...................................................................... 94
Roberson v. Allen, 7 Ga. App. 142 (1909) ....................................................................... 82
Roberson v. Weaver, 145 Ga. 626 (1916) ........................................................................ 84
Roberts v. Collins, 199 Ga. App. 614 (1991) ................................................................... 37
Roberts v. Collins, 199 Ga. App. 614 (1999) ................................................................... 36
Roberts v. Graham, 98 Ga. App. 309 (1958) .................................................................... 22
Roberts v. Roberts, 205 Ga. App. 371 (1992) ........................................................... passim
Robinson v. Georgia Hous. & Fin. Auth., 244 Ga. App. 653 (2000) ............................... 48
Rogers v. Columbus Bank & Trust Co., 111 Ga. App. 792 (1965) .................................. 96
Roland v. Floyd, 53 Ga. App. 580 (1936) .......................................................................... 9
Ross v. Jackson, 123 Ga. 657 (1903) ................................................................................ 76
Rossville Apts. Co. v. Britton, 178 Ga. App. 194 (1986) ................................................. 89
Roth v. Wu, 199 Ga. App. 665 (1991) .............................................................................. 65
Rousch v. Green, 2 Ga. App. 112 (1907).......................................................................... 55
Rowland v. Colquitt, 214 Ga. App. 544 (1994), rev'd on other grnds., 265 Ga. 905 (1995)
......................................................................................................................................... 5
Rucker v. Wynn, 212 Ga. App. 69 (1994) ........................................................................ 61
Russell v. O'Donnell, 132 Ga. App. 294 (1974) ............................................................... 23
Sachs v. Jones, 83 Ga. App. 441 (1951) ........................................................................... 59
Sanders v. Brown, 178 Ga. App. 447 (1986) .............................................................. 20, 30
Sandifer v. Long Investors, Inc., 211 Ga. App. 757 (1994).................................. 31, 32, 34
Savannah Inn Towner Motor Inn, Inc. v. McCauley, 149 Ga. App. 209 (1979) .............. 80
SBP Mgmt., LLC v. Price, 277 Ga. App. 130, 131-32 (2006) ......................................... 48
Schill v. A.G. Spanos Devt., Inc., 217 Ga. App. 260 (1995) ...................................... 64, 84
Schoen v. Home Fed. S & L Assn., 154 Ga. App. 68 (1980) ..................................... 25, 33
Schuster v. Plaza Pac. Equities, 588 F. Supp. 61 (N.D. Ga. 1984) ................................... 62
Scoggins v Whitfield Fin. Co., 242 Ga. 416 (1978) ......................................................... 33
Sewell v. Royal, 147 Ga. App. 88 (1978) ......................................................................... 65
Shaddix v. Eberhart, 55 Ga. App. 498 (1937) .................................................................. 74
Shadowood Assocs. v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209 (1984) .................................. 67, 68, 86, 95
Shadowood Assocs. v. Kirk, 170 Ga. App. 209, 209 210(1) (1984) ................................ 94
Shaheen & Co. v. Dickson, 207 Ga. App. 328 (1993) .............................................. 14, 100
Sharp Boylston Co. v. Bostick, 90 Ga. App. 46 (1954).................................................... 72
Shattles v. Blanchard, 87 Ga. App. 15 (1952) .................................................................. 76
Shehane v. Eberhart, 30 Ga. App. 265 (1923) .................................................................. 78
Shelley v. Shannon, 267 Ga. App. 582 (2004) ................................................................. 56
Shiflett v. Anchor Rome Mills, Inc., 78 Ga. App. 428 (1948) ......................................... 10
Showalter v. Villa Prado Assoc., 182 Ga. App. 705 (1987) ............................................. 95
Sikes v. Carter, 30 Ga. App. 539 (1923) ........................................................................... 28
