Monday, August 17, 2009

AJC Article - Apartment Occupancy Down, Renters have the upper hand

According to this August 17, 2009 article, apartment occupancy rates are down and renters have the upper hand. While there may be some truth to this, it doesn't change the fact that you MUST continue to follow good landlording procedures, like properly screening your tenants, and ensuring your receive a full deposit BEFORE you give anyone the keys to your rental property. Failure to follow these essential procedures can end up costing you a lot more than an extra month (or even a few) vacancy in your rental property. No matter how desperate you may feel, do NOT give in to the temptation to give the keys to one of your most valuable assets to someone who doesn't pass your proper screening criteria. And if you are not currently checking the credit and references of your tenants, you should be, so make a pledge to yourself to start now. If you have questions about how to legally evict your tenants please feel free to call my office to arrange a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 888-500-EVICT. Also check out our website at

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Landlord ordered to pay tenants over $14,000.00

Below is the complete opinion of a recent Georgia Court of Appeals case decided yesterday. In that case it appears that a landlord was ordered to pay her tenants $6795 in damages for property she allegedly took and/or damaged. As if that wasn't bad enough, she was also ordered to pay $7837 for the tenants' attorney's fees. I don't have the information from the original court case, but it appears from this opinion that the landlord claimed the tenants "abandoned" the premises and therefore went in and removed their belongings. The ONLY safe way to take back leased premises for non-payment of rent, even if the tenants "appear" to have abandoned or left is to file an eviction and get a court order.

At The Law Office of Trey Phillips, LLC ( we can save you a lot of time and headache by handling the process for you from beginning to end. Please do NOT enter a leased premises until you've obtained a court order and the court order has been executed by the county sheriff's department.

Court of Appeals of Georgia.
No. A08A2255.
Jan. 6, 2009.Dacara Shelease Brown, for Beasley.William Byrd Warlick, for Smith.JOHNSON, Presiding Judge.
*1 Jamie and Ashley Smith sued their landlord, Jeana Beasley, for conversion and damage to personal property located in their residence. Beasley answered and counterclaimed for breach of the lease agreement. Following a bench trial, the trial court found for the Smiths on all claims, awarding them $6,795 in actual damages and $7,837 in attorney fees. Beasley appeals, and we affirm. In three enumerations of error, Beasley argues that the evidence did not support the verdict. Specifically, she claims that the Smiths abandoned their personal property and the leased premises, that they failed to prove the value of the personal property, and that, given the insufficient evidence, the trial court should have granted her a new trial. Beasley, however, did not include a transcript of the bench trial in the record on appeal or obtain a statutorily acceptable substitute.FN1

FN1. See OCGA § 5-6-41(g), (i).

As we have consistently held, when an appellant fails to provide
a transcript of the evidence, “we must rely upon the presumption in favor of the regularity of all proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction and assume that the evidence was sufficient to authorize the final judgment entered in the trial court.” FN2 Beasley's one-sided, unsupported recitation of the witness testimony does not overcome this presumption.FN3 Accordingly, we affirm. FN4

FN2. (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Atlanta Public Schools v. Diamond, 261 Ga.App. 641, 644(2) (583 S.E.2d 500) (2003).
FN3. See Keita v. K & S Trading, 292 Ga.App. 116, 117(1) (663 S.E.2d 362)
FN4. See Diamond, supra; Keita, supra at 119(2).

Judgment affirmed.BARNES and PHIPPS, JJ., concur.

Ga.App.,2009.Beasley v. Smith--- S.E.2d ----, 2009 WL 26714 (Ga.App.)

Briefs and Other Related Documents (Back to top)A08A2255 (Docket) (Jul. 18, 2008)