Grab a Louisiana eviction notice template and read further to learn about what happens AFTER a notice is posted, how long the eviction process takes and other aspects of Louisiana eviction law.
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What’s an Eviction Notice?
An eviction notice is a legal form of disclosure that lets a tenant know that they are in clear violation of their lease agreement, and either need to correct the issue or vacate the premises. If the tenant fails to take action after proper legal notice is given, the landlord may evict the tenant. When a landlord provides written legal notice to a tenant to correct a violation of the lease agreement, it is referred to as a “Notice to Quit.”
The eviction process in the state of Louisiana must follow the state laws under the Louisiana Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
A tenant may be evicted for any of these three things or some combination of them: 1) failure to pay the rent; 2) violating the terms and conditions of the rental agreement in a significant way, and; 3) engaging in certain criminal behavior or creating a hazard for other tenants.
What Happens After a Notice is Posted
Once the notice to quit is handed to the tenant, they will have a period of five days to make things right with the landlord. However, if things are still the same after the time has passed, the landlord can go to the court to begin the eviction process. They will need to file for a Rule of Possession with the Justice of the Peace in county where the rental unit is located. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord when the notice has been served, the tenant will have a period of 24 hours to leave the property. They will be able to appeal the court to get a different judgment as long as they filed a formal response for the court. Any tenant who does not show up for their court date will not be permitted to file for an appeal.
When is Rent Due
The rent is due on the date that is specified in the rental agreement. If the rent is due the first of the month, in the state of Louisiana, the rent is late the very next day. This means that the landlord can post a notice to vacate the very next day because there’s not going to be a grace period for the tenant to pay their rent. If the rent is not due on the first of the month, the day that it is due and the day that it is late needs to be addressed in the rental agreement.
How Long Does the Eviction Process Take
The amount of time that a full eviction process will take can be difficult to gauge. In this state, the tenant will receive a five-day notice, and the eviction process can begin after the five days have passed. The eviction process can be long and extensive, especially if the tenant appeals the court’s decision, so the amount of time that it takes will depend on the courts and whether or not the tenant will be fighting to stay in the unit.
Notice to Quit
Under Louisiana law Section 33-1368, to begin the eviction process, a landlord in Louisiana must first give the tenant a Notice to Quit. The Notice to Quit states the reason for the eviction and if the reason is curable or irreparable.
A curable reason allows a tenant to do something to fix the problem, such as paying the past due rent and late fees.
An irreparable reason does not allow the tenant to do anything that would allow them to remain as a tenant. An example of an irreparable reason occurs if the tenant is evicted for participating in certain crimes or putting false information on a rental application about criminal convictions or prior evictions.
For curable reasons, the Notice To Quit states the number of calendar days that the tenant has to fix the problem such as to pay the past due rent or correct a violation of the rental agreement.
If the tenant fails to pay the past due rent and/or to correct the violation of the rental agreement, within the given number of days, then the tenant must move out to avoid the legal proceedings of an eviction.
If a tenant fails to fix the problem or to move out upon expiration of the days given in the notice, then the landlord may file a lawsuit against the tenant called an “unlawful detainer” action. The landlord can petition the court for the restitution of the rental property (restoring the landlord’s control over the property) and monetary damages in the form of past due rent, late fees, the cost of repairs, and legal expenses.
Sometimes, for a myriad of reasons, the legal agreement between a landlord and his or her renter doesn’t work out, and when this relationship is problematic, the eviction process can be used to alleviate the stress for the lessor. These procedures aren’t always final; most eviction proceedings in the state of Louisiana provide the renter with the option to remedy the situation.
In any case, before an eviction judgment is provided, the first part of the process is the filing of a Notice to Quit document. These documents have a few different forms in this state, but for all, these state that there has been a violation of the terms of the original lease. Some reasons to file can include:
- The renter is consistently late on rent payments: In the state of Louisiana, a renter is expected to pay rent on time, when the tenant is consistently late, a Notice to Quit may be filed. One of these notices is ideal because they alert the lessee to legal procedures being initiated as a result of late or non-payment of rent.
- The renter has caused damage to other tenants or the property: If a tenant has caused damage to either of these as a result of negligence or intent, then this is grounds for notice. Typically, a notice filed for this reason will request that the tenant pay damages or restitution.
- The renter has been performing illegal activities in the unit: In Louisiana, if a tenant is engaging in illegal activities such as drug use, then this is grounds for notice and eventual eviction.
- The renter has been violating specific terms set forth in the lease: In many modern fixed-term leases, it’s common for rules to be established about things like pets, smoking, and noise. Since these are well-established in a legal document, violation of the property’s rules is certainly grounds for the start of eviction proceedings. For example, if the tenant consistently smokes in non-smoking areas, then the lessor has legal grounds. The Notice to Quit, like other notices, can be rescinded if the tenant corrects the egregious behavior.
If the tenant has engaged in any of these activities, then the landlord may file a notice with the courts, which is often considered the first step towards eviction.
When is Rent Considered Late by the State of Louisiana?
In the state of Louisiana, the rent is considered to be late on the day after the day established as the rental payment date in the lease. Once rent is late, the landlord may then furnish a Five-Day Notice to Quit, which provides the tenant with a timeframe in which to correct the situation.
