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.
Note: these rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
In addition to the below, please check local county and municipality laws for additional rules and protection for both landlords and tenants.
Landlord Responsibilities in Louisiana
Louisiana landlords must keep their properties in an inhabitable condition and provide request repairs in a “reasonable” amount of time. If they do not make requested repairs, then Louisiana tenants may take one form of “alternative action.” They can repair the damage themselves and deduct the cost from future rent payments.
Below is a list of common items that Louisiana landlords are or are not responsible for.
|Garbage and waste||Yes|
Louisiana does not have laws specifying when repairs must be made, just that they must be made in a “reasonable” amount of time.
Tenant Responsibilities in Louisiana
Aside from paying rent in a timely manner, Louisiana tenants must:
- Keep facility clean and in repair
- Keep the property clean and sanitary
- Maintain dwelling fixtures
- Not disturb neighbors or other tenants
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Security Deposits in Louisiana
- Standard Limit/maximum Amount – None
- Time Limit for Returns – 1 month
- Penalty if Not Returned on Time – If a landlord wrongfully withholds a security deposit, then they may be required to pay $300 or up to twice the security deposit amount, whichever is greater.
- Allowable Deductions – Louisiana landlords are allowed to deduct for unpaid rent, utilities that are not covered, and repairs for damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Lease Termination in Louisiana
Notice Requirements. Tenants who have a fixed-date lease are not required to provide any notice before breaking a lease. Otherwise, landlords must give the following notice:
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Needed|
Early termination. A lease can be legally broken in Louisiana for the following reasons.
- Early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Landlord harassment
- Lease violation
Louisiana tenants may still be responsible for rent for the rest of their lease term even if they break it legally.
Rent Increases & Related Fees in Louisiana
- Rent control. Louisiana has state laws that preempt any kind of rent control policies on a local and state level. As such, landlords can charge as much as they want for rent.
- Rent increases. Similarly, Louisiana does not require landlords to justify or give notice before rent increases. As such, they can raise rental prices whenever they wish.
- Rent related fees. Louisiana does not have any regulations on how much landlords can charge for late fees. There are also no limits for returned check fees.
Housing Discrimination in Louisiana
Protected groups. The Fair Housing Act prohibits Louisiana landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. These rules do not apply to owner-occupied homes or homes run by religious organizations.
Louisiana does not offer special protections for any groups not listed in the Fair Housing Act. However, there is a precedence of Louisiana courts protecting immigrants due to protections based on national origin.
Discriminatory Acts & Penalties. The following acts may be considered discriminatory when directed towards a member of a protected class.
- Refusing to rent or sell on a bona fide offer
- Offering different terms, conditions, or privileges
- Lying about unit availability
- Refusing to provide certain financial services like a mortgage or a loan
- Persuading or coercing individuals to sell against their best interests
- Posting advertisements that encourage or discourage certain groups from applying
Complaints about housing discrimination in Louisiana can be made to the Louisiana Attorney General’s office. This filing can only be used as evidence in a civil suit.
Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Louisiana
Landlord Right to Entry in Louisiana
There are no regulations regarding landlord right to entry in Louisiana, so landlords are assumed to have the default right to enter their properties at any time without permission. However, it is customary for landlords and tenants to agree on entry notice policies in the lease agreement.
Small Claims Court in Louisiana
Different cities in Louisiana have different rules regarding when landlords and tenants can bring cases to small claims court. In general, there is a 10-year statute of limitations on lease and rental cases.
Mandatory Disclosures in Louisiana
Louisiana landlords are only required to make one mandatory disclosure:
- Lead-based paint. Landlords who own homes built before 1978 must provide info about the concentrations of lead paint.
Changing the Locks in Louisiana
Louisiana landlords are prohibited from unilaterally changing the locks on tenants However, Louisiana law does not prohibit tenants from changing locks in a similar manner, though it is not advised that tenants change the locks without the landlord’s permission.
Additional Resources for Louisiana Renters
To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.
A Guide to Louisiana Landlord & Tenant Laws – Published by the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, this handbook is a concise resource for understanding the practical application of the state’s sparse landlord-tenant laws. This guide’s arrangement is particularly easy to follow because it separates relevant laws into the pre- and post-leasing process.
Equal Housing – It’s Your Right – This Attorney General’s office pamphlet breaks down how state and federal fair housing legislation applies to tenants and landlords alike. This resource can be particularly useful to tenants, though, because it fully explains the state’s procedure for investigating and discharging discrimination complaints.
General Information about Small Claims Court in Louisiana – This digital resource is a great starting point for both landlords and tenants who feel that litigation will be necessary to settle their disputes. In particular, this resource excels because it takes you through every step of this slightly complex process and even helps you compile the paperwork necessary to file suit in Louisiana’s numerous small claims courts.