Georgia Rental Inspections

Mandatory Inspections of Rental Property: Is Your Apartment Your Castle?
Brumberg v. City of Marietta 

The City of Marietta enacted a rental-housing inspection ordinance in 2004, requiring landlords to obtain “rental licenses” for all rental properties. To obtain a license, landlords had to hire and pay City-approved “rental housing inspectors” to inspect and certify that properties were in compliance with all housing codes. Nothing in the ordinance, however, required the landlord or the City to obtain the tenant’s consent before conducting the intrusive inspection. Yet, without inspection, no rental license would be issued, and the City Manager could order the property to be vacated. Residents who exercised their constitutional-and statutory-right to refuse a warrantless inspection, therefore, risked potential eviction.

To vindicate renters’ rights, the Institute for Justice and local attorney Charles J. Mace challenged the ordinance. Their challenge was consolidated with two cases filed by local landlords.

On June 12, 2006, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to review the city's rental-housing inspection ordinance allowing a victory for renters and landlords at the Georgia Court of Appeals to stand. As a result, the City of Marietta cannot require housing inspections without obtaining either consent of the renter or a warrant issued for probable cause. 

Essential Background


Background on this case

Client Photo - none available

Latest Release: Renters’ Rights Protected: Georgia Supreme Court Declines to Accept City’s Appeal Marietta’s Rental Home Inspections Illegal (June 28, 2006)

Client Video - none available


Legal Briefs and Decisions

Launch Release: Lawsuit Attempts to Close Door On Marietta’s Unconstitutional Home Inspections (September 9, 2005)

Trial Court Opinion

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Press Release: Georgia Appellate Court Rules Marietta’s Rental Home Inspections Illegal (March 21, 2006)

Map: Inspection Laws Nationwide by State

Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Press Release: Georgia Court Strikes Down Marietta’s Rental Home Inspections (October 21, 2005)


Article: Supreme Court passes on rental appeal (June 14, 2006)


Article: Marietta challenges rental ruling (November 24, 2005)

Article: Rental ordinance ruled illegal (October 22, 2005)

Article: Judge hints he favors city on inspections (September 10, 2005)


Article: Landlord ordinance controversy to heat up again (August 11, 2005)

Email Address
Please enter a valid email address

Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
© 1997-2015