Types of Eviction Notices in Louisiana
For the state of Louisiana, there are only two different five-day notice that can be sent to the tenant instead of there being multiple different types that can be received in other states. The first is the five-day notice to quit that is used for the non-payment of rent. This will allow the tenant five days in which they can either pay the amount that is owed or vacate the premises.
The other type of five-day notice to vacate that can be sent is for non-compliance, which means that the tenant has violated some of the terms of the lease agreement. This could have to do with the resident having animals in a unit that is not animal-friendly. It could mean that they are doing something illegal on the property, or they are violating the terms of the lease in another way. They will have five days to resolve the issue or vacate the premises as well.
These notices allow for a more structured format and will enable the tenant to fully understand the reason for the document being sent by their landlord. Here’s a breakdown:
The Five-Day Notice to Quit
The primary format for the Five-Day Notice to Quit is the non-payment document. This is a document that alerts the tenant that eviction proceedings have begun as a result of them not paying rent in a timely manner. The document notes the amount that is in arrears and states that the tenant must tender this amount in order to continue dwelling in the unit.
The other type of Five-Day Notice to Quit has the terminology Non-Compliance printed on the document. These are issued with the same intent, but typically these cover problems that the landlord has with the tenant. For example, if the tenant has a pet in a non-animal-friendly property, the landlord may issue this type of notice. If the tenant fixes the issue, then he or she can continue their lease.
The Month-to-Month Notice to Quit
Sometimes, a tenant or a landlord may not want to enter into a full-fledged fixed-term lease, and when this is the case, many enter an at-will lease, which is also called a month-to-month lease. These leases are very flexible, and either the tenant or the landlord can end the lease when it’s convenient; assuming they provide the proper amount of notice. In the state of Louisiana, either of the two parties must provide at least a 10-day heads up to the other party before leaving the unit vacant. This document is called the 10-Day Notice to Quit (Month-to-Month).
The standard form of this notice lets the tenant know that there is an issue and that the rules of the original lease have in some way been violated. This part of the process is absolutely mandatory and provides a basis for understanding between the two parties. The tenant can now opt to rectify the situation by responding to the landlord’s demands. This means that the renter will need to either pay the requested amount, show that the unfavorable behavior has in some way been remedied, or vacate the premises.
If the tenant does not respond favorably to the notice, then the landlord can then approach the local courts and file a document called a Petition for Eviction. These courts must be in the same county as the rental unit. At that point, an Order to Show Cause will be issued by the courts, and there will be a hearing date. If the courts rule in the landlord’s favor, then the landlord can obtain a Warrant for Possession, which demands that the tenant vacate the premises. If there is any pushback from the renter, then a constable from the sheriff’s office may then force an eviction.
How to Write a Notice to Quit
When providing a Notice to Quit for a problematic tenant, it’s absolutely crucial that a landlord is sure to include all of the pertinent information. This not only provides the tenant with a framework to improve the relationship, but it also provides proof that all legal procedures are followed for the courts. Here are a few pieces of information that can be used during the notice-writing process:
- The original fixed-term or at-will lease.
- Any complaints from neighbors.
- Previously-filed notices that catalog a failure to pay rent.
- Any documents that indicate that the tenant has agreed to terms provided by the landlord before.
Not only are these documents useful for building the notice, but they can also be used to paint a picture for the courts. The following is what will also need to be included.
The Intended Recipient
The first piece of information that will have to be relayed is an indication of whom the document is for, which is the tenant in this case. It’s important to have a high level of consistency, so the name of the tenant should be recorded here exactly as it appeared on the original lease. This section is specifically designed to ensure that there’s no confusion about who this document is designed to reach.
Outline the Property in Question
Even though any court proceedings will take place in the county of the property, it’s still a good idea to provide as much information about the property as possible. This means that the unit number, building number, street address, county, and zip code will need to be presented near the beginning of the document. There should be little difference in how the address is recorded here than as it was presented in the original lease.
Define the Original Rental Agreement
Since this notice is designed to relay that the original terms of the lease aren’t being met, it’s a good idea to show some evidence that the document was agreed upon by the renter. This section can simply represent that the lease was signed by the renter on a set date.
The Wording for Five-Day Notices
For completeness and legality, the next part of the notice should have specific verbiage so that the renter and the courts can fully understand the intent. Here’s how they can appear:
For Non-Payment: When a tenant is behind on rent, the document must state the amount that’s owed as well as a due date for paying the money owed. To relay this, the notice can start with the lines, “Within five days, you shall pay to the undersigned or an authorized agent the amount of…” It’s a good idea to not only show the numerical value of the payable back rent but to also include it written out as well. Finally, the period in which the rent is delinquent must also be established.
For Non-Compliance: When a tenant is in some way violating the rules of the lease, the behavior that must be remedied should be explicitly laid out. The document can start with, “Within five days, you must remedy the violation described as…” Once described, the tenant must correct the behavior or move out.
The Signature Section
In Louisiana, there is a Landlord Intent Disclosure that notifies the tenant that the landlord is seeking out a remedy either as an eviction or as a resolution to the issues that have been outlined. This will require the landlord or his or her agent to sign the document.
After this is completed, the document will need to be delivered to the recipient. This can be done by a certified agent of the landlord who must fill in the delivery date of the document. Next, the agent will have to mark how the document was delivered and whom the document was delivered to. It’s important to understand that the document must be delivered to a person of reliable age in the household or place of employment.