Simons v. Equitec Prop. Co., 190 Ga. App. 804 (1989) ................................................... 37
Simpson v. Yonts, 197 Ga. App. 311 (1990) .............................................................. 84, 90

Sims v. Majors, 178 Ga. App. 679 (1986) ........................................................................ 87


Sinclair Ref. Co. v. Davis, 47 Ga. App. 601 (1933) ......................................................... 30
Sinclair Ref. Co. v. Stovall, 41 Ga. App. 214 (1) (1929) ................................................. 17
Sixth Street Corp. v. Daniel, 80 Ga. App. 680 (1950) ................................................ 67, 94
Skelton v. Hill Aircraft & Leasing Corp., 175 Ga. App. 144 (1985) ......................... 21, 22
Smith v. General Apt. Co., 133 Ga. App. 927 (1975) ...................................................... 68
Smith v. General Fin. Corp. of America, 243 Ga. 500 (1979) ......................................... 58
Smith v. Hendrix, 162 Ga. App. 299 (1982) ..................................................................... 27
Smith v. Hightower, 80 Ga. App. 293 (1949) ................................................................... 18
Smith v. Housing Auth. of Athens, 212 Ga. App. 503 (1994).......................................... 94
Smith v. Hudgens, 140 Ga. App. 562 (1976).................................................................... 40
Smith v. Republic Realty Serv., Inc. 216 Ga. App. 736 (1995) ....................................... 40
Smith v. Republic Realty Serv., Inc., 216 Ga. App. 736 (1995) ................................ 16, 25
Smith v. Smith, 125 Ga. App. 257 (1972) .................................................................. 85, 93
Smith v. Warshaw, 121 Ga. App. 72 (1970) ..................................................................... 98
Smiway, Inc. v. DOT, 178 Ga. App. 414 (1986) .............................................................. 14
Smothers v. Nelson, 246 Ga. 216 (1980) .......................................................................... 59
Solon Automated Servs., Inc. v. Corporation of Mercer Univ., 221 Ga. App. 856 (1996) 9,
12
Southeastern Land Fund, Inc. v. Real Estate World, Inc., 237 Ga. 227 (1976)................ 98
Southwestern Composite Tech. Corp. v. Americus Sumter Payroll Devt. Auth., 239 Ga.
App. 342 (1999) ............................................................................................................ 11
Sparks v. Pine Forest Enterprises, Inc., 174 Ga. App. 598 (1985) ................................... 75
Spear v. Calhoun, 261 Ga. App. 835 (2003) ..................................................................... 71
Spence v. C & S Nat. Bank, 195 Ga. App. 294 (1990)............................................... 75, 92
Spence v. Wilson, 102 Ga. 762 (1897) ............................................................................... 5
Spooner v. Lossiah, 185 Ga. App. 876 (1988)............................................................ 19, 59
Stack v. Harris, 111 Ga. 149 (1900) ........................................................................... 74, 92
Stamps v. Nelson, ___ Ga. App. ___ [Mar. 13, 2008]...................................................... 56
Standard Mgmt. Co. v. Scott, 229 Ga. App. 36 (1997) .................................................... 93
Stanley v. Stembridge, 140 Ga. 750 (1913) ........................................................................ 7
State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Thomson, 180 Ga. App. 90 (1986) ...................................... 15
State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Bajalia, 216 Ga. App. 707 (1995) .................................. 102
Steele v. Chappell, 222 Ga. App. 451 (1996) ................................................................... 93
Step Ahead, Inc. v. Lehndorff Greenbriar, Ltd., 171 Ga. App. 805 (1984)........................ 6
Stephens v. Greensboro Props., Ltd., 247 Ga. App. 670 (2001) ...................................... 69
Stephens v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 163 Ga. App. 97 (1982) ...................................... 32
Stephens v. Stephens, 220 Ga. 22 (1964) ......................................................................... 20
Stepp v. Richman, 75 Ga. App. 169 (1947) ...................................................................... 26
