Louisiana Residential Lease Agreement

Grab our free sample or generate an official Louisiana lease agreement for residential use. Read further about required disclosures in Louisiana, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Louisiana landlord tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.

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Lease Agreement Sample

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Quick Facts for Louisiana

Max Term

99 years

Max Security Deposit

No limit

Who Needs to Sign

Landlord, all tenants, and all co-signers or guarantors

Required Disclosures

Lead-based paint

Legal Early Termination

Beyond written mutual consent, a tenant can break their lease without penalty in Louisiana if they’re starting active military duty, the unit is considered uninhabitable, or the landlord violates their privacy rights. In these cases, the landlord must make reasonable effort to re-rent the unit. A landlord may break a lease in Louisiana for a number of reasons, including not paying rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. Before breaking a lease, the landlord must first serve the tenant written notice.

Addendums to Consider

Pets, Utility Allocation, Mold, Criminal Activity, & Marijuana Use

What is a Residential Lease Agreement?

A residential lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant who intends to rent a specific property.  It is an all-inclusive document created to outline the expectations of both parties and address any special circumstances that may arise during the length of the agreement. It also clearly states the potential consequences for not adhering to the stated terms. For maximum legal credibility, it is critical that this document be produced in writing, reviewed and signed by both parties prior to occupancy.

Before reviewing and signing a residential lease agreement, a landlord will likely ask a potential tenant to complete an application form to begin a background and credit check.  If these assessments are met with approval, then the process of renting the property may continue. Applicable rent, security deposits and fees will be paid by the tenant, and the residential lease will be signed by both parties.  The tenant may take occupancy on the date indicated in the residential lease.

So, again, just so we’re on the same page:


A residential lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant for the use of property for a fixed period in exchange for regular payments. By contrast, a rental agreement has no fixed period, and as a result, is usually month-to-month (read more)

Basic Louisiana Residential Lease Agreement Elements

The sections that follow are necessary elements to a residential lease.  Each section includes information that pertains specifically to lease agreements in Louisiana.  All rental properties are unique and it is important for the landlord to tailor their residential lease to the unit or property being rented.  This guide lists various circumstances for landlords to consider as they are drafting a residential lease agreement. Landlords need to include the components listed here to be legally compliant in the state of Louisiana.

In just about any state, the most common form of legal document is the one that takes place between a residential lessee and a lessor. This document is known as a residential lease agreement, and these typically have a fixed term. This kind of agreement serves as a framework for the two parties so that there are legal protections for both should things go wrong in the future. This also ensures that one party doesn’t have too much legal power over the other and that each feels well-represented.

Unless these are at-will month-to-month agreements, they have the aforementioned fixed term, and the period of these leases can vary based on the needs of either the landlord or the tenant. For example, throughout the state, it’s easy to find six-month, one-year, or even two-year agreements that are legally binding for both parties.

It’s not uncommon for some lessees and lessors to enter into a verbal agreement; these types of agreements aren’t as binding and are sometimes rife with problems. For this reason, a document that states the expectations and rights of both parties is preferable. Policies that establish rules on smoking, pets, and noise can all be beneficial not just for the landlord, but for his or her tenant as well. This also protects the landlord from a tenant suddenly breaking the lease, and it protects the tenant from a landlord that suddenly desires to rent the unit to a friend or a family member.

Introduction of the Lease and the Parties Involved


This is a lease (the “Lease”) […] between (Name of owner of the property) (“Landlord”) and (Name of person(s) to whom the property is leased) (“Tenant”), made this day of (Date).

TERM. The lease will be for a term of (Number of months) beginning on (Start date) and ending on (End date).

PREMISES. The premises is a (Type of dwelling i.e. house, apartment, etc.) located at (Address of rental property). The following features are included on the property (List of amenities).

RENT & UTILITIES. Tenants will pay a monthly rent of (Rent amount) on the (Day) of each month. Tenants are responsible for utilities including (List of utilities).

Before writing the body of the lease, it’s critical that the parties involved inside the lease are identified. For this reason, the full names of the parties involved will need to be noted. The full names can be considered to just be the first and last names, but for completeness, some prefer to also include at least the middle initial or the full middle name of both parties.

