louisiana landlord-tenant laws

Being one of the most affordable states to own a home is only one of many perks for investing in the home of Mardi Gras, cajun cuisine and warm evenings. It does not hurt that landlord-tenant laws seem to be in favor of a landlord. There are many opportunities for student housing investing throughout the state plus it is ranked as the fifth lowest in total tax burden. Sounds like a win-win.

 

At a Glance:

Late Fees: There are no limitations of how much to charge quantified in the law, however it must be agreed upon in the lease or verbally.

Security Deposit: Security deposits have no stated ceiling on the amount collected.

Returned Payment Fee Limit: A fee of $25 is permitted.

Notice to Enter: Louisiana law is silent on how much time is needed prior to entering.

 

Late Fees & Returned Check Fees:

There is nothing stated in landlord tenant statutes that provide for how much is too much to charge when a Louisiana tenant is late. However, Louisiana consumer credit law in RS 9:3527(1) does limit creditors to a maximum late charge of 5% of the unpaid amount or $10, whichever is more. So where does that leave landlords? Well, with a word of advice merely to use caution in setting late fees, or face unsympathetic judges in court.

Returned payment fees are regulated by Title 6, Banks and Banking RS 6:121.7, which simply states that there is an allowable charge of $25 for a payment that is returned, refused or declined.

 

Security Deposits:

The State of Louisiana is quiet on restrictions on how much can be collected towards a security deposit. And the same is true for pet deposits. However, there is criteria that must be met for the return of the security deposit to the tenant at the end of the tenancy. That is, that the landlord must return either the full amount to the tenant within thirty days’ time. If there are deductions made, then the balance must accompany a written itemization. If there is no money left over or money owed above and beyond, then the statement must list all deductions and be sent also within thirty days after tenant leaves.

*Note: If the landlord fails to do this, there could be a penalty of $200.

 

Maintenance:

In summary, the Louisiana statute for repairs states that the landlord is responsible for all repairs in order to keep the rental unit in a fit condition unless there is an agreement for the tenant to provide any repairs or maintenance.

 

Right of Entry:

There is nothing specified in the law regarding when and how much notification a landlord must provide a tenant before entering the apartment. Common practice in the industry is 24 hours’ notice, preferably in writing.

 

Notice to End Lease:

For leases with a specific end date, there is no notice requirement. For those leases that are periodic or have no definite end date, notice would be as follows:

  1. Month to month leases would need a ten-day notice from either the landlord or the tenant to the other.
  2. Week to week leases would need a five-day notice from either the landlord or tenant to the other.
  3. Year to year lease would need a thirty-day notice.

 

Eviction:

No one wants to think about the possibility of an eviction, but unfortunately, they do happen. In Louisiana, a five-day notice is needed before the landlord may move forward to filing a complaint in court for the actual removal of the tenant. According to Chapter 2, Procedure Art. 4731, if there is a waiver written into a lease that provides that the tenant waives his right to advance notice of eviction, the landlord can simply go to court as soon as the tenant violates the lease under those circumstances.

 

Questions? Ask a Louisiana Lawyer!

Have questions about Louisiana’s landlord-tenant laws?  We have you covered.  Ask in the box below, to have your questions answered by living, flesh-and-blood attorneys!

 

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