In accordance with Louisiana law, (Code Title VIII) if rent is paid in a timely manner for an exchange for living on the premises, a landlord-tenant relationship is established (even without a written or oral agreement). Louisiana landlords have certain rights, including the right to pursue evictions following the violation of a lease agreement and the right to receive rental payments.
Tenants also have rights, for instance, tenants have a right to a habitable dwelling unit and the right to due process before eviction.
Note: These rights exist regardless of a rental agreement stating otherwise.
Landlord Responsibilities in Louisiana
Louisiana landlords must keep their properties in a habitable condition and provide request repairs in 14 days (or sooner for emergency repairs). If they do not make requested repairs, then Louisiana tenants can repair the damage themselves and deduct the cost from future rent payments as long as it is stated in the notice.
Louisiana’s state laws do not address or specify many habitability issues; however, landlords must make the repairs for the dwelling unit to be habitable.
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:
- Complying with all building and housing laws that affect health and safety.
- Keeping the premises clean and safe.
- Disposing all rubbish, garbage, and other organic or flammable waste in a clean and safe manner.
- Keeping all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit clean.
- Properly using and operating all electrical and plumbing fixtures and appliances.
- Not destroying, defacing, or removing any part of the premises.
- Keeping the dwelling unit and all facilities, appliances, furniture, and furnishings in good condition.
Evictions in Louisiana
Louisiana landlords have broad authority to evict tenants 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. 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 Quit. Landlords do not need to allow their tenants to correct the issue.
- End of Lease/ No Lease – If a tenant stays in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, the landlord must give notice before proceeding with an eviction. The notice depends on the type of tenancy.
- Less Than One Week – notice can be given at any time.
- At Least One Week but Less Than One Month –5-Day Notice to Quit.
- Month-to-Month –10-Day Notice to Quit.
- Longer Than One Month – 30-Day Notice to Quit.
- If There Is No Definite Term on Lease – 5-Day Notice to Quit.
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
Check local county and municipality laws for additional rules and protection for both landlords and tenants. To learn more, please refer to the below digital resources.