Also, if there are to be cotenants or roommates in the dwelling, their names will need to be included as well. This should be the case even when there is both a primary tenant and tenants that take on a more secondary role.

Next, contact information for all of the parties involved should also be included for the sake of recordkeeping. For the tenant, this can include supplementary addresses where they live part of the time, email addresses, telephone numbers (both landline and cellular), and any other means in which the lessee can be reached. For the lessor, the same information should be provided, and if there is a management company, their address, numbers, and email addresses should be provided as well.

Next, information about the property will need to be provided. This includes the legal address, which will entail the building number, the unit number, the full street address, the county, and any side streets that can be identifying.

Terms and Limits of Occupation

One of the most critical parts of a lease of this type will ensure that there is a complete framework for the occupation. This means setting firm terms and limits for both the landlord and the renter. For example, details about the occupation can be provided here. Things like the number of bedrooms in the unit, the number of bathrooms, and how the unit is split up amongst cotenants can be included. The document should also clearly outline access to property amenities; this can include pool-, exercise room-, and sporting area-access.

Some properties also set firm limits on the number of individuals that can stay inside a dwelling at any one time. Some even list firm restrictions on the number of guests such as the limit on the number of days a guest can stay on a property in a row. Additionally, some units establish firm rules when it comes to subletting, and some properties don’t permit subletting at all. It’s important to state that Louisiana doesn’t have rules on the books about subletting, so what is declared inside the rules of the lease is absolutely crucial.

Is the property furnished? If so, then the lease should also state the furnishings that are included with the lease. This can be very important during the process of vacating the property; it will establish what is to stay and what is to go for the tenant. It also states what will need to be well-maintained so that the lessee doesn’t incur extra deductions from the security deposit.

Rental Amount: Starting on ________________________, 20___ the tenant listed above agrees to pay the landlord the amount of $______________each month before the ______ day of each calendar month. The rental payment amount should be delivered by the tenant to the landlord at the following location ________________________________________________. The rent must be received by the landlord to remain in compliance with the rental agreement.

Rental Term: The unit is being leased based on the following terms:

____ Month to Month

____ One Year

____ Two Years

____ Until ___________________, 20___

Occupants: This property cannot be occupied by any individual other than the tenant that is listed above in this document. The following named individuals can also be members of the household, which will give them full access to the premises at any time. ____________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

Any additional persons who are permitted to occupy the unit based on this rental agreement will count as a resident of the unit. For each additional person who resides here, the rent shall be increased by $__________. Guests do not need written consent to stay in the unit. However, any person staying on the premise for a period of 14 days or more in a row will need to have written consent from the landlord. Without the written consent, they will be considered unauthorized tenants who are in violation of the rental agreement.

Subletting: This is what it is called when the tenant rents out the property that they are renting in this agreement. As the tenant, the agreement that is being made for the property is that you alone will reside in the unit, along with anyone else who is named in this lease. The tenant agrees that they will not sublet or assign the unit to anyone else who is not on the lease without obtaining written permission from the landlord before making the change. Anything that is going to make the tenant money by renting the property for a period of time is not allowed. This means that using the unit as an Airbnb is not allowed, and using the property this way would be in violation of the rental agreement. The unit cannot be rented out as a vacation unit either.

Late Charge: When a tenant is late with their agreed upon rental payment, a charge of _______ will be added to the amount of rent that is currently owed to the landlord. This charge will only be added if rent is not paid on the date that has been agreed upon in this rental agreement. If the landlord issues a notice to pay rent to the tenant, then the tenant will be required to pay with a cashier’s check or a bank check. If a check is not honored by the tenant’s financial institution , the tenant will be required to provide a cashier’s check or a bank check for all future payments that are to be made. This will be required until the landlord provides written consent stating that the tenant can use personal checks to pay the lease agreement once again. If a check has been dishonored, then the tenant will be responsible for covering the sum of $_______.

