Questions Answered by Paula J. Mcgill

Q: Can former landlord keep my deposit and sue me on top of that for alleged damages?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Nov 8, 2016

Under the law, the security deposit is supposed to be placed in a trust account. If it is not, the security deposit cannot be withheld for damages. The exception would be if the owner did not have a management company and did not have more than 10 rental units. (See OCGA 44-7-36)

Moreover, if you sue for return of your security deposit, the judge can award you three times the wrongfully withheld deposit plus attorney's fees. If you sue in Magistrate Court and are unhappy with the...
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Q: I recently got married and my husbands ex is demanding more child support due to us being married can she do that

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Georgia on
Answered on Nov 5, 2016

He can asked for anything, but that doesn't mean he will actually get it.

He will probably argue that your expenses have declined as a result of being married.

If you moved into his house or apartment, your expenses have definitely declined.

It is up to the judge to hear both sides and make an assessment. This isn't a cut and dry case.

If he has a lawyer, you should think about hiring one.
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Q: Can I sue for a constructive eviction and get my rent/deposit back? Would I be awarded damages? Is it a good case?

1 Answer | Asked in Environmental and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Nov 5, 2016

Based upon the facts you presented, you should be able to get out of your lease because the location is uninhabitable.

As far as the failure to disclose lead paint and asbestos in the house, that is a serious issue. Your children should be tested for lead in their systems.

Also, review your lease. Standard leases have sections for natural disasters. If there is a section that covers the hurricane, has the landlord complied with his duties under that section?
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Q: My ex- just want to put the child support money in a college account instead of giving me the money, is it legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Georgia on
Answered on Oct 14, 2016

Unless the child support order states differently, child support is for the monthly support of the child (food, clothes, shelter). If he refuses to pay you directly, and there is a child support order, file a petition for contempt.
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Q: By Ga Law am I required to clean carpet and repaint walls in the home I'm renting my security dep is being threatened.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Securities Law for Georgia on
Answered on Oct 12, 2016

If your lease requires you to clean the carpet before you leave, you have to do so. Similarly, if you changed the colors of the walls during your tenancy, the landlord may require you to return them to the original colors. Similarly, if the paint has been damaged beyond the normal wear and tear, you will have to paint the walls or be charged for it.
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Q: Can my landlord charge me for late fees if he's been accepting the monthly payments regardless?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Oct 12, 2016

Look at your lease. If it is a standard lease there is a nonwaiver provision. This provision states simply because the landlord had not enforced a provision in the past does not prevent him from doing so in the future.
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Q: If the lease is up, can the landlord evict me without requesting for eviction through court?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Oct 3, 2016

The landlord cannot simply put your items out of the rental property and change the locks.

First, the landlord must make a demand for possession for a date certain.

Second, if you don't leave by the deadline given to the landlord he can file a dispossessory in court.

Third, if you don't answer within 7 days of service the landlord can obtain a writ of poesssion from the court. If you don't appear in court for the scheduled hearing, the landlord can obtain a writ. If...
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Q: If you are already paying child support thru child support recovery set by them how do I go about getting set visitatio

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016

He has to go through Superior Court in the county where the child resides (assuming the child is in Georgia) and legitimate the child, if that hasn't already been done. The friend can seek visitation in the same action he seeks legitimation.

Nobody has to hire a lawyer in family court matters. However, it would be wise to consult with one beforehand. After the consultation, he can make the decision about whether he should hire one for the matter.
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Q: when i take my childrens dad to court for childsupport can he ask for joint custody although he never did anything

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 13, 2016

He can always ask for joint custody after he legitimates the children. It does not mean he will receive it. Oftentimes, this threat is made for the sole purpose of scaring gullible mothers into not seeking child support. Get child support. The children deserve it. Moreover, even if you don't seek child support, he can always seek custody or visitation, after all he is the father. Unless he is a dangerous criminal or some other loathsome person, he can always obtain some sort of...
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Q: Help

