Understanding Georgia Property Laws and Their Implications


Speak with a trusted Property Lawyers in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Georgia Property Tax Laws and the Tax Advantages of Owning Real Property

From estate planning to business ownership, Georgia property laws can have a wide range of implications. Learn more here with Perigon Legal Services.

stan about im min

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Perigon Legal Services, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on April 14, 2021.

Although they cannot own agricultural land, foreigners and Georgian citizens can buy and own other property types in Georgia. There are several ways you can own property in the state of Georgia.

If there is just one owner of the entire property, that is called Sole ownership. On the other hand, if two or more people own the property simultaneously, that is a form of co-ownership called Tenants in Common.

When someone of the Tenants in Common dies, their interest passes to their heirs named in the will. In the case of Tenants in Common, the proportionate interests and rights to possess the property don’t have to be equal between co-owners.

If these rights are equal, that form of co-ownership is called joint tenancy. In the case of death, the decedent’s interest is passed to the surviving joint tenant or tenants. An individual can also own real property through a living trust.

By owning real property, you may also get particular tax advantages, including property tax deduction, capital gains exemption, and mortgage interest deduction. Georgia laws also allow reduced property taxes and tax exemptions if you fulfill specific requirements.

Depending on the complexity of your actual property situation, you might want to consider seeking legal help. Stan Faulkner at Perigon Legal Services deeply understands Georgia’s real estate laws, so your interests will always be protected.

Our legal team is dedicated to helping clients understand the laws that can affect your case. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

Georgia Private Property Laws: What Is Adverse Possession?

If you are a homeowner, your property is probably among your most valuable assets. It is considered an investment that, in theory, gains in value each year. Because of that, protecting your property is crucial. To do that, you must keep an eye on your property lines.

Adverse possession also referred to as “squatters rights law,” gives an individual who occupies a piece of land but is not its owner the right to gain ownership over that land under certain conditions. That individual may be a trespasser, but they could also be your neighbor.

As in the majority of other states, Georgia may establish adverse possession by determining factors such as how long the individual occupied the land and the nature of the possession. According to Georgia’s Code, the statutory period is usually 20 years of continuous possession.

In addition, the possession has to be:

  • Actual possession, meaning the trespasser has control over the possessed property.
  • Hostile – it has to be done without permission and against the right of the actual owner.
  • Open, meaning the trespasser has to use the property without hiding their occupancy.
  • Exclusive – the property has to be in possession of the trespasser alone.

Additional actions that may prevail in favor of courts granting adverse possession can include holding a title/deed that consists of the land in question, paying taxes on the property, and the supposed purchase of that land.

That said, Georgia courts will grant the trespasser’s land claim after seven years of land possession if they have some legal documents that can support the land occupation, such as records of taxes or a faulty deed. These documents can prove that they acted in good faith.

However, any property held by the local government or the State of Georgia is immune from adverse possession actions.

It is always recommended to contact a reliable attorney specialized in property and real estate law to discuss any adverse possession claim. If you want to learn more about adverse possession laws in Georgia, or need help with a property dispute, call Perigon Legal Services. Our team is always ready to provide you with the best possible advice.

Tax Advantages of Owning a Real Property and Georgia Property Tax Laws

Expert Counsel for estate planning

Georgia Laws on Rental Property

When it comes to rental property, there are specific actions landlords cannot do. Landlords must comply with specific local, state, and federal rules. Failure to comply with landlord-tenant laws in Georgia can lead to harsh financial penalties and costly disputes.

For example, a landlord has to disclose certain information to a tenant or tenants, which can be done in the rental agreement or lease. If the landlord collects a security deposit, they must include pre-existing damage in the rental agreement.

Although there is no limit on how much landlords can charge security deposits, property laws state that they must be returned within one month after tenants move.

Additionally, landlords must comply with the Fair Housing Act. Failure to do so may result in discrimination lawsuits and complaints.

There are also specific rules regarding eviction and terminating a tenancy and procedures that state how landlords must handle abandoned property tenants left behind.

If you are leasing real estate for your business or want to handle a residential lease, your best bet is to look for a real estate lawyer experienced in business law practices and real estate laws.

Real estate attorneys like Stan Faulkner have the experience and knowledge to provide counsel and legal representation in disputes and litigation cases.

Marital Property Laws in Georgia

Divorcing spouses have to divide their assets and property when a marriage ends. In divorce proceedings in Georgia, marital property is distributed following an equitable distribution theory. It means that courts divide all marital property acquired during the marriage equally between divorcing parties. 

Marital property includes all earnings during the marriage, assets acquired with these earnings, and marital property debts. On the other hand, the non-marital property consists of any assets either spouse owned before the marriage.

Division of property doesn’t mean a physical division but a percentage of the total value of the property awarded by the court to each spouse.

Remember that Georgia laws forbid the transfer of assets during a divorce if they aren’t made during the ordinary course of business. However, if you plan and have an asset protection strategy in place, that can strengthen your position in the event of a future property division battle.

There are often practical and legitimate options that can help shield your assets in many different circumstances through financial and estate planning. Stan Faulkner, an Atlanta asset protection lawyer, and his law firm have extensive experience protecting their clients on multiple fronts.

Perigon Legal Services can provide advanced strategies for estate plans and the preservation of your assets by working to protect your belongings and property and pass them along to your family and other heirs successfully.

Contact Us for a Confidential Consultation

Property laws can be complex and overwhelming if you try to figure out the law on your own. Perigon Legal Services is here to help you understand and comply with all Georgia property laws, whether you’re a tenant in a dispute with your landlord or a soon-to-be-divorced couple dividing marital property.

Stan Faulkner and his legal team are here to guide you through the process of asset protection, lease agreements, and other real estate matters. We have helped many Georgia property owners over the years, and we can help you too.

Schedule a free consultation with Stan Faulkner today to get the best legal advice for your situation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Use the form below to tell us about your legal inquiry, and we’ll call you back to schedule an appointment. Please be as detailed as possible. You may also email or call us to make an appointment. Our general response time is one business day.

* Please do not include confidential or sensitive information in your message. In the event that we are representing a party with opposing interests to your own, we may have a duty to disclose any information you provide to our client. *


Shape 1 min6400 Powers Ferry Road NW Suite 386
Atlanta, Georgia 30339