Rent and Utilities

As one might expect, in every form of lease, rent and utilities must be paid, but the lease should establish the means. For example, the first thing that will need to be covered in the lease is when the payments are due and the total amount, which will include additional costs if applicable. The total amount of rent will need to be clearly stated. Also, any pet fees that will serve as pet security deposits, the estimated costs of utilities, and the value of late charges should be included as well.

Once these have been noted in the lease, information on how the tenant is to pay the charges should also be included. For example, some landlords require that the tenant mails in the amount of monthly rent. If this is the case, the address for the payments needs to be included somewhere in the lease for the sake of records. Similarly, if the tenant is to take the payments to a specific management office, the address will need to be furnished as well. Finally, since specific utility companies tend to be present in particular locations, the addresses of these as well as their contact information should be provided to the renter so that they can pay their share of utilities every month.

Also, insofar as utilities, it’s not uncommon in Louisiana for a landlord to pay the utility cost for some utilities as a way to sweeten the deal and draw more tenants. If this is the case, any fixed-term lease agreement needs to state this explicitly. Finally, the term of the lease needs to be included so that the landlord and his or her renter understands when it’s time to either renew the lease or seek out new arrangements.

Security Deposits and Fees

The security deposit for a property is a means that the landlord can ensure that the property is protected and covered in the case of damage. Once the property is vacated, this deposit is used to repair any damage that may have been incurred in the unit. These can also serve as a way for a landlord to protect his or herself in a situation where they are forced to evict a tenant.

In the state of Louisiana, there is not a set limit on the amount of money that a landlord can charge for the security deposit. This payment is to be used as a deduction for any unpaid rent, excess damage to the property, and unpaid utilities. After the property has been vacated, the landlord will be required to return the security deposit to the tenant if it does not need to be used for any of the above reasons. According to LA Rev Stat § 9:3251 (A), the landlord has one month to return the security deposit after the termination date of the lease.


When the tenant agrees to the terms of this lease, they will be required to deposit a sum of $(Amount) to the landlord as a security deposit. This deposit is designed to secure the tenant’s performance when it comes to the terms of the lease. The limits of the security deposit do not allow it to exceed two times the sum of the monthly rent of the unit. When the tenant and all of the residents vacate the property, the landlord may choose to use the security deposit to clean the property, replace anything that is broken or damaged, or use it to cover the cost of any unpaid rent that is owed to the landlord.

The security deposit cannot be used to pay for back rent when in the terms of the lease. When the tenant vacates the property, the Landlord will have a period of 21 days in which they must provide a written statement to the tenant to let them know how much is being deducted from the security deposit and how much the remaining balance is that the tenant will receive. The tenant should provide the forwarding address to the landlord, but if this does not occur, the statement and the refund of the security deposit can be sent to the property’s address to be forwarded with the tenants name on the envelope.

In the state of Louisiana, there is no upper limit on how much a lessor can charge for a security deposit, but traditionally, the upper limit for this charge is usually a month’s or two month’s rent. Keeping the security deposit at a reasonable amount is a way that landlords can ensure that a tenant isn’t overwhelmed when first signing a lease agreement.

While some states have specific requirements for storing the deposit, Louisiana isn’t one of them. However, after the tenant has legally vacated the premises, the landlord has one month to return the value of the security deposit to them – as long as it’s not used for repairs. It’s important to note that the tenant must provide a forwarding address; if there has been no address provided, the deposit may be forfeit. For this reason, the lease can also include a section that leaves spaces for the tenant to give an address of this type.

The Initial Payment: Before moving into the rental unit, the tenant will be required to pay a full first month’s rent in the amount of $________ and a security deposit, which comes to a total of $________. This comes to a total initial payment of $________, which can be transferred from the tenant to the landlord in the form of cash, check, or a cashier’s check. In order to be given the keys to the property, the initial payment needs to be paid in full.

