Louisiana Habitability Laws

Louisiana landlord-tenant law governs all related issues in the state. Read further to learn what landlords are responsible for providing and how long they have to make repairs. Learn how tenants should request maintenance and how habitability applies to damages and security deposits. 

Quick Facts for Louisiana

Who Does The Warranty of Habitability Apply To?

The Warranty of Habitability in Louisiana applies to short-term and long-term rental properties that are single-family or multi-family dwellings.

How Long Do Tenants Have to Make Repairs?

N/A

What Are Tenants Responsible For?

Tenants are required to keep the rental reasonably clean; landlords can ask a tenant to clean up if they are not doing so. Tenants are allowed to deduct the costs of any repairs they make from their monthly rent.

What are Landlords Responsible For Providing?

Working HVAC equipment, plumbing, electrical, sanitation facilities, and elevators (in buildings that have them), as well as a trash can (for trash pickup services). Louisiana’s state laws regarding landlords and tenants are extremely vague. Landlords are not liable for damage caused by the tenant.

How Long Do Landlords Have to Fix Something?

After tenants request repairs, landlords must make them within a “reasonable” time. They must also provide “reasonable” notice before entering the unit to make these repairs.

The following chart lays out which types of rental units the law applies to.


Quick Facts:
 

  • Louisiana’s state laws regarding landlords and tenants are extremely vague.
  • Landlords are not liable for damage caused by the tenant.
  • Tenants are allowed to deduct the costs of any repairs they make from their monthly rent.

Understanding the Law

For all residential properties, landlords are required to ensure the property is in a “suitable condition.”

They’re also required to make and pay for any repairs to ensure that the rental unit remains in a “suitable condition” for use, which have not been caused by the tenant. 

Tenants are required to pay for any repairs caused by their own negligence or intentional acts, which may come out of the security deposit.

Landlord Responsibilities

The following chart lists common landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Louisiana, as indicated below.


Addressing Habitability Issues 

For any repairs the landlord makes due to the tenant’s actions, the landlord can:

  • Use the tenant’s security deposit to pay for any damage to the property when the tenant moves out.
  • Evict the tenant.

Tenant Repair Requests

Tenants must notify the landlord of any necessary repairs.

If making the repairs requires the tenant to leave the unit while repairs are made, the tenant is allowed to:

  • Pay reduced rent while they’re out of the unit.
  • Pay no rent until they can return to the unit.
  • Terminate the lease.

The remedy depends on the severity of the issue and the length of time the repairs will take.

For repairs that don’t require a tenant to vacate the property, the landlord must make them in a “reasonable” time frame. 

If the landlord fails to make the repairs, the tenant may deduct the repair amount from their monthly rent, or receive a direct reimbursement from the landlord.

Landlord Access

Tenants are required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs. 

Failure to Provide the “Essentials”

If a landlord intentionally or negligently fails to provide heat, water, electricity, and/or other “essentials,” tenants are allowed to:

  • Pay reduced rent until the issue is corrected.
  • Terminate the lease.
  • Pursue legal action to recover damages.

Security Deposits and Repairs

Finally, if the costs for any repairs were taken out of the tenant’s security deposit, the landlord is required to provide an itemized list of everything paid from the deposit within 30 days of the lease’s termination.

Otherwise, the landlord will be required to pay their tenant $300 plus the amount withheld, or twice the amount withheld from the security deposit, whichever is greater.

Sources

  1. Louisiana Attorney General, “Moving In, Moving Out, and Everything In Between!”
  2. Louisiana State Legislature, Revised Statutes, Title 9, Civil Code Ancillaries.
  3. Louisiana State Legislature, Civil Code, Articles 2668-2729.

Read About the Warranty of Habitability in Other States