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Georgia Squatter Reform Law

Governor Kemp recently enacted the Georgia Squatters Reform Law, designed to assist homeowners in reclaiming their properties from squatters. Under this new law, homeowners who discover squatters on their property can contact the police, who will then require the squatters to provide legal documentation, such as a lease or rent payment, bearing the signatures of the owner or property manager. If the squatters fail to produce such documents, they are given three business days to do so. Subsequently, the case will be brought before the magistrate court within seven days. If the provided documents are found to be fraudulent, the squatters can be charged with a felony.

However, as this law is untested as of now, several questions remain unanswered. 

1.When the police arrive, if the squatters don’t present documents, are they removed immediately – right then and there? 

2.I believe the squatters must submit the documents to the magistrate court within 3 days. Will the court hear the case within 7 days of the date the police arrived or 7 days after the documents are delivered? 

3.If the squatters appeal, are they removed from the home? If so, does the home have to stay vacant until the appeal is completed? 

4.How long with an appeal take? 

As we await further implementation and testing of this law, we have opted for agent-only showings and have bolstered our security systems. We will provide updates over the coming months regarding our experience with this new legislation.