Utilities: The tenant of the unit will be responsible for paying for the cost of all of the utilities that are used on the premise. This will also include any services that are designated to be used for the unit only; however, the following exceptions will be made and paid for by the landlord. _________ _________________________________________________________________________________

Parking: The tenant ___ is to be assigned or ____ is not to be assigned a designated parking space on the property. If a space is assigned to the tenant specifically, they should park in space number _______. Only the tenant’s vehicle has permission to park in the assigned spot. The vehicle must be registered in the tenant’s name, and the tenant may not lease or sublet the parking space to another individual. No other vehicle may be stored in this space without written consent. In addition, the tenant may not wash their vehicle, repair their vehicle, or paint their vehicle in the assigned space. If a vehicle is leaking any type of substance onto the ground, it will not be permitted to be parked anywhere on the property. Any tenant’s vehicle that is parked in a space must be registered as a vehicle in the state of New York. Trailers, campers, boats, buses, or other recreational vehicles cannot be parked on the premise. In addition, parking or driving on the grass around the buildings is not permitted either.

Maintenance, Alterations, and Repairs

During the term of a lease, it’s only par for the course that there will be maintenance, alterations, and repairs on the property, especially for more extended rental periods. It’s critical to remember that a landlord must comply with building and housing codes in the state of Louisiana when initiating a lease with a tenant. This compliance typically also comes with it an understanding that the landlord will maintain this state of good order until the tenant vacates the property. This understanding is designed so that the tenant may rightfully expect that the property is in good shape and is a safe dwelling. If the situation occurs where the property falls short of expectations in this regard, it’s grounds for the tenant to end the lease, which is sometimes called a constructive eviction.

  • Conditions of the Unit: The landlord has fully inspected the unit that the tenant is going to move into. The tenant knows and acknowledges that the unit has been inspected by the landlord. The tenant agrees that the premise has been cleaned properly before agreeing to the terms of the lease, and all of the appliances and fixtures are working like they are designed to. The tenant agrees to keep the unit neat and ensure that the space is sanitary. The tenant will be responsible for reimbursing the landlord for any repairs that they are forced to make on the property because of the negligence and the misuse of the tenants.
    _____ The tenant will be responsible for cleaning and repairing any plumbing stoppages that may occur.
    _____ The tenant will be responsible for repairing, replacing, or cleaning the garbage disposal because of a blockage in the drain that was caused by the tenant.
  • Repairs: Anything within the unit that needs to be repaired that is the responsibility of the landlord will be taken care of in a reasonable fashion when the tenant sends a written notice to the landlord requesting that the services or the repairs be done. The tenant must give the landlord sufficient time to complete the repairs. The tenant must agree that no rent will be withheld from the landlord without written notice being served to the landlord, which gives the landlord enough time to fix the said items under the Civil Code Section 1942.
  • Alterations: The tenant is not permitted to make any alterations or changes to the property without first obtaining written consent from the landlord giving the tenant permission to make the changes. This includes the changing things like the lighting fixtures, the dishwasher, the washing machine, the dryer, and other appliances that can be found in the unit. The tenant will not be permitted to change the locks on the unit or install additional locks without written consent. The walls within the unit may not be painted or have wallpaper applied to them. Signs in the windows for the general public to see are also not permitted to be in the unit.

For the sake of the tenant’s peace of mind, it’s a good idea to schedule a walkthrough so that any issues that will require maintenance or repair can be established. Obviously, a walkthrough of this type won’t include any repairs or future maintenance for the property, so once the lease is signed, the document should clearly state the procedure to elicit repairs of this type. Sometimes, the tenant is allowed to do these jobs for him or herself, but if this isn’t permitted, the lease will need to state this clearly. Some properties will even have the landlord pay the tenant for the repairs or even deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent of the unit. Once again, if this is the case, it will need to be clearly established in the lease.

In addition to maintenance and repairs, some tenants, over time, may wish to alter the property to make it more homelike. In almost every situation, the landlord may want to limit the alterations in a property so as not to reduce the market value of the unit. To do this, limits must be established in the rent so that there is a written and legal framework for the tenant to follow.

Some smaller alterations that can occur on a property can include adding an extra lock for security, having holes drilled for cable or phone utilities, or drilling holes in the walls to hang pictures and furnishings. If any of these are expressly forbidden on the property, then the lease needs to clearly state this. Also, in the case of adding locks, a landlord might want to include a proviso that an extra key must be provided to them so that the landlord can gain access to the unit in an emergency.

