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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Should You Pay Rent After Being Sued for Eviction

    My question involves an eviction in the state of: Georgia; Gwinnett County

    We have been in our house for 3 years and for the past year we have faced a difficult financial setback which has caused us to be late with rent on several occasions. My husband and I kept an open line of communication with the landlord and he has always mentioned to us that as long as we stayed consistent he didn't mind the shortages at times. During this time the 2 bedrooms upstairs have no power (we run an extension cable from downstairs), we have a constant leak in the bathtub (in order to stop the leak from the hot water spout we have to turn the hot water off from the water heater), the living room light no longer works (brown residue leaks from it occasionally), the kitchen ceiling leaks on occasion (the leaky bathroom is right above), our gas oven no longer works, and the compressor on the air conditioner unit is broken. We had to purchase extention cords, several fans and multiple gadgets for the leaks. In addition we have hired an HVAC tech and a plumber to assist. The plumbing problem has nearly tripled our bill.

    We have had multiple phone conversations and told him the inconvenience that has been placed on us. He indicated just a week ago that he was no longer was working and that he didn't have the money to repair the air conditioner. Not only did he lose his job I did as well, which has left us with unemployment.

    Just this morning I filed an answer to the notice and was given a court date. With the answer I also included all the repairs that were needed in the house. I understand that I still owe him for late rent but I'm not sure if I should continue to make payments. If he accepts my payemnt prior to the court date, where does that leave me with the court proceedings. Could he still proceed with the eviction or does it make the eviction not valid. He called me last night and asked us if would make a payment, I wasn't able to answer him not only the legal system.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Should You Pay Rent After Being Sued for Eviction

    If you have failed to pay your rent, you owe your rent.

    If you believe that maintenance issues entitle you to a full or partial offset of your past and ongoing rent obligations, you need to file a counterclaim. Saying, "I didn't pay my rent but my apartment had problems," in and of itself, is likely to do little more than convince the court that you didn't pay your rent and should be evicted. You can ask the court to allow you to escrow the rent you owe - but you should expect that the court will want all of the rent, every penny, in association with its grant of such an order.

    Under Georgia Law, a tenant who is late for the first time within a 12 month period has 7 days from the time served to pay all costs. O.C.G.A. 44-7-52, 44-7-73. It is not clear from your story if you qualify for that grace period. If not, but if your landlord accepts your payment of rent and agrees to dismiss his eviction lawsuit (with the agreement in writing), you can proceed to pay him under such an agreement and present the signed, written agreement and proof of payment to the court if he does not dismiss his action. Do not default.

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