Following landlord-tenant guidelines in Louisiana is the key to preserving a safe and healthy leasing environment. Some landlords don't know how Louisiana law works for leasing, which may lead to legal issues with the tenant in the future.
In this article, you're going to read an overview of the Louisiana landlord-tenant laws; this can help landlords and new tenants in the state to start a lease on the right feet.
This article is supposed to provide general information about the Louisiana landlord-tenant law. If you have any more questions, make sure to find a lawyer.
Is Louisiana a Landlord or a Tenant-Friendly State?
As of today, Louisiana is considered a landlord-friendly state since there are little to no regulations regarding security deposits, rent prices, evictions, and other clauses.
How Do You Draft a Rental Agreement in Louisiana?
According to Louisiana law (Code Title VIII), a rental agreement includes any sort of document in which both landlords and tenants state their rights and obligations for leasing a property.
Generally, a written lease is the best way to go since it serves as physical proof of the agreement, preventing future issues.
While landlords are free to include as many requirements as they need (as long as they're compliant with Louisiana landlord-tenant laws), there are some general guidelines that everyone should follow for their document.
- Contact information of the parties involved in the lease.
- Rent terms (Cost, due date, grace period, late fees).
- Description of the rental unit.
- Security deposits.
- Damage repairs.
What Are the Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities in Louisiana?
Both the landlord and the tenant have rights and obligations that should be stated in the lease document. These clauses should be compliant with local state laws.
Landlords have the right to collect rent payments, file eviction claims in the case of a breach in the agreement, and ensure that the unit is in good condition by preventing prolonged damages to the unit.
Generally speaking, landlords must keep their units in good condition. The landlord also must provide any repairs for damages that the new tenant asks for within a reasonable amount of time. If the landlord fails to do this within the notice, tenants may repair the damages by themselves and deduct the cost from their rent or security deposit.
Some of the things that landlords are responsible for are the following:
- HVAC systems.
- Proper plumbing.
- Running water.
Louisiana tenants have the right to live in a property that meets fair housing requirements, as well as the right to due process if the landlord decides to file an eviction claim.
If any damages in the property exceed normal wear and tear, Louisiana tenants may send a written notice to the landlord for a fix. Tenants may exercise their "Repair and Deduct" right if the landlord fails to provide the required help.
According to Louisiana landlord-tenant law, tenants are required to keep the rental unit clean and in good repair. Additionally, a tenant may not disturb neighbors or other tenants; otherwise, the landlord may seek legal advice or services from an attorney.
Louisiana Landlord-Tenant Clauses
The Louisiana landlord-tenant law is fairly flexible when it comes to a lease agreement. However, there are many state laws that the landlord and tenant should be aware of before drafting a lease document.
Keep in mind that these documents may be adjusted to fit the landlord's needs.
According to Louisiana landlord-tenant law, the amount of rent is specified by the landlord at the time of drafting the lease document, and that rent amount must be paid on its due date. Rent can be set to be paid each week, month, or year, although a month-to-month rent is the most common choice.
Louisiana landlord-tenant laws don't require landlords to give any kind of notice before they increase the rent, meaning that they can increase it as soon as they need it.
There are no rent control policies inside the Louisiana landlord-tenant law, meaning that landlords may charge any amount they wish to their new tenants.
Landlords may require their new tenants to pay late fees if they don't pay rent on time. However, this is not a requirement in the Louisiana landlord-tenant laws. Additionally, there are no regulations for bounced check fees.
Louisiana laws don't require landlords to include a grace period in their lease term for new tenants, meaning that they may charge a late fee the day after the rent due date.
The lease usually ends whenever it reaches its due date. However, landlords and tenants can choose to renew the lease. If no one drafts a notice of eviction or termination, the lease is considered renewed as a month-to-month lease, in most cases.
Security Deposit Clauses
There is no security deposit limit statute in Louisiana laws, which means that the landlord may charge as much for that deposit as they want. However, the amount of the security deposit should be reasonable within the lease terms.
Landlords mostly use a security deposit to cover any unpaid rent, repairs, and other severe damages to the premises. If the tenant plans to leave the premises, landlords must return the deposit within one month after the tenant moves out. However, if the tenant abandons the premises without notice, landlords don't have to return the security deposit within that time frame.
Landlords are legally allowed to withhold a security deposit to cover any default of the tenant. Last but not least, landlords can mix security deposits with other personal funds, although it's not recommended.
Early Termination and Evictions in Louisiana
A tenant with a fixed-term lease isn't required to make any written notice before exercising their right to terminate the lease. However, landlords have a different notice statute depending on the type of lease they were giving for their premises.
- Weekly Lease Statute - 5-day notice.
- Monthly Lease Statute - 10-day notice.
- Quarterly Lease Statute - No statute available at the moment.
- Yearly Lease Statute - 30-day notice.
Landlords and tenants in Louisiana can choose to exercise their right for early termination in the following cases:
- Early termination statute.
- Military duty.
- Lease statute breach.
- Harassment or domestic violence.
In standard eviction cases in Louisiana, the landlord must provide a 5-day notice to vacate for the tenant. This can happen if any of the following conditions are met:
- Nonpayment of rent
- Breach of lease terms.
- Criminal activity.
When it comes to a lease, the landlord cannot evict their tenant from the property in retaliation. This could make the tenant seek an attorney for help; in severe cases, these claims can go to a court in Louisiana.
See our full guide on the eviction process and laws for Louisiana.
Housing Discrimination in Louisiana
The Fair Housing Act protects every tenant in Louisiana against any kind of discrimination from their landlords. These laws include protection under the following terms:
- National origin.
- Sex and gender.
- Familial status.
Additionally, a Louisiana court may provide protection for immigrants in the case that the landlords discriminate against them based on their nationality.
Lock Changing in Louisiana
A Louisiana landlord must provide written notice before changing the locks of the property; doing this unilaterally may be seen as retaliatory behavior and could be taken to court, according to state laws.
Alternatively, Louisiana state laws don't specify any details regarding the tenant changing the locks for repairs or added security. However, it's recommended that they send a notice to their landlords before doing anything.
Landlord's Right to Entry
There aren't any laws in Louisiana that specify any "Right to Entry" laws. This would mean that landlords can enter their rental property at any time without making any written notice for their tenant. However, most landlords in Louisiana make an agreement with their tenant on circumstances in which they're allowed to enter the property, notification policies, etc.
Landlord-tenant laws in Louisiana can be complicated to understand at first, but they are vital for a much better relationship between all the parties involved.
If you need to clear up more information, search the Louisiana laws, or seek legal advice.
Is the landlord required to disclose information about mold?
Landlords in Louisiana also must provide a copy of the mold informational pamphlets, which can be found on the EPA's official website.
What information must the landlord disclose about the sewage treatment system?
The landlord must tell their tenant if their local waste treatment system serves their unit, as well as potential health and safety hazards that could come from a faulty treatment system. Read more about the sewage treatment system disclosures in Louisiana.
Does the use of lead based paint on the property have to be disclosed to the tenant?
According to state laws, landlords in Louisiana have to provide their tenants disclosure of any appearance of lead paint if their property was built before 1978. It's also recommended to give the tenant a copy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pamphlet for lead paint.
What are the limits on legal claims in Louisiana?
Generally, there is a 10-year statute of limitations in Louisiana for rental cases in a small claims court, but some cities may ask for other specific requirements before allowing a rental claim.