Notice of Entry and Access to the Unit

It’s essential that tenants understand that the state of Louisiana doesn’t require that the landlord notify a tenant before entering the premises, but tenants must notify the landlord if there are defects present on the property. For this reason, when repair needs crop up, the tenant and landlord should schedule a time where the repairs can be done.

Louisiana State Disclosures

When it comes to the disclosures that a landlord must provide a tenant in the state of Louisiana, there are none besides lead-based paint. However, there are some other disclosures you should be aware of as well.

  • Lead Paint: This is a federal disclosure that is backed by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. In Louisiana, if a property was built before the year 1978, then the landlord will have to disclose whether lead paint has been used in the unit. This paint is very dangerous, especially if there are children or pregnant women who will come in contact with the substance. Not only will the landlord have to verbally disclose this, but a warning in the lease must also be included. Finally, the landlord will need to provide a copy of the EPA’s pamphlet on lead-based paint, which is called, “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.”
  • Sewage Treatment Systems: In Louisiana, for some properties, the municipality’s sewage treatment systems may be in effect. If this is the case, then the landlord must disclose this. Part of this disclosure will include the warning that it’s possible that health hazards may exist that stem from poorly-treated residential sewage treatment. Also, if there are multiple systems serving the property, the tenant must be furnished with this information.
  • Mold: Another EPA-related disclosure will include letting the tenant know if there is the potential for mold on the property. This includes providing the tenant with a copy of the pamphlet, “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.”
  • The Louisiana Property Disclosure Document: In this state, the landlord will provide a property disclosure document that is part of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (9.3196 through9.3200), which must be completed and will assert that all of the required disclosures have been provided.

Pet Addendums

The tenants in a Louisiana property may opt to bring pets into the tenancy, which is a fairly common practice on properties that allow this kind of accommodation. It’s also common for the lessee to bring a pet onto a lease after the lease has been signed. If pets are permitted on the property, then the lease will have to be reasonably explicit when it comes to the permissions and rights of the tenant in regards to having animals on the property. A common feature of this kind of lease includes a “pet fee,” which is similar to a security deposit in that it protects the property from any damage caused by the presence of pets.

Additionally, not every property will allow for every type of pet. For example, while a property may allow for the presence of cats within the unit, dogs may not be allowed. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for properties to place limitations on the size of the animals that are allowed on the property. Finally, some breeds of animal may not be allowed to be brought into the units. It’s important to note that none of these restrictions apply to service animals, which are protected on a federal level.

When it comes to the pet policy, it’s essential the lease is as comprehensive as possible so that there is coverage during the tenancy. It’s also worth noting that, unlike a traditional security deposit, the pet fee may not be returnable at the end of a tenant’s stay on the property.

Check out our sample of a pet addendum below.

This Addendum is made on [ DATE ] between [ LANDLORD’S NAME ] (Landlord) and [ TENANT’S NAME ] (Tenant), and is understood to modify the Residential Lease for [ PROPERTY ADDRESS ] originally dated [ DATE ].

The landlord grants permission to the tenant to keep the domesticated pet(s) on the premises during the term of the lease agreement (INCLUDE LEASE START AND END DATE). The landlord may revoke permission at any time if the tenant fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions in the lease or following addendums.

Service, Guide, Signal, or Support animals are not “Pets” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as long as the animal is being used by the tenant to support a disability or handicap, or if the tenant is training the animal(s).


If the tenant’s pet actually a Certified Service Animal or in training to be a Certified Service Animal? : _______ Yes _______ No

Type of Animal(s): Dog, Cat, Bird, Rabbit, Pig, Reptile, Fish (circle all that apply)
Name of Animal(s): ________________________
Weight of Animal(s): ______________________ (lbs.)
Breed of Animals(s): ______________________
Age of Animal(s): ________________________
Spayed or Neutered?: __________ Yes _______ No
Current on Vaccinations?: _______ Yes _______ No
Valid Animal Licenses?: _________ Yes _______ No