Stern's Gallery of Gifts, Inc. v. Corporate Prop. Investors, Inc., 176 Ga. App. 586 (1985)
................................................................................................................................. 10, 89
Stern's Gallery of Gifts, Inc. v. Corporate Prop. Investors, Inc., 176 Ga. App. 592 (1985)
....................................................................................................................................... 11
Stone v. Dawkins, 192 Ga. App. 126 (1989) .................................................................... 49
Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745 (1987) ...................................................................... 38
Stringer v. Bugg, 254 Ga. App. 745 (2002) ................................................................ 51, 63

Strohecker v. Barnes, 21 Ga. 430 (1857) .......................................................................... 82


Stroup v. Robbie Jon Devt. Corp., 159 Ga. App. 652 (1982) ........................................... 51
Sturbridge Partners, Ltd. v. Walker, 267 Ga. 785 (1997) ................................................. 69
Sun Ins. Servs., Inc. v. 260 Peachtree St., Inc., 192 Ga. App. 482 1989)......................... 11
Sun Trust Banks v. Killebrew, 266 Ga. 109 (1995).......................................................... 69
Sunamerica Fin., Inc. v. 260 Peachtree St., Inc., 202 Ga. App. 790 (1992) ..................... 18
Super Market of Peachtree, Inc. v. W. J. Milner & Co., 111 Ga. App. 282 (1965) ....... 101
Super Market of Peachtree, Inc. v. W.J. Milner & Co., 111 Ga. App. 282 (1965) .......... 83
Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga. App. 556 (1990) .................................... passim
Swift Loan & Fin. Co. v. Duncan, 195 Ga. App. 556 (1990) ........................................... 19
Swim Dixie Pool Corp. v. Kraemer, 157 Ga. App. 748 (1981) .................................. 28, 79
Tampa Pipeline Corp. v. City Mills Co., 216 Ga. App. 783 (1995) ........................... 22, 34
Tauber v. Community Centers Two, LLC, 235 Ga. App. 705 (1998) ........................ 36, 37
Taylor v. Boyce, 105 Ga. App. 434 (1962) ...................................................................... 93
Taylor v. Commercial Credit Equip. Corp., 170 Ga. App. 322 (1984) .......................... 100
Temp N Around Med. Resources, Inc. v. Avondale Joint Venture, 248 Ga. App. 231
(2001) ............................................................................................................................ 24
Terrell v. Griffith, 129 Ga. App. 675 (1973) .............................................................. 30, 33
Teston v. Teston, 135 Ga. App. 321 (1975)........................................................................ 8
TGM Ashley Lakes, Inc. v. Jennings, 264 Ga. App. 456 (2003) ..................................... 73
Thimble Square, Inc. v. Frost, 221 Ga. App. 379 (1996) ................................................. 44
Thirsk v. Coldwell Banker/Barton Ludwig Realtors, 172 Ga. App. 236 (1984) .............. 81
Thomas v. Campbell, 126 Ga. App. 675 (1972) ................................................... 85, 86, 87
Thomas v. Jones, Fulton Superior Court Civ. Act. C 56364 (Feb. 28, 1980)................... 42
Thomas v. Shapiro, 189 Ga. App. 268 (1988) .................................................................. 75
Thomas v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 200 Ga. App. 592 (1991) ............................... passim
Thompson v. Crownover, 259 Ga. 126 (1989) .......................................................... passim
Thornton v. Ellis, 184 Ga. App. 884 (1987) ............................................................... 10, 12
Tilley v. Page, 181 Ga. App. 98 (1986) ............................................................................ 89
Total Equity Mgmt. Corp. v. Demps, 191 Ga. App. 21 (1989) .................................. 65, 70
Touch Indus., Inc. v. 75 Canton Bus. Park Ltd. Partnership, 202 Ga. App. 548 (1992) .... 6
Towaliga Falls Power Co., 6 Ga. App. 749 (1909)........................................................... 87
Tower Projects, LLC v. Marquis Tower, Inc., 267 Ga. App. 164 (2004)......................... 11
