Strong @ Home: 9 Things Atlanta Renters Should Know Right Now
There has been a lot of information circulating about how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting housing in Atlanta. If you are having challenges keeping up with it all, you are not alone. To help, we’ve compiled a few highlights to empower you to remain in your home.
Last revised: March 12, 2021
What can I do if I lost my job or am receiving a reduced paycheck due the pandemic?
If you are unable to pay your rent, please contact your landlord or leasing office right away. Let them know that you are facing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic and would like to know if there are any modified payment plans available. You might suggest the use of any existing security deposit to cover a month that you’re currently unable to pay.
If you are an Atlanta Housing Authority resident, please visit atlantahousing.org/covid19 or call 404-892-4700.
If you are in need of rental assistance, call 2-1-1 to speak with a live 2-1-1 Community Connection Specialist or visit 211online.unitedwayatlanta.org.
or additional information, please visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s informational page for renters.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a stay on evictions in the City. Do I still have to pay my rent during this time?
The Mayor’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in the City also directs Atlanta Housing, Invest Atlanta, and other City agencies to halt evictions due to non-payment on the properties they have subsidized. This Executive Order will remain in effect so long as the Mayor’s Executive Order continues to be renewed. The Atlanta eviction stay does not apply to other un-subsidized private properties in the city. To view a list of properties covered by the Mayor’s moratorium, please see the database below.
The intent behind Mayor Bottoms’ eviction moratorium is to allow residents facing financial hardship (job loss, reduction in pay, reduction in hours, etc.) due to the pandemic to have more time to pay their rent without threat of immediate eviction or financial penalty. However, please note that this is not a rent freeze or forgiveness period.
If you live in one of these properties and have an eviction filed against you due to non-payment during this emergency period, please contact an attorney, as well as the respective funding agency, as soon as possible. If you need assistance retaining a lawyer, you may contact The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation(www.avlf.org) or Atlanta Legal Aid Society(www.atlantalegalaid.org).
If you believe your property should be listed here, but it is not, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should I do if my landlord tries to evict me without a court order?
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without a court order. Without a court order, your landlord CANNOT change the locks, shut off your utilities, throw out your property, or force you to move.
According to the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, if your landlord tries to evict you without a court order, you should first calmly ask your landlord to leave. If s/he refuses, call 911 and report him/her as a trespasser. When the police arrive, tell the officers that you are a tenant and your landlord is trying to evict you without a court order. Show the police officers your lease or rent receipts.
You should also contact an attorney right away. If you need assistance retaining a lawyer, you may contact The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (www.avlf.org) or Atlanta Legal Aid Society (www.atlantalegalaid.org).
Where can I learn more about my rights as a tenant?
To learn more about your general tenant rights, check out the Georgia Landlord-Tenants Handbook here. You may also find helpful information on the Metro Fair Housing Services website, www.metrofairhousing.com.
You should also contact an attorney right away. If you need assistance retaining a lawyer, you may contact The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation or Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
What should I do if I cannot pay my utility bills because of a Coronavirus-related financial hardship?
As with your rent, please pay your utility bills if you are able to. If you are having difficulty paying any of your utility bills during the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact your service provider directly and notify them of your financial hardship BEFORE you cease payment.
If you are in need of utility assistance, call 2-1-1 to speak with a live 2-1-1 Community Connection Specialist or visit 211online.unitedwayatlanta.org.
If you are a Georgia Power customer, please visit their website to learn how you can set up an installment payment plan.
For more information about utility disruption suspensions, you may visit the Public Service Commission’s website at www.psc.ga.gov.
Who can I contact at the City of Atlanta if I have additional questions about available support and resources during the Coronavirus pandemic?
The City of Atlanta is here to serve you, especially during this difficult period. If you have a specific question or are in need of help, please call our nonemergency help line by dialing 311.
You may also email Coronavirus related questions to email@example.com.
Please also sign up to receive Coronavirus-related updates via text. You may register on the homepage of this website, www.atlstrong.org.
Disclaimer: The information on this webpage is provided for general informational purposes only, and is not intended, nor shall it be construed, to be a complete recitation of the provisions contained in the respective source document(s) referenced herein, which you are expressly advised to obtain and fully review for yourself. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the City of Atlanta; nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. The City of Atlanta assumes no responsibility or liability for any incorrect/incomplete information obtained herein, or any misinterpretation of the provisions cited, and you are expressly advised to seek independent advice and consulting regarding the subject matter herein from the consultant of your choice. The City of Atlanta reserves the right to modify, expand or withdraw any or all information contained herein at any time without notice.