Self-Help eviction is when the landlord evicts someone from their home without going through the courts. In the State of Georgia, someone cannot legally be forced out of your place of residence unless the landlord has followed specific rules and laws to evict. The Georgia Courts are the only way to evict someone. A landlord must start and complete what is called a dispossessory (i.e., eviction) process. The only way to evict someone is through the Court system.
Self-Help Eviction Process
If a landlord tries to evict their Tenant without using the Court or going through the eviction process, they are committing what is called a self-help eviction. A self-help eviction is when a landlord retakes possession of a property without fully completing the steps of the eviction or dispossessory process. Self-help evictions are illegal in Georgia. For example, below are a few landlord self-help eviction common practices.
- Changing the locks to keep you out of the property
- Turning off power or water service to the property
- Removing your personal property from the home or apartment without your permission
- Threatening to harm you or your family if you do not move out
You should call the local police if the the landlord tries to unlawfully evict you through self-help eviction. Meanwhile, take pictures or video of what is happening to show the police or a judge at a later time.
You have every right to be angry at a landlord. However, make sure you don’t break down the door or assault the landlord. Likewise stay calm and call the police. Landlord penalties who wrongfully evict tenants can be severe . Landlord fines can exceed $100,000 in rare circumstances. In conclusion, collect evidence, keep cool, and fight the battle in court and not on the front lawn. And have your day in court.