Townsend Etc. Enterprises v. W.R. Bean & Son, 117 Ga. App. 109 (1968) .................. 18
Travelers Ins. Co. v. Linn, 235 Ga. App. 641 (1998) ...................................................... 10
Traveler's Ins. Co. v. Linn, 235 Ga. App. 641 (1998) .................................................... 102
Trawick v. Consolidated Cap. Growth Fund, 156 Ga. App. 764 (1980) .............. 16, 24, 60
Trevino v. Flanders, 231 Ga. App. 782 (1998) ................................................................. 50
Tribble v. Somers, 115 Ga. App. 847 (1967).................................................................... 75
Truitt v. Housing Auth. of Augusta, 235 Ga. App. 92 (1998) .......................................... 43
Trumpet v. Brown, 215 Ga. App. 299 (1994) ............................................................. 30, 31
Trust Co. Bank v. Shaw, 182 Ga. App. 165 (1987) .................................................... 23, 37
Trust Co. Bank v. Shaw, 182 Ga. App. 92 (1998) ............................................................ 51
Turman v. MacLachlan, 257 Ga. 69 (1987)...................................................................... 11
Turner Comms. Corp. v. Hickcox, 161 Ga. App. 79 (1982) .............................................. 8
Turpin v. North American Accep. Corp., 119 Ga. App. 212 (1969) ................................ 52

Twin Tower Joint Venture v. American Marketing & Comms. Corp., 166 Ga. App. 364
(1983) ...................................................................................................................... 31, 44
Uniroyal Inc. v. Hood, 588 F.2d 454, 460 (Former 5th Cir. 1979) .................................. 71
University Apts., Inc. v. Uhler, 84 Ga. App. 720 (1951) .................................................. 14
Valdes Hotel Co. v. Ferrell, 17 Ga. App. 93 (1915) ......................................................... 74
Valdosta Hous. Auth. v. Finnessee, 160 Ga. App. 552 (1981) ................................... 87, 88
Vaswani v. Wohletz, 196 Ga. App. 676 (1990) .......................................................... 11, 14
Vaughan v. Wrenn Bros., Inc., 163 Ga. App. 383 (1982) ................................................ 59
Vickers v. Merry Land & Invest. Co., 263 Ga. App. 316 (2003) ............................... 23, 34
Vineyard Village-Georgia, Inc. v. Crum, 136 Ga. App. 335 (1975) ................................ 15
Vinings Jubilee Partners, Ltd. v. Vinings Dining, Inc., 266 Ga. App. 34 (2004) ............. 41
Vintage Enterprises, Inc. v. Powers, 175 Ga. App. 785 (1985) ........................................ 48
Virginia Highland Assocs. v. Allen, 174 Ga. App. 706 (1985) .................................... 6, 24
Vizzini v. Blonder, 165 Ga. App. 840 (1983) ................................................................... 95
W. James Wilson & Assocs., Inc. v. Kelley, 143 Ga. App. 271 (1977) ........................... 61
Waddell v. Wofford Oil Co., 84 Ga. App. 617 (1951) ..................................................... 77
Wadkins v. Smallwood, 243 Ga. App. 134 (2000) ........................................................... 69
Waldo v. Moore, 241 Ga. App. 797 (2000) ...................................................................... 94
Walker v. Crane, 216 Ga. App. 765 (1995) ................................................................ 52, 55
Walker v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 174 Ga. App. 585 (1985) ........................... 79, 83, 88
Walker v. St. Paul Apts., Inc., 227 Ga. App. 298 (1997) ................................................. 69
Wall Realty Co. v. Leslie, 54 Ga. App. 560 (1936) ...................................................... 5, 72
Ward v. Walker, 222 Ga. 451 (1966).......................................................................... 20, 83
Warner v. Arnold, 133 Ga. App. 174 (1975) .............................................................. 67, 72
Watson v. McDowell & Son, Inc., 204 Ga. App. 635 (1992)........................................... 39
Watts v. Jaffs, 216 Ga. App. 565 (1995) .............................................................. 62, 70, 92
Weaver v. Roberson, 134 Ga. 149 (1916) .................................................................. 79, 80
