State Rules and Regulations for Louisiana Rental Properties and Landlords

In accordance with Louisiana law (Code Title VIII), if rent is paid in a timely manner in exchange for inhabiting property, a landlord-tenant relationship is established (even without a lease). Under this relationship, tenants have the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to due process before eviction, among others.

Louisiana landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to receive rental payments and the right to pursue evictions following the violation of a lease agreement.

Louisiana Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposits and Louisiana Regulations

Deposits are very common in the realm of renting. There are two different types of deposits to be aware of and various things concerning them both.

  • First, there is just a normal deposit. This is given oftentimes to reserve a space for the tenant. In most cases, if the tenant does not move in by the given time, they may lose this deposit.
  • Another deposit that may come up is a pet deposit. This is used to offset any damages that may be made by a pet living in the unit. It is also returned if there are no damages.
  • The last deposit is a lot more common. It is called a security deposit.
  • Security deposits are oftentimes used to offset the cost of damages that are made by the tenant during their stay or if they fail to pay their last month rent.
  • If the deposit is not enough to cover all of the damages that are made by the tenant, then they are legally responsible for paying the additional charges.
  • If there are no damages or unpaid rent, the tenant should get their security deposit back.
  • Landlords do not have to pay interest on the security deposit unless you both agree upon it at the beginning of the lease.
  • The landlord must provide a list of what was deducted from the deposit if the entire thing is not returned.
  • Not everything can be covered by a security deposit. Some things that are not covered include:
    • Worn carpet or wood flooring.
    • Small screen holes.
    • Old dull or chipping paint.
  • Some things that are considered damages outside the normal wear and tear of the home include:
    • Broken windows
    • Holes in the walls placed there by the tenant
    • Leaving a completely trashed or messy unit that has to be cleaned.
    • Leaving trash that has to be thrown away.
  • If the tenant does not give at least a ten-day notice of their moving, then the security deposit can be kept by the landlord to offset their losses while finding a new tenant.
  • If all of the criteria are met, the landlord has one month after the move to return the deposit.
  • It is important for tenants to take the necessary steps to ensure that their security deposit is given back.
  • Landlords can be taken to court over an unpaid or unjust security deposit return.

Lease, Rent & Fees Under Louisiana Law

  • Rent Is Due: Rent is due at the beginning of each rent-paying interval unless otherwise stated in the lease. (La. Civ. Code Ann. CC 2703)
  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute.
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute.
  • Late Fees: Only if stated in the lease 
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute.
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No statute.
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes. if the landlord fails to make the repairs within a “reasonable time” after the tenant requests the repairs, the tenant may make repairs and deduct the costs from the rent. (La. Civ. Code Ann. CC 2694)
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: In a lawsuit over the landlord’s failure to comply with deposit return requirements, the court may choose to award attorney fees to the prevailing party. In the case of oral leases, in a lawsuit for unpaid rent, the tenant is liable for reasonable attorney fees when judgment is made in landlord’s favor. (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §3253 and La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §3259)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: State statute does not reference a requirement to attempt to rerent. However, if the tenant has been evicted, or if the premises are rendered uninhabitable through no fault of the tenant, the landlord shall be required to mitigate damages (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §3260).
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute.

Evictions in Louisiana

Louisiana landlords have broad authority to evict tenants and can start eviction proceedings in as little as 5 days, for any of the following reasons.

  1. Nonpayment of rent – If Louisiana tenants miss a rental payment and surpass any grace period outlined in a lease agreement, then the landlord can send them a 5 Day Notice to Pay or Quit. If these terms are not met, the landlord can start eviction proceedings.
  2. Violation of lease terms – If a tenant is found violating lease terms, then the landlord can send a 5 Day Notice to Cure or Quit. If the issue is not remedied, then landlords can file a Rule of Possession with the court.
  3. Illegal acts – If a tenant performs illegal acts on the property, then landlords may issue a 5 Day Notice to Quit that requires the tenant to move out or face evictions. Louisiana landlords may be allowed to evict tenants for illegal acts that do not occur on the property.

At-will tenants are entitled to receive a 10 Day Notice to Quit when the landlords want to evict them. Fixed-term renters are not entitled to any notice.

It is illegal for landlords to evict tenants in retaliation.

Notices and Entry Under Louisiana Law

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is required as the lease simply ends, unless the lease is extended by fact of the tenant remaining in the premises for longer than a week without notice to vacate or terminate. If that happens, the lease is extended to month-to-month for leases whose term is a month or longer. (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. CC 2720, La. Rev. Stat. Ann. CC 2721, La. Rev. Stat. Ann. CC 2723)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: 30-day written notice before the end of the year (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. CC 2728)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 10-day written notice before the end of the month (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. CC 2728)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: 5-day written notice before the end of the week (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. CC 2728)
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Notice of Termination of Week-to-Week Leases for Nonpayment: No statute
  • Notice of Termination of All Other Leases for Nonpayment: 5-day written notice (La. Code Civ. Pro. Ann. CCP 4701)
  • Termination for Lease Violation: 5-day written notice (La. Code Civ. Pro. Ann. CCP 4701).
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute.
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute.
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute.
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute.
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute.
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute.
  • Lockouts Allowed: No. If the landlord locks the tenant out, puts their possessions on the street, the landlord may be liable for damages for wrongful eviction
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No.

Mandatory Disclosures in Louisiana

Louisiana landlords are only required to make one mandatory disclosure:

  1. Lead-based paint. Landlords who own homes built before 1978 must provide info about the concentrations of lead paint.

Business Licenses

Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.

Helpful Links

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Housing Authorities

Realtor and Landlord/Tenant Associations

     

    These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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