Navigating Property Management: A Guide for Hopeful Investors

So, you’ve got your eyes on the real estate game, and you’re considering stepping into the world of property management in Georgia. Good for you! But, as with any venture, it’s crucial to be armed with knowledge. In this blog post, we’ll address some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that often cross the minds of first-time property investors or managers in the peach state.

I’ve also included a link here to the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook for you!

**1. Legal Considerations for Property Managers in Georgia**
Ah, the law – that ever-present companion in the world of real estate. In Georgia, property managers need to be well-versed in rental application laws, security deposit regulations, lease termination rules, rent and late fee laws, and landlord responsibilities. It’s like learning a new language, but lucky for you, Georgia provides handy handbooks for both tenants and landlords, acting as your guide through the legal maze.

And here’s a pro-tip: Property management companies must hold a Broker’s license with the [Georgia Real Estate Commission], and it has to be in good standing. Security deposits? Yep, they have to be held in an escrow account. It’s all about playing by the rules.

**2. Security Deposit Shenanigans**
No cap on security deposits in Georgia, but it’s not a free-for-all. While the state doesn’t impose a limit, local city or county laws might have something to say about it. At the brokerage at which I work, we like to keep it simple – one month’s rent is the golden standard. But remember, this can vary, so keep your ear to the ground.

**3. The Security Deposit Dance**
Ever wondered if you can withhold a security deposit for damages in Georgia? You sure can, but there’s a dance to it. Landlords need to inspect and provide an itemized list of damages within three business days. It’s a fair way to ensure everyone is on the same page, with landlords and tenants using the same checklist for move-ins and move-outs.

**4. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Lease Terminations**
Thinking of ending that month-to-month lease in Georgia? Just remember that landlords need to give a 60-day notice, and tenants, 30 days. Otherwise, you might find yourself unintentionally committed to another month. And remember, put it in writing – certified mail with signature, email, or fax. No smoke signals, unfortunately.

**5. Habitable Homes and Happy Tenants**
Keeping your property in ship-shape is not just good karma; it’s the law. Landlords in Georgia must ensure the property is safe and habitable, and that includes essential systems like heating, plumbing, and electricity. And here’s a pro-tip: if you wouldn’t let your child play in it, it’s probably not suitable for anyone else either.

**6. Lead Paint and Other Concerns**
Lead paint? Yep, it’s a thing. Landlords in Georgia need to provide tenants with the EPA-approved Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home pamphlet for properties built before 1978. And keep an eye out for changes – Georgia is looking at new regulations regarding lead paint disclosures.

**7. Armed Forces Appreciation in Georgia**
Service members in Georgia have special provisions when it comes to breaking lease agreements due to deployment or other job-related circumstances. And shoutout to Robins Air Force Base – just remember EDIMGIAFAD!

**8. The Agent Game**
Can the owner designate an agent for disclosures? Absolutely. Owners or their authorized agents can handle disclosures on behalf of the owner or landlord. Enter, the property manager – your friendly neighborhood real estate superhero.

**10. Locks, Keys, and Keeping It Simple**
Locks and keys – essential, right? While Georgia doesn’t specify if landlords must provide them, common sense (and lease agreements) dictate tenants should have keys to every lock on the property. It’s all about keeping it simple, and having a master key can save the day – or night.

**Bonus Round: More Questions!**

Got more burning questions?Here are more answers!

**Debt Dilemmas:** Can you start property management with debt? Check with a lender (we have recommendations!) and know that a significant deposit is usually in the cards.

**Stress Check:** Is managing properties stressful? It’s not for everyone, but hey, that’s why property managers exist. We’re here to handle the dirty work, 24/7.

**Multi-Family Living:** Living in a multi-family structure while renting? It’s common, and there are provisions for it. Just be aware that once you hit four units, zoning shifts gears

**Finding the Perfect Property:** What makes a property promising? Turnkey is the word – move-in ready with low maintenance. Start simple, and work your way up.

If you’re new here, hi! I’m Hope, I am a Georgia native and live in Houston County, GA with my husband, 2 kids, and 3 dogs. I offer over a decade of experience in listing, selling, renting, and investing, and I strive to protect all my clients (including tenants) from predatory practices in real estate. When I’m not selling homes, you’ll find me spending time with my family, reading, listening to music, or playing with the dogs.

I’m a Realtor, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a Military Relocation Professional. I love learning and problem solving… it’s why I love what I do! I inform my clients so that they’re able to make well-informed decisions with fewer regrets.  I’ve worked in real estate full time since 2012 and was raised in a construction family, so it’s what I know best. If you have any questions about real estate in general or about buying, renting, or selling a property, let’s chat!

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