Louisiana Eviction Laws

Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Louisiana and understand their responsibilities.

Quick Facts for Louisiana

  • Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, lease-term end & “any other reasons” (illegal activity, damage to property/others)
  • Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 5-Day Notice to Quit (Note: landlords are not required to provide tenants an opportunity to pay outstanding rent)
  • Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 10-Day Notice to Quit for month-to-month tenants; no notice required for fixed-term tenants, but landlord must wait until end of term
  • Notice Required for Lease Violations: 5-Day Notice to Quit (without opportunity for tenant to remedy)
  • Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 5 days, via Notice to Quit

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Louisiana?

A tenant may be evicted more rapidly in the state of Louisiana than in many other states. This is due to the fact that, although the landlord is required to provide a minimum 5-Day Notice to quit, he/she has no requirement to offer a tenant the opportunity to remedy a violation of the terms of the lease or rental agreement or to pay outstanding rent. Once a tenant has failed to vacate a property following the 5-Day Notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or Justice of the Peace where the property is located.

Despite the fact that the landlord is not required to offer tenants an opportunity to remedy issues leading him/her to seek an eviction, and the consistent minimum 5-Day Notice, the eviction process can still be a lengthy one. An eviction is a legal proceeding that provides the tenant with recourse including the right to appeal a court decision.

Due to this, it is clear that the length of time required to evict a tenant is difficult to predict. The amount of time required to evict a tenant will depend largely upon the tenant’s desire to fight the process.

Reasons for Eviction in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana provides only the broadest details regarding the reasons a landlord may evict a tenant. The reasons provided under Louisiana legislation include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • End of the term of the lease
  • “Any other reasons”

It appears reasonable to include illegal activity, use of illegal substances, threat to other residents, and threat of damage to property under the heading of “other reasons.”

Regardless of the reason the landlord seeks to evict the tenant, he/she must provide notice prior to proceeding with the eviction process. A landlord in Louisiana is not required to offer the tenant an opportunity to pay outstanding rent or to rectify a violation of the terms of the rental agreement.

The state of Louisiana requires that the written notice be given to the tenant in the presence of at least one witness. If the tenant is not at the property when the landlord seeks to serve him/her, a copy of the notice may be tacked to the door of the property so long as this is done in the presence of at least one witness. It is also acceptable for the notice to be sent to the tenant by certified or registered mail. If the notice is mailed, a return receipt should be requested as proof of service.

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

In the state of Louisiana, a landlord may present the tenant with a written 5-Day Notice to Quit on the day following the day that the rent was due. The landlord is not required to offer the tenant an opportunity to pay the outstanding rent and may proceed with the eviction even if the tenant pays the rent in full before the end of the five days indicated in the notice (L.C.C.A. 4071). If the tenant remains on the property after the fifth day, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or Justice of the Peace where the property is located.

Eviction if Rent has Been Paid

In the state of Louisiana, the landlord may evict any “at-will” tenant without cause after providing notice (L.C.C.A. 4701). An “at-will” tenant is any tenant renting without the benefit of a written lease. A landlord must provide a 10-Day Notice to Quit to tenants renting month-to-month. Tenants renting for a fixed-term, may be expected to move at the end of the indicated term. Therefore, a landlord is not required to provide notice to a fixed-term tenant.

Read more about tenants at will here.

Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease

If a tenant violates the terms of the lease or rental agreement, the landlord may serve him/her with a 5-Day Notice to Quit on the same day that the violation occurs (L.C.C.A. 4701). The landlord is not required to offer the tenant the opportunity to rectify his/her behavior. If the tenant remains on the property after the date indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or Justice of the Peace where the property is located.

Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior

In the state of Louisiana, the process for eviction a tenant for illegal behavior is the same as the process for evicting a tenant for any other breach to the rental arrangement. The landlord may serve the tenant with a 5-Day Notice to Quit on the same day that the illegal behavior occurred (L.C.C.A. 4701). If the tenant fails to leave the property within the time allowed by the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or Justice of the Peace where the property is located.

How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?

If a landlord is interested in ending a rental arrangement with an “at-will” tenant but has no cause, he/she must wait until the end of a fixed-term rental agreement. If he/she is dealing with a month-to-month tenant, he/she must provide a written 10-Day Notice to Quit(L.C.C.A. 4701). If the tenant remains past the date indicated on the notice, or beyond the end of the rental term if a fixed-term tenant, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or Justice of the Peace where the property is located.

When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Louisiana?

The state of Louisiana, like all other states, must follow the federal Fair Housing Act. This act makes it illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant based on his/her race, gender, religion, nation or origin disability status, or familial status.

Once a 5-Day Notice Has Been Served

The tenant has 5 days to vacate the rental property. If the tenant fails to leave the property by the sixth day following a notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or Justice of the Peace where the property is located.

Once Eviction Occurs

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant has 24 hours to vacate the property. The tenant may file for an appeal if he/she provided a formal response to the initial filing. A tenant who failed to respond or show to court may not file for an appeal. If the tenant files an appeal, he/she will be expected to file a bond to protect the landlord from the cost of damages. The tenant will also generally be required to pay fees to cover the cost of transcripts and witness subpoenas. As this is often a financial burden, it is rare for residential renters to seek an appeal to an eviction.

Make sure to read the Louisiana Civil Code Annotated art. 2728, 4701 & 4703 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.

Eviction Process in Other States

Other Resources for Louisiana Landlords & Tenants