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Thomas McJD
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Atlanta, GA. When is formal "eviction" required week-to-week

Customer Question

Atlanta, GA.
When is formal "eviction" required for a week-to-week room rental?
the person renting a room from me has stopped paying and i have given written notice that our agreement is terminated. he refuses to leave and says i need to go to court and file eviction in order to remove him.
My understanding of Georgia law is that he is not a tenant (I rent the home. I am the tenant). And he is a guest. I pay utilities and it's my furniture. The signed agreement specifically says that he is not a tenant but a boarder, and does not have the same rights as a tenant (the Georgia code [44:7] is copied in the agreement, as is an excerpt of the GA Landlord Tenant Handbook).
I am concerned that by filing an unnecessary eviction, i will give validity to his case, and prolong the process needlessly.
Thank you for your insight.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Leaving aside the issue of whether he is or is not a tenant and therefore subject to eviction, the reality is that an eviction is the shortest method possible to get him out of the home.

If you choose not to evict him but, instead, sue to have him leave the house then the process will take months and then you will just have, functionally, the same order telling him to leave that you would get in a month or less with an eviction.

You can ask the police to come and read him the criminal trespass warnings and then try to file on him for criminal trespass and if they will make him leave then that's great. However, what they usually say is that "it's a civil matter" and won't get involved.

Under your facts, it actually benefits him for you not to use the eviction since it will take longer.

Are you thinking of a difference process to get him to leave? If so, what is it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i guess the fundamental issue for me is "is he a tenant or not."
I was just going to change the locks and remove all items. This house is set up like a hotel. It's a week-to-week rental. I rent the place and sublet it, paying all the utilities. If people don't pay, then there is no money to keep it going. She refuses to open the door and talk and she will not leave.
If she were a tenant, I would not consider the above. Since my understanding is that under the law, she is a house guest with clearly defined rules for occupancy. (Like in a bed & breakfast. They don't "evict" guests. They remove them.)Is tenancy established? I don't see how it could be.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. I didn't receive the email saying you had replied.

I don't think they are a "guest" if they paid you and your facts above seem to intertwine/intermingle the concepts of guest and boarder, so I'm not sure which one you are saying that they are.

What statute are you relying on that says you can change the locks to keep a tenant or a guest out?

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