within a certain number of days, and that if they didn’t that the lease will terminate. There is nothing wrong with notifying them of this because this would not only be wholly appropriate, it would be necessary. The problem comes when the tenants do not cure the default and the landlord then files a dispossessory warrant under the premise of the tenant holding over. Holding over infers that the lease has been terminated but this can only happen by mutual consent, per the terms of agreement, or by proper delivery of notice in accordance with the lease and under law. The initial notification that had said that the lease will terminate is insufficient to stand as notice of termination of the lease. I mistakenly assumed that it served that purpose.
According to the Georgia Court of Appeals opinion in Swim Dixie Pool Corporation v Kramer et al., 157 Ga. App. 748, 278 S.E.2d 448 (1981), “The language of the letter that the lease will be terminated if the default is not corrected within five days looks to the future, is a warning to the tenant to correct the default within the five days or action will be taken after the lapse of the five days. The lease clearly envisions a separate written notice of termination after the expiration of the five day warning.… The trial court was correct in ruling as a matter of law that the letter did not terminate the lease after the passage of five days after receipt thereof by defendant.”
Consequently, if the tenant does not correct the default, a new letter must be delivered notifying the tenant that the lease has terminated effective …, if the lease is to be considered terminated and if the tenancy is to be deemed a hold over.
The author of this Blog is neither an attorney nor an accountant. Nothing written should be construed as legal advice. Conclusions conveyed are outcomes based upon practical experience and should not be depended upon to be a common outcome of other similar circumstances. Consult with a professional property manager before making tax or legal decisions about real estate in Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Woodstock or any other Georgia municipality.
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