Louisiana Habitability Laws

Last Updated: June 23, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

In Louisiana, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by LA Civ Code Art. 2691. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities No Statute.
Time Limit for Repairs 14 Days
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No
  • Repair & Deduct: Yes

Applicable Dwelling Types in Louisiana

The implied warranty of habitability in Louisiana does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs Not specifically addressed
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Not specifically addressed
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels Not specifically addressed

Additionally, rental agreements are not allowed to include any provisions that waive the tenant’s right to live in a habitable residence.

Questions? To chat with a Louisiana landlord tenant attorney, Click here

Landlord Responsibilities in Louisiana

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Louisiana, as indicated below.
Note: Some of the items below may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not specifically addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not specifically addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Not specifically addressed
Provide working HVAC equipment. Not specifically addressed
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Not specifically addressed
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not specifically addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Not specifically addressed
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Not specifically addressed
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not specifically addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not specifically addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not specifically addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not specifically addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Not specifically addressed
Provide a mailbox. Not specifically addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not specifically addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not specifically addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not specifically addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not specifically addressed

Louisiana’s state laws do not address many habitability issues.

Sprinkler Systems

Not all states require existing apartment complexes, townhomes, and condos to have sprinkler systems. Many states do not require new construction to have sprinkler systems, either. However, Louisiana has enacted laws requiring “retroactive” installations for high rises.

Tenant’s Right to Repairs in Louisiana

Tenants must ask their landlord to fix the problem and follow up with a written request.

  • Sending Notice – Tenants can send the notice via mail and must keep a copy of the letter and how it was mailed for their records. The letter must indicate the request for the landlord to fix the problem within 14 days (or sooner for emergency repairs). The letter must also say that should the landlord fail to do the repairs, the tenant will have it fixed and deduct the cost from the rent.
  • Landlord Access – Tenants are required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs. There is no current statute on how long the landlord should give the tenant notice before entering.
Questions? To chat with a Louisiana landlord tenant attorney, Click here

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

If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner (within 14 days or less if the repair is an emergency), the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.

  1. Withhold Rent – Louisiana landlord tenant law does not outright state that a tenant in Louisiana has the ability to withhold rent in response to habitability issues.
  2. Repair and Deduct – Tenants have the right to repair the issue themselves and immediately demand a reimbursement for the repair or deduct the repair amount from the following month’s rent. If making the repairs requires the tenant to leave the unit while repairs are made, the tenant is allowed to pay reduced rent while the tenant is out of the unit.
  3. Lawsuit – Tenants do have the right to take legal action for damages resulting from habitability issues.
  4. Reporting to Public Officials – If there is a violation of any local housing codes, the tenant can complain to the local housing inspectors.

Landlord Retaliation in Louisiana

Unlike other states, there are no statutes regarding landlord retaliation in Louisiana.

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