Ween v. Saul, 88 Ga. App. 299 (1953) ............................................................................. 71
Wellbaum v. Murphy, 122 Ga. App. 654 (1970) .............................................................. 82
Wells v. C & S Trust Co., 199 Ga. App. 31 (1991) .......................................................... 93
West View Corp. v. Thunderbolt Yacht Basin, Inc., 208 Ga. 93 (1951) .......................... 28
Whiddon v. Stargell, 192 Ga. App. 826 (1989) ................................................................ 48
Whipper v. Kirk, 156 Ga. App. 218 (1980) .......................................................... 30, 42, 96
White v. Thacker, 89 Ga. App. 656 (1954) .................................................................... 101
Wig Fashions, Inc. v. A T O Props., Inc. 145 Ga. App. 325 (1978) ................................. 26
Wig Fashions, Inc. v. A T O Props., Inc., 145 Ga. App. 325 (1978) ................................ 31
Wilbanks v. Arthur, 257 Ga. App. 226 (2002) ................................................................. 22
Willen Mfg. Co. v. Screen Process Equip. Co., No. A97D0125, Ga. Ct. App., (12-13-96)
....................................................................................................................................... 47
Williams Thompson Co. v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 35 Ga. App. 556 (1926) ................ 60
Williams v. Clayton Park Mobile Home Court, Inc., 166 Ga. App. 359 (1983) .............. 60
Williams v. Jones, 26 Ga. App. 558 (1921) ................................................................ 77, 95
Williams v. Mayes, 46 Ga. App. 142 (1932) .................................................................... 67
Williams v. Paradise Mgmt., Inc., 187 Ga. App. 292 (1988) ........................................... 28
Williams Wagon Wks. v. Gunn, 14 Ga. App. 158 (1913) ................................................ 86
Williams-East, Inc. v. Weeks, 156 Ga. App. 861 (1981) ................................................. 25

Williamson v. May, 44 Ga. App. 532 (1931) ................................................................... 67


Williams-Thompson Co. v. Louisville & N. R. Co., 35 Ga. App. 556 (1926) ................. 58
Willis v. Harrell, 118 Ga. 906 (1903) ................................................................................. 7
Windermere, Ltd. v. Bettes, 211 Ga. App. 177 (1993) ......................................... 46, 62, 70
Winzer v. EHCA Dunwoody, LLC, 277 Ga. App. 710 (2006) ........................................ 24
Womack v. Columbus Rentals, Inc., 223 Ga. App. 501 (1996) ....................................... 35
Womack v. Columbus Rentals, Inc., 223 Ga. App. 501 (1996) ....................................... 36
Wood v. D.G. Jenkins Homes, Inc., 255 Ga. App. 572 (2002) ........................................ 90
Woodall v. Pharr, 119 Ga. App. 692 (1969) ..................................................................... 27
Woodall v. Rivermont Apts., 239 Ga. App. 36 (1999) ..................................................... 69
Woodruff v. B X Corp., 154 Ga. App. 197 (1980) ........................................................... 46
Worn v. Warren, 191 Ga. App. 448 (1989) ...................................................................... 90
Wright v. Kilgo, 212 Ga. 712 (1956) ................................................................................ 15
Yates v. Farmer, 102 Ga. App. 570 (1960) ....................................................................... 59
Yeomans v. American Nat. Ins. Co., 150 Ga. App. 334 (1979) ....................................... 41
Yon v. Shimeall, 257 Ga. App. 845 (2002) ...................................................................... 95
Young v. Cowles, 128 Ga. App. 770 (1973) .................................................................... 22
Zakaria v. McElwaney, 174 Ga. App. 149 (1985) .......................................................... 102
Zeeman Mfg. Co. v. L. R. Sams Co., 123 Ga. App. 99 (1970) ........................................ 78
Zeeman v. Black, 156 Ga. App. 82 (1980) ....................................................................... 63
Zeeman Mfg. Co. v. L. R. Sams Co., 123 Ga. App. 99 (1970) ....................................... 56
Last Updated: April 14, 2008