Louisiana Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations
What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
There is no limit placed on the security deposit charged to the tenant so long as it is reasonable
Can I require my tenants to obtain renter's insurance?
Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance, and could make the failure to do so a breach of the lease.
Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.
May I charge a fee for late rent or a returned payment?
Late fees should remain reasonable and related to the landlord's actual expenses incurred. Returned payment fees may not exceed $25 or 5% of face amount, whichever is greater, as long as specified within the lease. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:2782
May the tenant make rental repairs and deduct expenses from their rental payment?
The Louisiana Civil Code provides that if the landlord does not make necessary repairs to the premises after the tenant has called upon him/her to do so, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct their costs from the rent due. La. Civ. Code art. 2694.
What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.
How can I end a Louisiana lease agreement?
With regards to a fixed term Louisiana lease, notice is not required and the tenant shall vacate the premises unless otherwise specified within the lease. However, for a month to month lease, written notice must be given at least 10 days prior to expiration of the current month.
My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
Landlords are required to return a tenant’s deposit, minus any portion which is necessary to remedy a tenant’s default, or to remedy unreasonable wear to the premises, within 1 month of the termination of the lease .
Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.
How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.
How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
Often times it’s best to look for the obvious, such as removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It’s extremely important to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.
Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
The landlord shall have the right to enter the leased premises at reasonable times and hours, after reasonable notice has been given to the tenant (24-72 hours), unless in cases of emergency.
Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet. Additionally, a Mold Lease Disclosure must be provided to the tenant.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.