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 10, 2016

Read the order. If the order gives him primary physical custody, he can take the order with him, call the police, and have the police accompany him to pick up his children. Moreover, if the mother is violating the order, the brother can file a contempt action and seek to modify the current order because of the distance.
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Q: What rights does a landlord have to enter my home?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 10, 2016

More information is needed. If you are the landlord, why do you want to enter the rental property? If you are the tenant, why has the landlord entered the rental property? What does the lease state about the landlord's right to enter the property.
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Q: My ex husband and i have joint custody on our daughter. She's 14 now and wants to live with me. He won't let me see her.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 7, 2016

You need to file a petition for contempt if your ex husband has failed to comply with the current visitation order, and a petition to modify custody. You should retain counsel for this matter.
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Q: How can I make sure that any back child support my kid will receive will go to him after he has turned 18?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 6, 2016

Unless the mother agrees, you cannot. BACK child support is for support the mother of your child already incurred. It has nothing to do with the fact he is 18.
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Q: I have a tenant at will who has not paid rent, how do I go about eviction?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 6, 2016

Yes, you should consult with an attorney. However, many residential landlords handle the initial filing on their own. Depending on where you are located, the magistrate court may have a preprinted form for you to complete and form. In fact, many courts have those forms online. There is a general dispossessory form that can be used in all magistrate courts in Georgia. It's on the Georgia Magistrate Court website.

However, before you file the form, you may still want to consult an...
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Q: The house we rented was sold. Moved to another rental with the same landlord but didn't sign a lease, are we mth to mth?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Sep 1, 2016

A lease is for a specific property. Unless, the lease specifically allows you to transfer the lease to a different property or you have a verbal agreement with the landlord for a specific time for the new property, you are month to month if you pay your rent on a monthly basis.

If you have a verbal agreement with the landlord, it is strongly suggested that you put the terms in writing so there are no misunderstandings about the agreement in the future.
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Q: I recently went to court with landlord and instead of seeing the judge we opted to mediate I have a court document that

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 24, 2016

It's impossible for most attorneys to provide meaningful advice if documents aren't available for review.

As a result, you need to take the mediated agreement and any e-mails you have with the landlord about this new amount and to an attorney. Some attorneys require office visits. Others can handle the matter by phone if the documents are faxed or e-mailed first.
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Q: if i had my child for 3 years in the state of Georgia can her mother take her from me when she wants to?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 24, 2016

It all depends.

Have you legitimated the child if you were never married to the mother?

Is there a custody order in place?

If you were not married to the mother at any point and you have not legitimated your daughter, the mother has full legal custody of the child and can take her. The best thing you can do is file for legitimation and custody.
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Q: I have a 2 month old and he signed the birth certificate, I want to move to NC from GA, but he won't let me take the her

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 24, 2016

If he hasn't legitimated the child, he has not standing at all. Moreover, if there isn't a court order regarding custody, you have sole legal and physical custody. Therefore, at this point, he has no standing to object to your move.

Moreover, even if there were a custody order, the father would not have absolute veto power to prevent you from leaving with the child. The court would decide if it is in the best interest of the child for the two of you to live in NC.
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Q: I have a son by married man. He provide for him financial support that we agreed upon. He don't want to visit my son or

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 24, 2016

Many parents pay child support without having contact with their children. Visitation isn't directly tied to child support.

You should strongly consider filing for child support. The support will be based on many things, including his income and whether he has other children. Once he is on child support, if he fails to pay in accordance with the support order, he can be held in contempt.
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Q: Can my landlord withhold my deposit for painting the house as well carpet cleaning from normal traffic

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Answered on Aug 24, 2016

It all depends. Most leases require the carpet to be cleaned before vacating.

Painting is another issue. If the landlord has to repair holes in walls, the would have to paint that wall also.

If you have children who draw on walls, of course he has the right to charge you for painting those walls.

If he is trying to have you pay for painting the entire house just because the house needs a fresh coat of paint, you can challenge his charge.
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