Tenant Signature
Landlord Signature

Breaking a Lease in Louisiana

Sometimes, breaking a lease is required thanks to various life factors, and if the tenant has a fixed-term lease, then this can open them up to penalties. Standard leases tend to have a term of six months to a year, but when a lease has to be broken, there are a few ways to avoid repercussions. These include when a tenant is starting active military duty when the rental unit is unsafe or has violated safety codes, when the landlord has violated the privacy rights of the tenant, or when the tenant is the victim of domestic violence. Based on commonwealth landlord rights, the landlord is required to mitigate damages when a tenant breaks the lease. This means that the landlord should start the process of finding a new tenant. For a tenant to avoid issues, he or she can also attempt to provide the landlord with a replacement tenant who is qualified. If there is no attainable replacement, the tenant who has not fulfilled one of the aforementioned exceptions may be charged the remainder of the rent owed for the lease.

Eviction Process in Louisiana

For the landlord to evict a tenant in the state of Louisiana, they must have a legal reason that they do not want the tenant living in the unit. This could be because of a failure to pay the rent that is owed or because they have broken the lease in some way. Anything illegal going on in the unit could be terms for eviction as well as when a tenant threatens to harm another resident on the property. The landlord will need to provide the tenant with a five-day notice informing them that they are in violation of the rental agreement. If they do not vacate by the end of the five days, the landlord can take the matter to court to file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant.


To make the lease legal in the state of Louisiana, once all of the other sections have been included, the document will need to have a place for all parties to sign their consent. Since this binds the lessee and the lessor, each will need to sign his or her name. In addition to the signing of the document, a space will need to be provided for the tenant and landlord to print their name as well. Next, for the sake of legality, a space for the date of the signing will have to be included. If there is to be any roommates or cotenants, a few extra lines can also be added.

Additional Legal Considerations in Louisiana

  • Subletting – A tenant shall not assign a lease agreement, sub-let, or give any license to anyone to use the property without the prior consent of the landlord in writing. Prior approval doesn’t imply consent to future assignments. If a tenant assigns, sub-lets, or grants a license to use the property without permission, the landlord may void the lease agreement.
  • Injury liabilities – a landlord shall not be liable for damage or injury to the tenant, the tenant’s guests, family members, or other persons the tenant invites to the property.
  • Military discrimination – When offering a property for rent, a landlord shall not discriminate against a service member.
  • Entry devices – The door locks, roof, walls, or windows shall not be removed unless it is required for maintenance or repair.
  • Displaying a U.S. flag – A tenant has a right to display a United States flag respectfully regardless of whether there is a provision in the lease agreement concerning flags. The displayed flag is to be portable, removable, plastic or cloth, and not larger than 4 and 1/2 feet by 6 feet.

Applicable Law

Security Deposits in Louisiana

In the state of Louisiana, there is not a set limit on the amount of money that a landlord can charge for the security deposit. This payment is to be used as a deduction for any unpaid rent, excess damage to the property, and unpaid utilities. After the property has been vacated, the landlord will be required to return the security deposit to the tenant if it does not need to be used for any of the above reasons. According to LA Rev Stat § 9:3251 (A), the landlord has one month to return the security deposit after the termination date of the lease.

Breaking a Lease in Louisiana

When there is a lease agreement between a tenant and a landlord, the lease cannot be broken or changed during the term of the lease. The landlord cannot force a tenant to move out unless they have violated the terms of the agreement specifically, and if the tenant moves out before the terms are fulfilled, they will be required to pay the rent until the time that the agreement ends. A lease can be broken when the tenant begins active duty in the military, the rental unit is unsafe or unhealthy to live in, or the landlord has violated the privacy of the tenant in some way.

Eviction Process in Louisiana

For the landlord to evict a tenant in the state of Louisiana, they must have a legal reason that they do not want the tenant living in the unit. This could be because of a failure to pay the rent that is owed or because they have broken the lease in some way. Anything illegal going on in the unit could be terms for eviction as well as when a tenant threatens to harm another resident on the property. The landlord will need to provide the tenant with a five-day notice informing them that they are in violation of the rental agreement. If they do not vacate by the end of the five days, the landlord can take the matter to court to file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant.