The Top Rated Marietta Property Management Company

As one of the top Marietta property management companies, we know that Marietta is more than just an Atlanta suburb. In fact, Marietta is quickly becoming one of the best places to live in Georgia. This vibrant city offers its 61,000 residents a small-town feel, with the amenities of metropolitan Atlanta only a short drive away. The city is also brimming with its own rich culture and heritage. Residents and visitors enjoy spending time in beautiful Marietta Square, the cultural hub of the city. In Marietta Square, you can enjoy concerts, shopping, restaurants, or simply go for a relaxing walk. Marietta Square is also home to a weekly farmers market, art festivals, and other community events. The six museums within walking distance of Marietta Square allow residents to explore the history and importance of Marietta, including its place in the classic book and movie Gone With The Wind

But Marietta is more than just a small town with a great culture. Marietta’s unemployment rate is lower than the US average, with job growth across all sectors. Jobs in construction, business, manufacturing, and education bring new residents to Marietta each year with no signs of slowing. If you have ever considered buying an investment property, Marietta is a great place to start. As a Marietta property management company with local expertise and almost 30 years of experience, we are happy to welcome you to one of the greatest cities in Georgia and help you find the perfect investment property.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

Specialized Property Management Atlanta is a full-service property management company. What does “full service” mean exactly? It means we take care of everything during the rental cycle, so you don’t need to lift a finger. Here is a brief overview of the services we provide:

  • Preparing Your Property: We will inspect your property before putting it on the market to make sure it is rent ready, and inform you of any changes that need to be made. By making sure your property is rent ready we cut back expensive vacancy days.
  • Advertising Your Rental: We list your rental property across dozens of websites, including our own Marietta property management rental page, using high-quality photos and virtual walkthroughs. Aggressive marketing attracts high-quality tenants and saves you money by decreasing vacancy days. We are also available for showings when a potential tenant calls.
  • Tenant Screening: Placing a qualified tenant will help you avoid evictions. How do we find the best tenants? We perform background, reference, and credit checks, as well as verify the employment and income of every resident over 18. 
  • Periodic Inspections: Some property management companies only inspect at move in and move out. After many years in the business, we know mid-lease inspections are a tremendous benefit to both property owners and tenants. We check for lease compliance and maintenance issues, as well as taking note of the general state of the rental home.
  • Lease Signing: We gather all necessary documents and signatures, and ensure deposits are placed in an escrow account as required by Georgia law. We also provide your new tenant with information such as how to pay their rent online and who to call in case of a maintenance emergency.  
  • Rent Collections: One of the most basic daily tasks of any Marietta property management company is collecting rent. It seems simple, but in fact it can take time and effort to ensure everyone is in compliance.
  • Maintenance: Working with our property managers means you never have to answer middle of the night maintenance calls again. Not only do we field those calls, but we also perform periodic, cost-effective maintenance to keep your rental home running smoothly.
  • Client Reports: On your personalized owner portal you can view reports about your property and accounting data any time of the day or night. You are kept in the know about your property, whether or not you live in Marietta.

As you can see, property management entails more than simply collecting rent and responding to maintenance calls. Property management is a full time, nights and weekends kind of job. In addition, what may seem like a small mistake can end up costing you thousands of dollars. Trust the experienced property managers at Specialized Property Management to take care of your Marietta investment. We know how to avoid common landlord mistakes and run your property efficiently to increase your bottom line. 

Why Choose Specialized As Your Marietta Property Management

In Marietta and the Atlanta metro area, there are dozens of property management companies to choose from. Why choose Specialized Property Management Atlanta? We’re one of the top property management companies for a reason. Our clients trust us to provide the best service year after year. You should never settle for anything but the best when it comes to your Marietta investment property. That is why we offer the following guarantees.

  • Price Match Guarantee: With our price match guarantee, you can be certain you are getting the best service at the best price. We will gladly match any competitor’s price for equivalent property management services. Visit our price match guarantee page to learn more.
  • Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee: We offer a 60-day 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with our Marietta property management, we will give you your money back!
  • Tenant Guarantee: We believe our tenant screening procedures will bring in the best possible tenant, which is why we offer a 10-month tenant guarantee. If your tenant moves out during the first 10 months of the lease, we will cover costs to replace them.
  • Fee Lock Guarantee: Have you ever been frustrated by hidden management fees or unexpected rate increases? With our fee lock guarantee, we lock in transparent service fees for three years so you can budget and plan for the future.
  • Compliance Guarantee: Local and federal housing laws keep property owners and tenants safe, but all too often “discount” property managers break these laws and owners are on the hook for huge fines. We guarantee your rental property will be in compliance with all federal, state, and local Marietta housing laws.
  • Protected Property Guarantee: Under our management, your Marietta investment will be in good hands. Cost-effective maintenance protects your asset and keeps it safe.
  • Technology Guarantee: Our state of the art Marietta property management software ensures your home is a well-run machine. Data collected by our software is used to make sure we are cutting unnecessary costs and making informed decisions.

What else makes Specialized Property Management stand apart from the competition? When you are searching for the best property management company you need someone who is local, someone who knows Marietta inside and out. Our property managers know and love Marietta, and enjoy helping others discover this great city. We have connections with local vendors like plumbers and HVAC contractors, so when you need someone trustworthy we know who to call. Don’t settle for a property manager who does the bare minimum. Choose the experienced professionals, proven processes, and specialized guarantees only offered through Specialized Property Management Atlanta.

Why Do Marietta Property Owners Love Specialized Property Management Atlanta?

With local expertise, years of experience, and our property management guarantees what is not to love about our Marietta property management? Our property owners and tenants are consistently satisfied with the way we do business, which is reflected in our online reviews and ratings. Specialized Property Management Atlanta has a 4.3 star rating on Google.com and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau. But don’t take our word for it, read what our clients have to say.

“Thanks for the good customer service, very informative and always willing to listen and answer any questions via email or phone call. Very pleased with the process” 

Jenny B. Google review

“Specialized Property Management has been a pleasure to deal with. They have been there to answer any questions I had regarding my next rental. I’d recommend them if you’re looking for your next property!”

Patrick W. Better Business Bureau review

“…The specialist at Specialized Property Management made the viewing of the property easy, the lease agreement was transparent and the move-in process was stress free. I would definitely recommend this 5 STAR property management team to anyone looking to rent or thinking about renting out their home.”

Michael F. Google review

“We have rented from Specialized Property for the last seven years. We have been extremely pleased with our rental condo, and the prompt and professional service when we needed maintenance. The grounds are maintained meticulously, which is important to me when family or friends visit. I highly recommend them.”

Jacqueline R. Better Business Bureau Review

If you’re searching for a Marietta property management company, look no further than Specialized Property Management Atlanta. As Marietta locals, we know the market better than anyone around, and we can help you turn your investment into a success. Call us today and we will put our experienced professionals and proven processes to work for you. 

For a no-obligation quote, call us today at 404-596-8454.

How Atlanta Property Managers Utilize Technology

There is no doubt that Atlanta is fast becoming a hub for the tech industry, and attracting young professionals in droves. Atlanta has experienced incredible economic growth thanks to tech companies and Georgia Tech graduates who set up shop in the Atlanta metro area. Younger generations are online more, changing how we do business. But what does this new attitude toward technology mean for rental property owners? Refusing to adopt technological advances in property management can be detrimental to your bottom line. Don’t get left in the dust when it comes to adopting technology for your property management business. Learn the advantages of using a property management company to keep your rental investment on the cutting edge of technology.

How Technology is Changing Property Management

Why is it important to keep up with technological advances as a rental property owner? If you have owned property for some time, you may have squeaked by with word of mouth advertising and finding tenants who always mailed their rent checks on time. But times are changing, Atlanta is becoming younger and more tech-savvy, and in order to attract highly qualified tenants, you need to utilize technology. Even if your property is in great condition and offers outstanding amenities, tenants may not choose it if you don’t offer the latest property management technologies. When we talk about how technology is changing the way we do business keep the following things in mind:

  • Millennials (individuals aged 24-39 in 2020) make up a large portion of Atlanta residents. The average age of an Atlanta resident is 33 years old.
  • Millennials use digital technology the most however, even the average American is spending nearly seven hours online per day.
  • More people are searching for homes online. According to a report from Realtor.com and Google, real estate related searches jumped 253% over 4 years.

How Atlanta Property Managers Show Properties Online

Before you think about offering services such as online rent payments, your rental home needs to be occupied. Technology is now shaping how we manage vacancies and making it easier to fill spots quickly. According to the old model of property management, potential residents would either get in touch with a realtor to show them listings or drive by a home with a “for rent” sign and call the number posted. Now tenants are searching online databases such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor, making a list of the homes they want to see, and getting in contact with the realtor, landlord, property management company. In other words, potential tenants know what they want and are doing much of the legwork. If your rental home is not listed across multiple websites, chances are you will not even be contacted for a showing. Make sure your home is posted on every website, not just the ones that allow you to list for free. One of the advantages of using a property management company like Specialized Property Management Atlanta is knowing your home will be advertised well. We have our own webpage, where potential tenants can search rentals, but we also list your home across dozens of other sites.

Many property owners are also finding that posting their rental across multiple realty websites brings in a wider variety of serious, qualified tenants. Why does this happen? Online searches allow potential tenants to filter results so they can find the exact location, price, size, and amenities they want. Gone are the days of showing around a potential tenant only to hear, “I didn’t realize there is no washer and dryer, that is a dealbreaker.” 

Online rental property searches are an especially important feature to young professionals who are moving cities for job relocation. Millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs, often moving across the country for their dream job. They may even sign a lease before physically stepping onto the property, therefore they want as much information about the property as possible. High-quality pictures, an accurate description, and virtual walkthroughs are now the norm when it comes to marketing your rental property.  

Why Atlanta Property Managers Use the Internet for Tenant Applications and Screening

Filling out a rental application can take time. Potential tenants must provide information such as income, past addresses, and reference’s contact information. In other words, the information they most likely have not committed to memory. An online application allows potential tenants to fill out their rental information from the comfort of their home and gives them access to important information such as pay stubs. 

In addition, as we mentioned above Atlanta, is quickly becoming a hub for the tech industry and attracting young professionals from all over the world. These young professionals want to get the leasing process started before they move their belongings. Online rental applications provide a quick and easy way for tenants to fill out their application and submit important documents like a copy of their ID and latest pay stub.  

Using Technology During the Rental Cycle

One advantage of using a property management company is not dealing with the day to day aspects of owning rental property. However, even if you aren’t part of the day to day aspects of running the property, you can take steps to ensure your tenants’ lives are as easy and possible using the latest technologies. Here are a few ways you can simplify your tenant’s life:

  • Online Rent Payments: Give your tenant a way to sign up for automatic monthly payments so they don’t have to worry about paying rent on time. 
  • Maintenance Tickets: Non-emergency maintenance calls shouldn’t interrupt your dinner. For non-emergency maintenance your tenant can fill out an online help ticket any time of day or night.
  • Tenant Communication: Use email, text messages, or other forms of technology to contact your tenant. Make sure you find out their preferred contact method when signing the lease.

Keep in mind that some tenants may like to drop off their rent check at the office each month, or prefer phone calls to emails. Technology makes property management more efficient, but only as long as your tenant is happy to use it. Provide options for rent payment, maintenance tickets, and more so your tenants can choose what works for them.

How Specialized Property Management Atlanta Property Managers Use Technology

Our Specialized Team has almost 30 years of experience in property management, and we are proud to use the most advanced property management technologies available. Many of our property owners reside outside of Atlanta, and many tenants move here from out of state. Therefore, technology makes our job more efficient and transparent. Here are a few ways our property owners and tenants benefit from our services:

  • Tenant Portal: Our online tenant portal provides a place for tenants to pay rent and submit maintenance requests any time of day or night. The tenant portal makes life easier for tenants and reduces late rent payments. Tenants love being able to access their portal from the comfort of their homes.
  • Owner Portal: Whether you reside in Atlanta, or anywhere else in the world, you can access information about your property 24/7. Our online owner portal contains recent property inspection reports, photos, tax documents, and more. It is the perfect way for owners to stay up to date with what is happening at their property.
  • Online Marketing: As we stated above, one of the advantages of using a property management company is knowing your property will be marketed well, and no one does it better than Specialized Property Management Atlanta. We take pictures, create a 3D virtual tour, and post your listing across dozens of websites. Not only does your home reach a larger applicant pool, but digital marketing also brings in more serious tenants.
  • Online Rental Application: When a tenant sees a home they want to apply for we welcome them to fill out an online application form. Filling out an online application speeds up the leasing process and makes it easier for those residing outside of Atlanta. Once the application is finished, we can screen each candidate online to make sure they qualify.
  • Tenant Communication: Good communication is important at every stage of the rental cycle. Our specialized team is on call for tenant showings and stays in contact during the application process in order to fill vacancies quickly. After placing a tenant, we make sure their contact information and preferences are always up to date.

If you are looking for the best Atlanta property managers, look no further than Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Our team provides the latest technologies, coupled with excellent customer service. In a recent Google review, property owner Wayland W. stated, “Specialized Property Management has a very synergetic process for servicing their customers. I had questions about the process of finding a tenant for my property. There was always a person I could turn to provide me with information about where were at in the process.”

Our experienced professionals and proven processes will allow you to sit back and relax, knowing your property is in good hands. To receive a quote for professional property management services, call us at 404-596-8454.

How Millennials Affect Atlanta Real Estate Rental Trends

Over the past several years, the millennial generation has been accused of killing a host of industries. Market Watch reports Millennials are responsible for ruining institutions and industries like the nine-to-five workweek, diamonds, and even napkins. While some of these accusations are tongue in cheek, there is no denying that the millennial generation has a huge effect on our economy. The Pew Research Center defines the millennial generation as those born between 1981 and 1996, or adults ages 24-39 in 2020. This generation is the prime age for moving important market indicators, such as employment and homeownership, therefore it is important to pay attention to how they affect real estate rental trends. In order to market your Atlanta rental property effectively, you need to learn why more millennials are renting, and what they are looking for in a rental property. 

Millennial Values and Mindsets

Compared to older generations Millennials live at home longer, get married later in life, and engage more with digital technology.  According to Experian, Millennials carry an average of $34,504 in student loan debt. They place a high value on happiness in both their personal lives and in their careers, and, according to Gallup, are the most likely generation to switch jobs. Switching jobs often leads to moving, either across the city or across state lines. Housing Wire reports that Millennials move more than any other generation, about once every two years. 

Most Millennials came of age in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, which greatly affects how they treat money and what they value. Overall, Millennials tend to value experiences over purchases. According to this poll, about 3 out of 4 Millennials choose to spend their money on experiences rather than goods, and specifically budget for these experiences. 

What Property Managers in Atlanta Need to Know About Millennial Homeownership

How has homeownership changed with the rise of the millennial generation? In terms of value, Millennials prioritize freedom over owning their own home. Freedom to use their money for travel instead of home repairs. Freedom to take their dream job across the country without worrying about selling their house. Millennials often see homeownership as a burden instead of a smart financial strategy.

However, not all Millennials really want to rent forever. A recent survey by Apartment List reveals, “the vast majority of millennials want to own a home, but millennial homeownership rates have significantly lagged previous generations.” This lag has to do in part with the value changes noted above, but Apartment List also points out that many Millennials simply feel homeownership is unattainable and they are resigned to being renters for the foreseeable future. Among those surveyed, “12.3 percent of millennial renters said they plan to “always rent,” up from 10.7 percent just one year ago.” 

Why do Millennials feel homeownership is unattainable? Finances are to blame for this real estate rental trend. As we noted above, Millennials carry a significant amount of student loan debt. However, that is not the only type of debt Millennials carry. In addition to student loans, Millennials have an average of $4,712 in credit card debt according to Experian. Paying off significant debt means less money saved for a down payment. Millennials are also receiving less down payment support from family members. According to the Apartment List survey mentioned above, “17.4 percent of millennials are expecting support, down from 19.1 percent a year prior. The value of this support is also shrinking; those who expect help in 2019 are expecting less ($8,928) than they did last year ($9,878).”

A smaller portion of Millennial renters believe homeownership is too risky. Again, Apartment List reports that of the Millennials they surveyed who plan to always rent, 28% are doing so because they see homeownership as a risky financial strategy. This could be in part because many Millennials began adulthood during the Great Recession, where foreclosures were common and jobs were scarce. Keeping their assets liquid simply feels safer than tying them up in the fickle housing market.

Millennials and Atlanta Real Estate Rental Trends

How much influence does the Millennial generation have in Atlanta real estate? According to Invest Atlanta, the median age of residents in the City of Atlanta is 33.8, firmly within the Millennial age range. Millennials are more likely than their predecessors to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, with many holding degrees in STEM fields. This rise in highly educated individuals, as well as top schools like Georgia Tech, has likely contributed to Atlanta being named a leader in technology and attracting new businesses.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the owner-occupied housing rate in Atlanta is only 43.4. The median household income in the Atlanta metro area is $66,958, while the average rent is $1,474. Millennials make up a large portion of the renter population and are likely to rent long term. In fact, Curbed Atlanta reports 5.8% of Atlanta Millennials expect to rent forever, and only 24% are on track financially to buy in the next 5 years. 

Tips for Purchasing a Rental Property From Property Managers in Atlanta

With changing mindsets and values how can Atlanta property owners choose the right rental home? First, think about Millennial’s long term goals. Many will not be purchasing homes in the next 5 years, but they still want a place to call home. This is one reason the single-family rental home market is on the rise. As Millennials look to settle down and start a family, they want a single-family home, even if they do not want to own, or cannot afford to own. In fact, even home builders are taking note and beginning to build entire communities comprised of single-family rental homes. 

If you have not yet purchased your rental property, or you are looking to buy more property, set yourself up for success by thinking like a millennial renter. However, try not to get caught up in short-term real estate rental trends. For example, tiny homes are a recent housing trend and are inexpensive to purchase. However, a smaller portion of the population will be interested in a tiny home, and it is hard to predict how this trend will play out in the next 5 years. Remember, to run a successful rental property you should attract more than one type of renter. When looking for rental homes that will be easy to place a tenant in look for an average layout, 3 bedrooms, less than 15 years old, and with amenities like a washer and dryer. The majority of Millennials own a pet, so picking a pet-friendly home with a backyard will help you attract more renters. Choose a rental property in a good school district, close to public transportation, and nearby shopping and restaurants. For more guidelines on buying investment property see our recent post Atlanta Property Management Companies Make Investing Easy

How Property Managers in Atlanta Can Market to Millennials

Millennials spend a large portion of their time online, which is why online marketing is so important. In addition, with the rise of the tech industry in Atlanta, more young professionals are moving to the metro area from other parts of the country. Often, these young professionals want their housing in place before they move, and will rent a home without setting foot in the physical space. High quality, professional pictures, and video walk-throughs should always be part of your marketing strategy.

However, you cannot simply advertise your home across one or two websites and expect to bring in high-quality tenants. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta, we have our own webpage where potential tenants can search available properties. But if that was the only place we advertised rental properties, we would be doing our clients a disservice. By advertising across dozens of websites and listing the properties we manage on MLS, we cast a wide net in search of the best tenants. 

Why You Should Work With the Top Property Managers in Atlanta

The landscape of property management is changing, whether we like it or not. New generations bring new challenges, but as one of the top property management companies in Atlanta, no one is more prepared than we are. Our property managers are experts in Atlanta real estate, and well equipped to deal with the changes Atlanta is going through. But don’t take our word for it, look at Google or the Better Business Bureau to see reviews like this one: 

“…After SPM took over, that property’s revenue generation increased significantly; I no longer had the burden of maintenance and tenant calls; and SPM’s online portal made bookkeeping/tax prep a breeze.  But what really distinguishes SPM (and prompted me to write this review) is their customer service. It. Is. Excellent. My account with them was for a SINGLE property. They treated me like I was their largest account, and I always felt like they were on top of even the smallest issues.  SPM didn’t ask for my trust … they earned it.” – Steve P. From Google.com

Real estate rental trends may change, but our management will make sure your property stays relevant. To request a professional property management quote, contact us today at 404-596-8454.

Can Professional Property Management in Atlanta Protect You From Legal Issues?

Owning rental property puts you at risk for legal issues. However, careful tenant selection and adherence to Georgia law can help you avoid this risk. Professional property management in Atlanta is here to help you navigate the tricky waters of federal and state real estate law so you don’t get stuck with hefty court fees and fines.

What Does a Property Owner Need to Disclose?

The Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook is an excellent resource for property owners who are curious about their legal responsibilities. State and federal housing laws are designed to protect both tenants and property owners and should be followed closely.

During the application and lease signing process, a landlord must supply several disclosures. First, landlords must provide a lead-based paint disclosure. The Landlord Tenant Handbook states,

“Landlords who rent units built before 1978 must disclose the presence of all known lead-based paint and lead hazards in the rental unit and common areas, unless the property is determined to be lead-based paint free by a state-certified inspector. Lofts, studios or short term leases of less than 100 days are exempt.”

Second, a property owner or their Atlanta rental management company must provide a flooding disclosure. If your rental home has been damaged by flooding at least three times during the past five years you must provide a disclosure to your tenant prior to lease signing. If a flooding disclosure is not provided the property owner is liable for damages if the property floods again during the terms of the lease.

Third, a list of existing defects and damages must be provided to the tenant. This list serves as a basis for determining how the security deposit is used after the tenant vacates the property. It is important for the tenant to inspect the property when they receive the list to ensure that all defects and damages are included. Within three days of the tenant moving out, the landlord should inspect the property and take note of any damages caused by the tenant so they can be charged accurately. The tenant may also choose to inspect the property and make notes so there are no disputes over damages.

The fourth disclosure a property owner or their professional property management in Atlanta should provide is the disclosure regarding previous residents. It is required to disclose a death that occurred at the property if directly asked. 

Some property managers try to cut corners and deal dishonestly with tenants in order to rent out a property quickly. However, failure to provide accurate disclosures to your tenants could result in fines, court fees, and the payment of damages that are a result of a failure to disclose. In addition, not providing the correct disclosures is just ethically wrong. When you are hiring a property management company in Atlanta make sure you find one who follows all rental property laws.

What Else is a Property Owner Responsible For?

According to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook, “residential landlords have a duty to keep a unit in a safe and habitable condition and in good repair.” When the structure, utilities, or safety of the rental home are in question, it is the landlord’s responsibility to address the issue. Proactive maintenance will help you address any issues with habitability before they get out of hand. Your Atlanta rental management company can help you schedule regular inspections at your rental property.

The Handbook does describe a few important exemptions for making repairs at a rental property.

  • A property owner is not responsible for fixing defects that were obvious during move in as long as the defect does not render the home unsafe or unsanitary. 
  • A property owner does not need to provide carpet cleaning.
  • A property owner is not responsible for appliances, air conditioning, or fencing unless these amenities are provided by the property owner.

The best way to avoid disputes about maintenance issues is to be clear in the lease agreement. Your professional property management in Atlanta can help you write up a lease with clear language in order to avoid miscommunication. For more information about lease agreements, visit this page.

