With the current ongoing situation in the world, the Georgian real estate market, especially the one in Tbilisi, is experiencing a high increase in demand as new people arrive in Georgia every day. You don’t need an economics degree to understand that this sudden increase in demand resulted in an increase in rental prices due to a shortage of free rental apartments on the market. Unfortunately, with this rental price increase, some landlords began taking part in predatory rental practices. What does that mean? Stories of tenants who did not sign a rental contract with their landlords and found themselves being asked to leave without proper due notice because the landlord received a higher rental offer on their property are coming up more and more often in online expat groups. Foreigners are an easy target for such practices as they are often unaware of the local rental legislation and are often afraid to push back against their landlords due to a lack of knowledge of the law. If you found yourself in such a position, what are your options? Can your landlord just kick you out on short notice? This article will explore what are your options as a tenant under the Georgian legislation as well as provide some useful sources that you can use.Advertisment
Which Georgian law regulates the tenant-landlord relationship?
The Civil Code of Georgia covers tenant rights and obligations under the Contract Law, articles 531-575. All rights and obligations are covered under this part of the Civil Code. These laws regulate the relationship between you and your landlord.
Now that we know where to find our rights as a tenant, let’s go through some of the questions that expat tenants ask the most:
Can your landlord change the rental price?
The Civil Code does not have a specific article that addresses the landlord’s ability to rise the rental price, however, if we look at Article 562 2. c), “the landlord may terminate the rental contract if the tenant refuses to pay the increased rent corresponding to market rates offered by the landlord”, we can assume that landlords have the right to raise the rent price as long as the rent requested is at market rates.
Under what circumstances can your landlord terminate the rental contract?
In the Civil Code of Georgia, we can see that landlords have multiple ways on what basis they may terminate the rental agreement. Articles 557,558,559 and 562 all describe various ways on what basis landlords may terminate the contract, however, most importantly we should look at article 562 3. which states that “If the object of the tenancy is a furnished apartment, then the landlord may always terminate the tenancy agreement, provided he/she observes the period fixed for termination of the contract”. So, what does that mean? Can landlords do whatever they want? Certainly not!
Can your landlord terminate a contract on a short notice?
As we’ve seen before, landlords in Georgia may always terminate tenancy agreements if they observe the period fixed for termination of the contract. What does the period fixed for termination of the contract mean? According to Article 561, “The period of time for termination of a rental contract shall be three months unless it otherwise follows from the circumstances or from the agreement of the parties.” This means that if you haven’t signed a contract with your landlord the period for cancelation of the verbal contract is three months.
Imagine this, you haven’t signed a contract with your landlord, you’ve simply agreed on a certain rent and duration. One day your landlord approaches you and informs you that you need to leave because they found someone else who will pay more than you, what are your options? As we’ve talked about in this article your landlord needs to observe the period fixed for termination of the contract to successfully terminate it. Since you haven’t signed a contract that would alter this period, it is automatically set to 3 months, thus your landlord can’t just kick you out. Armed with the knowledge from this article you can show them the Civil Code of Georgia and negotiate how you will proceed from this point on. You might agree to increase your rent, or you prefer to terminate your contract and negotiate a proper time to vacate the property. Whatever your choice might be, keep in mind that at the end of the day you are in Georgia and a few lines out of an article you found online might not be enough to change your landlord’s mind, however, the law is on your side and you have the right to stay in the apartment you have paid for.
Disclaimer: This article is an informative piece of content that tries to educate readers on what are their rights as a tenant in Georgia and provide them with useful resources. It is in no shape or form legal advice.