NEWS BRIEF: Long-term motel tenants gain protection with new ruling

Motels must follow proper eviction process

Econo Lodge Hotel Near
Photo credit: Courtesy Tripadvisor
Econo Lodge Hotel in Atlanta

A Georgia appeals court has ruled that motels in the state cannot summarily evict long-term tenants without a proper eviction process. “This sets a new precedent that applies statewide,” said Lindsey Siegel, an attorney with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. The case hinged on actions by an Economy Lodge location that tried to force out two residents without filing formal eviction notices in court.

Long-term motel and hotel dwellers face a greater risk of homelessness across the country because states do not specify when guests become tenants. That risk was exacerbated during the pandemic as those same people were precluded from a federal moratorium on evictions, according to housing attorneys.