What a Tenant Can Do About a Landlord’s Failure to Repair

If you fail to maintain a property you own, your tenant has a few options for how to proceed. Your tenant may take one of four actions against you.

  • File a Lawsuit: Tenants may sue their landlords for damages that occurred as a result of a failure to repair the rental property.
  • Repair-and-Deduct: Tenants may choose to repair the property on their own and deduct the costs from their monthly rent.
  • Contact an Inspector: Tenants may contact a city or county housing code inspector. If the inspector determines the home does not meet property code the tenant can move out and declare the lease is in default.
  • Move Out: Tenants may claim “constructive eviction”, move out, and discontinue their rent payments.

If you are a tenant who is considering the above actions, you should talk to your property manager or an attorney before proceeding. For more information, see the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook.

Sometimes a property owner responds and repairs a property within a reasonable amount of time, but the repair requires the tenant to move out. In this case, the property owner is not required to compensate the tenant for damages, but it may be a good idea to do it anyway. Atlanta rental management is a business venture, and your tenant is your customer. If your tenant requests compensation or credit toward their rent, it is worth negotiating. 

Georgia Security Deposit Rules

Each state in the United States has its own rules about how much a property owner is allowed to charge for a security deposit. In Georgia there is no limit, meaning a property owner or their professional property management in Atlanta can charge as much as they want. Keep in mind however, you must find a tenant willing to pay the security deposit. Property owners typically charge between half to a whole month’s rent as the security deposit.

What do you need to know about security deposits beyond limits? In Georgia, a security deposit must only be used to cover unpaid rent and damages beyond normal wear and tear. A security deposit is not to be used as a non-refundable pet fee, an application fee, a deposit to hold the rental home, or a cleaning fee. Property owners may not charge a new tenant for damages that happened before the new tenant occupied the property. This is why a list of existing defects, signed by both parties, is so important. 

If a property owner owns more than 10 rental properties, or uses an Atlanta rental management company, they are required to hold the security deposit in a bank escrow account. When your tenant moves out, there is a specific set of rules for how to determine damages. Three days after the tenant moves out, the landlord must look at the rental home, determine damages, make a list with estimated dollar values, sign it, and return the list to the tenant. The tenant then has five days to inspect the rental home, review the damages list, and agree or disagree with the landlord’s estimates. The security deposit is then applied to any outstanding rent balance or damages beyond normal wear and tear. If there is any excess the property owner is required to return it to the tenant within 30 days. If your tenant believes you wrongfully withheld part or all of their security deposit, they can sue. The tenant can ask for three times the amount of the security deposit plus attorney fees.

How Professional Property Management in Atlanta Handles Evictions

While professional property management can reduce your risk of eviction, even the best property managers may need to endure it. In Georgia, you can begin the eviction process after non-payment of rent. The lease agreement will stipulate the terms of notice and termination you must abide by. The process to evict a tenant is:

  • Surrender and Vacate: The landlord gives notice to the tenant to surrender possession of the property and vacate.
  • Dispossessory Affidavit: When a tenant refuses to vacate the landlord can file a dispossessory affidavit. The affidavit, served to the tenant by a sheriff, states the details of the broken lease.
  • Affidavit Answer: After the affidavit is served the tenant has 7 days to answer it in writing or in court.
  • Court Hearing: A hearing is held by a judge to rule for or against the landlord.
  • Writ of Possession: The landlord must request a writ of possession when the court rules in their favor. The writ of possession orders the tenant to move out within 7 days.

Evictions are bad for both the Atlanta rental management and the tenant. Court fees are expensive, and waiting for your tenant to vacate eats up your rental income. Furthermore, making mistakes in the process will only drag it out longer increasing your costs. 

Contact Specialized Property Management Atlanta Today

Reduce your risk by working with the experienced property managers at Specialized Property Management Atlanta. Our property managers know how to avoid common landlord mistakes to keep you out of court. And, if evictions or other legal issues arises, we know how to make the process as smooth and quick as possible, saving you money and getting your home back on the market faster. Call us today at 404-596-8454 for a professional rental quote.