State Issues

HB 1017 Passes Georgia Senate

March 27, 2024

A news outlet recently rated Atlanta as the #1 city for squatters, but this problem is not exclusive to metro Atlanta. House Bill 1017, which is now on its way to the Governor’s desk, will immediately provide much-needed relief to property owners, tenants, law enforcement, and Georgia's court system. HB 1017 will:

  • Codify the crime of squatting in the criminal trespass statute and make the crime a misdemeanor.
  • Provide a definite timeline for law enforcement to demand the removal of the squatter and then return to forcibly remove the squatter, if necessary.
  • Remove squatting cases from Superior Court, which have case backlogs of six to nine months in some Metro Atlanta counties.
  • Allow the property owner to seek monetary relief from the squatter if convicted.

All across Georgia, squatters have become a huge problem for property owners and tenants. They are illegally taking over properties, destroying them, causing havoc, and increasing crime in our neighborhoods.

These properties held up by squatters could be put out for rent or put up for sale in our critical housing shortage, but owners cannot get their own properties back. In many counties, the Superior Court is so backed up with eviction cases that they can't even take on squatting issues, meaning the squatters can drag out the process for months.

If signed by the Governor, this bill will give Georgia property owners and the courts clarity to address the squatters issue.

About the ARA Market Brief

The Atlanta REALTORS® (ARA Market Brief is compiled by First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) and provides the only regionally focused synopsis of monthly sales and home prices for single-family residential properties. The Market Brief covers the following 11 counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Paulding, and Rockdale.

The data in this report was compiled by First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS). For more information on details of this month's report, please contact the Association at 404.250.0051.

*Each month, the numbers reported for the previous month are updated to reflect additional recordings.

About the Atlanta REALTORS® Association

The Atlanta REALTORS® Association (ARA) has been an instrumental factor in the growth of real estate in the state of Georgia for more than a century. With over 14,000 members, Atlanta is the largest association in Georgia and is considered to be one of the strongest and most successful REALTOR® organizations in the nation. ARA serves as a central source of information for its members, mainly focusing on real estate education, the promotion of professionalism in the industry, and representing REALTORS® members with legislative initiatives to create positive change for the real estate community.

About First Multiple Listing Service

First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) is the premier data services provider for real estate professionals in Georgia. FMLS was founded in 1957 by a group of Brokers who wanted to share their listings and connect buyers and sellers.  Today FMLS is the largest MLS in Georgia & the 4th largest MLS in the United States, serving nearly 54,000 real estate Agents & Brokers.  For additional information or to start a discussion about how to partner with FMLS please contact

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