Louisiana Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Louisiana Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Last Updated: May 3, 2023

Tenants in Louisiana have the legal right to repairs for issues that place the property in violation of state health and safety standards. To exercise this right, they must properly notify the landlord about the issue that needs repair, and allow a reasonable time for repairs.

Louisiana Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs

Louisiana landlords are responsible for keeping all of the following in good working condition:

  • Required plumbing and hot water.
  • Required electrical facilities.
  • Smoke alarms and (after Jan. 1, 2023) carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Common areas.
  • Anything impacting health, safety, or habitability.

If any of the above stops working properly, and the tenant isn’t at fault for the damage, the landlord is the one responsible for making the repairs necessary to fix it.

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What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants are responsible for repairing any damage caused to the property through their own fault.

Requesting Repairs in Louisiana

Louisiana tenants may request repairs through any method that communicates their needs effectively to the landlord, as long as this still enables the repair request to be made “without delay.” Written notice is legally preferable, since it helps prove the exact timing and contents of a repair request.

How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Louisiana?

Louisiana landlords get a “reasonable time” to make repairs after getting a written request. What’s reasonable gets decided based on the totality of circumstances, case by case.

Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Louisiana?

Louisiana landlords cannot refuse to make repairs which are necessary to keep the premises habitable, except for damage that’s the renter’s fault.

Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Louisiana?

Louisiana landlords are not required to pay for alternative accommodation while they conduct repairs. However, a situation that deprives the tenant of the use of the rental property requires a proportionate reduction in rent, so the tenant doesn’t have to pay rent while the rental property is inaccessible.

Tenant’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Louisiana

Louisiana tenants can either cancel the rental agreement and recover damages through an action in court, or repair and deduct the reasonable cost of fixing the issue, when the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs. Failure to repair may also be a defense in eviction actions.

Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants can’t withhold rent. They are allowed to repair and deduct, but they are not allowed to withhold the rent entirely, or deduct even a percentage from the rent without also contracting for repairs.

Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants can repair and deduct the necessary and reasonable cost of needed repairs that the landlord hasn’t performed in a reasonable time after proper notice.

Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants can break the lease when the landlord doesn’t perform necessary repairs within a reasonable time after proper notice.

Can the Tenant Sue in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants can sue to recover monetary damages when the landlord hasn’t made necessary repairs within a reasonable time after proper notice.

Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants can report landlords for code violations that affect health or safety. Tenants should usually report to the local inspections or code enforcement department. If an inspecting officer finds a violation, the tenant could sue to cancel the rental agreement, or repair and deduct.

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Landlord Retaliation in Louisiana

Louisiana landlords aren’t specifically prohibited by statute from retaliating against tenants. However, courts recognize the potential for an abuse of rights that results from retaliatory eviction, so tenants can assert retaliation as a defense if they can prove the landlord’s retaliatory motive.

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