mportant changes due to COVID-19 have impacted evictions and tenants’ relief. Georgia has not issued a state-wide moratorium on evictions. However, the Georgia Supreme Court has issued a state of judicial emergency limiting court hearings to essential matters (not expressly including evictions), which will be extended until August 11, 2020. This impacts both residential and commercial tenants.
Section 4024 of the CARES Act also sets a temporary moratorium on residential eviction filings for “covered dwellings” extending 120 days from March 27, 2020, plus a 30-day notice period. “Covered dwellings” include rental properties that participate in federal assistance programs or are subject to federally backed mortgage loans. The temporary moratorium is set to expire on July 25, 2020.
The Georgia Supreme Court approved Uniform Superior Court Rule 49 and Magistrate Court Rule 46 relating to residential evictions, effective May 4, 2020. These rules place the burden on landlords to verify whether the rental property is exempt from the CARES Act moratorium when filing an eviction prior to August 25, 2020. If the property is exempt, the landlord must also file a “CARES Act Affidavit”. Otherwise, the landlord must show compliance with the 30-day notice requirement (which cannot be sent prior to July 26, 2020).
If you are a commercial tenant and uncertain about your rights and obligations, please contact us if you need help navigating this situation.