From start to finish, an eviction in Louisiana can be completed in 2 to 5 weeks. However, it can take longer depending on the reason and whether the tenant contests it.
Grounds for an Eviction in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include:
- Not paying rent on time
- Staying after the lease ends
- Violating lease terms
Depending on the grounds for eviction, the landlord must give proper notice and provide the tenant a chance to cure the violation.
|Nonpayment of Rent
|End of Lease or No Lease
Nonpayment of Rent
In Louisiana, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 5 days’ notice to quit, which gives the tenant a chance to pay the balance due or move out.
Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each month and is considered late in Louisiana the day immediately after its due date. Louisiana landlords are not required to give tenants a rent payment grace period. However, if the lease or rental agreement allows for one, then the landlord must honor it.
If the tenant does not pay the balance due or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
If rent is due on January 1st, it will be considered late starting on January 2nd, unless the lease specifically states there is a grace period.
End of Lease or No Lease
In Louisiana, a landlord can evict a tenant who does not have a lease (“tenant at will”) or has a lease that has terminated and continues to remain on the premises (“holdover tenant”). To do so, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy by giving the tenant a proper 10-days’ notice to move out.
If the tenant does not move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
In Louisiana, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their legal responsibilities under Louisiana landlord-tenant law. To do so, the landlord must first serve the tenant a 5 days’ notice to comply or vacate.
Landlords are not legally required to give tenants a chance to fix a lease violation. So at the discretion of the landlord, the tenant either has the option to fix the issue or move out within the 5-day period.
Examples of lease violations include:
- Allowing unauthorized occupants to reside at the rental unit
- Causing negligent or deliberate property damage
- Refusing to allow the landlord access to the rental unit
- Failing to maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary manner
- Disturbing the peace and enjoyment of others
If the tenant does not fix the issue or move out by the end of the notice period, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
Illegal Evictions in Louisiana
In Louisiana, there are a few different types of evictions that are illegal. If found liable, the landlord could be required to pay the tenant $200 and/or could face imprisonment up to 3 months.
A landlord is not allowed to attempt to forcibly remove a tenant by:
- Changing the locks
- Shutting off utilities
- Removing tenant belongings
A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.
In Louisiana, there is no state statute prohibiting landlords from retaliating against tenants for exercising their legal rights (i.e., pursuing a legal action against the landlord, joining a tenant’s union).
Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant
A landlord can begin the eviction process in Louisiana by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered using any of the following methods:
- Handing the notice to the tenant in person
- Posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises, such as the entry door, AND mailing the notice by certified mail with a return receipt
- Mailing the notice by certified mail with a return receipt
Landlords should always keep the original signed notice and declaration of service as proof of proper service if the case proceeds to court.
5-Day Notice to Quit
In Louisiana, if a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial), the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 5 days, not counting legal holidays, to pay the balance due or move out.
10-Day Notice to Vacate
For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Louisiana, the landlord can serve them a 10-Day Notice to Vacate to terminate the tenancy. This lease termination notice allows the tenant 10 days to move out.
For tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:
|Rent Payment Frequency
|No Definite Term
5-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate
In Louisiana, if a tenant violates the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities, the landlord can serve them a 5-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 5 days, not counting legal holidays, to fix the issue or move out.
Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court
As the next step in the eviction process, Louisiana landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate court, and the court will issue a Rule for Possession (or Rule to Evict) ordering the tenant appears for a hearing.
In City and District Courts the Rule for Possession shall be written and must state the cause for the eviction.
In Justice of the Peace Courts the Rule for Possession does not need to be written.
Step 3: Court Serves Tenant with Summons & Complaint
The Rule for Possession must be served on the tenant by a sheriff or constable at least two days prior to the eviction hearing, through one of the following methods:
- Giving a copy to the tenant in person
- Posting a copy on the door of the rental unit
- Mailing a copy
The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant at least 2 days prior to the eviction hearing.
Step 4: Court Holds Hearing and Issues Judgment
The eviction hearing must be held at least 3 days after the summons was served on the tenant.
If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, it will not be continued, and the judge may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a summary possession execution will be issued and the eviction process will proceed.
Step 5: Writ of Possession Is Issued
The writ of possession is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff, constable, or marshal returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant.
If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the court will issue a writ of possession or a writ of execution. This could happen at the eviction hearing or at a later date.
The tenant will be forcibly removed from the rental unit if they don’t move out before the writ is executed.
The writ of possession may be issued as soon as a few hours to a few days after the hearing.
Step 6: Possession of Property is Returned
If tenants have not moved out of the rental unit 24 hours (i.e., midnight the following night) after the writ is issued, the sheriff, constable, or marshal will return to forcibly remove the tenant.
The sheriff, constable, or marshal shall be in the presence of two witnesses to clear the rental unit. If necessary, they may break open any window, door, or gate on the premises that is locked and stopping them from entering the premises.
The tenant must move out within 24 hours of the date of the writ is issued.
Louisiana Eviction Process Timeline
In Louisiana, an eviction can be completed in 2 to 5 weeks but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.
Below are the parts of the Louisiana eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.
|Initial Notice Period
|5-30 Calendar Days
|Court Issuing Summons
|~2 Business Days
|Court Serving Summons
|~2 Business Days
|Tenant Response Period
|3 Business Days
|Court Serving Writ of Possession
|1-3 Business Days
|Final Notice Period
Flowchart of Louisiana Eviction Process
Louisiana Eviction Court Fees
The average cost of an eviction in Louisiana for all filing, court, and service fees is $170. However, the cost can vary by parish. Eviction lawsuits are filed in City Court where the dwelling unit is located.
|Initial Court Filing
|Warrant of Possession Service
|Warrant of Possession Execution
|Notice of Appeal Filing (Optional)