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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 115464
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I am looking for advice to deal with code enforcement

Customer Question

Hello, I am looking for advice to deal with code enforcement violation in Griffin GA area. I need someone that knows the city laws/county laws. thanks.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What is the issue you are having and the situation? You do understand we cannot represent you or anyone from this site as that is forbidden by state law?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi, d you familiar with the city of Griffin (GA) laws?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

What is your question for us so we can assist?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
One of my tenants went to code enforcement. it took time for us to respond because we (the owners) from out of state, and our old property managemet didn't tell us what are the issues. we are ok to fix the issues. but- what happned now is that city wants us to fix all the unit to the code. for example- tenant complaind that the window is broken and now city is asking to replace all the windows in the house. they asked us to rewire all the complex, they asked us to intall new AC units. they told us that if we will not do it, they will shut us down.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

This was your property manager's liability, as you had a contract with them to manage the property.

Unfortunately, in Griffin, the code enforcement has a right to inspect for all code violations (as you likely know) and can for rental property demand the property be brought up to code as it is a health and safety issue for tenants. You need to respond to them in writing and you need to tell them you are not residing in state and you are asking for time to hire a new management company to get the requested repairs done. If you do not do so, then they will close the property and force the tenants out and you would be liable to the tenants plus fines for code violations not being timely repaired.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I see. These units are very cheap units. they want us to prepare drawing and pull permits (only to that its more than 10K) and then do the renovation that they asked. the things that they asked us to do cost more than what the units worth. all the are is very old and cheap units, if the city will do that to all house there will all vacant, because it don't worth it. whoever I talk with in the area that owns multifamily told me that this is the first time that he hear that city does it. they can do it to me and not do it to others like me?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, the county does not have much of a choice. If they come out and inspect and find violations they have to make you do it. The city has their discretionary enforcement authority, so they do not have to force everyone to do it, but if they get complaints on others and find violations they will treat them just like they are treating you. The city is not going out on their own looking for these violations, is what I mean, they do this in response to complaints.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
let me understand. there no single house in the area that is up to code, because all the area is very old house. so- tenant come and Threat me that if I will not reduce is rent (for example) he will go to the city and make complains of a violation, lets say wiring all the house (because he knows the law and he knows that it will cost me lot)?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

So if their tenants file complaints against those landlords and code enforcement goes to those houses, they will cite those homes too and make them comply with code.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
like I wrote- tenants who know the law, will come and Threat the owner that if he will not reduce is rent (for example) he will go to the city and make complains of a violation, lets say wiring all the house (because he knows the law and he knows that it will cost me lot).
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
That is what the law says, it says a landlord owes a warranty of habitability to a tenant and if the landlord does not provide a habitable premises (up to code) they are actually in breach of the lease.

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