Louisiana State Regulations Of Rental Housing

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab
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About Louisiana State Regulations Of Rental Housing

Louisiana has chosen not to adopt the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (URLTA), which is a set of laws that many other states use as a model for their landlord-tenant regulations. Because of this decision, the landlord-tenant law in Louisiana is different from that of other states in several important ways. It is crucial for tenants and landlords who move to Louisiana to become familiar with the specific laws and regulations that apply in the state.

Since Louisiana has its own unique framework for governing residential rentals, it is important to understand these differences in order to follow the rules and protect your rights as either a landlord or a tenant. Some of the main differences may involve aspects such as lease agreements, security deposits, rent increases, repairs and maintenance, eviction procedures, and termination notices.

Here Are Several Important Ways In Which Landlord-Tenant Law Is Different In Louisiana

In Louisiana, when you rent a place to live, you can either make an agreement with your landlord verbally or put it in writing. However, it is generally recommended to have a written agreement because it helps avoid any confusion or disagreements later on. Having everything in writing allows both the tenant and the landlord to refer back to the agreement if any issues arise.

There are certain important details that must be included in writing for them to be legally valid. One such detail is the duration or length of the lease. If you want to ensure that your lease will be enforceable, it's essential to have the specific time period stated in writing.

If, for some reason, you and your landlord do not have a written agreement, the law assumes that you have a month-to-month tenancy. This means that either you or the landlord can end the tenancy by providing one month's notice. It's important to keep in mind that without a written agreement, it can be more difficult to protect your rights and establish the terms and conditions of your tenancy. Therefore, it is usually in your best interest to have a written lease agreement.

In Louisiana, there is no set limit on how much a landlord can ask for as a security deposit when you rent a place. However, there are rules in place to protect tenants. At the start of your tenancy, the landlord must give you a written description of the property's condition and note any existing damages. This helps ensure that you won't be held responsible for pre-existing issues.

When you move out, the landlord is legally required to return your security deposit within one month. Along with the return of the deposit, they must provide you with a detailed list of any deductions they made from the deposit. This list should explain why the deductions were made, such as for repairs or cleaning.

If the landlord fails to return the deposit or provide an itemized list of deductions within the specified time frame, they may be liable to pay you double the amount wrongfully withheld. This rule encourages landlords to promptly return the security deposit and be transparent about any deductions made.

In Louisiana, there are no specific laws in place that govern rent increases or rent control like some other states have. Instead, the details about rent increases should be clearly stated in the lease agreement. The lease agreement will specify how and when the landlord can raise the rent.

Typically, if a landlord wishes to increase the rent, they must give advance notice to the tenant. The notice period and any other requirements for rent increases should be clearly outlined in the lease agreement. It's important for both the tenant and the landlord to understand and follow these terms.

While there may not be specific laws on rent increases in Louisiana, it is crucial to review the lease agreement carefully to know your rights and responsibilities regarding any potential rent adjustments.

In Louisiana, landlords are legally obligated to keep the rental property in a livable condition and carry out necessary repairs. However, tenants also have a responsibility to maintain the property and promptly inform the landlord of any issues or damages they notice. If the landlord fails to address necessary repairs, tenants may have a couple of options available.

One option is to terminate the lease agreement if the landlord's neglect makes the property uninhabitable. This means that if the living conditions become significantly compromised due to the landlord's failure to make essential repairs, the tenant may choose to end the lease early. 

Another option is for tenants to make the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from the rent. However, there are specific conditions and requirements that must be met for tenants to exercise this right. Generally, tenants must notify the landlord in writing about the necessary repairs and give them a reasonable amount of time to fix the issues. If the landlord still does not make the repairs within the given timeframe, tenants may proceed to have the repairs done by professionals and subtract the cost from the rent payment.

It's important to note that in some states, tenants may have more options to withhold or reduce rent for major landlord neglect. However, in Louisiana, simply refusing to pay rent due to the landlord's failure to make repairs is generally not a valid approach. It's unlikely that habitability concerns alone would serve as a strong defense against eviction.

Therefore, it's crucial for tenants to communicate with their landlords about maintenance issues and follow the proper procedures outlined in the lease agreement and state laws to address any repair-related concerns.

In Louisiana, the process of eviction is regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure, not the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (URLTA) that other states might use. Landlords in Louisiana must follow specific procedures and obtain a court order to legally evict a tenant. It is against the law for landlords to take matters into their own hands and perform "self-help" evictions, such as changing locks or removing a tenant's belongings without a court order.

It's important to note that proving a landlord's retaliation for exercising your tenant rights may be more challenging under Louisiana law, especially for month-to-month renters.

In Louisiana, your landlord can provide you with a 10-day notice and evict you without providing a specific reason. However, if you violate your lease agreement, such as by not paying rent, the eviction process can move much faster, sometimes with just a 5-day notice.

It's crucial to understand that a tenant does not have the right to prolong an eviction judgment by offering to pay for additional time in the rented property. This remains true even if the tenant is facing hardships that prevented them from paying the rent.

In eviction actions in Louisiana, neither the landlord nor the tenant can be awarded monetary compensation. The judge's decision is limited to awarding possession of the property to either the tenant or the landlord. If the landlord wishes to recover unpaid rent, they must sue the tenant in a separate lawsuit. Likewise, if a tenant's security deposit is wrongfully withheld, they would need to sue the landlord separately to seek its return.

In Louisiana, the amount of notice needed to end a lease agreement depends on how long the lease is for. If you have a month-to-month tenancy, which means you pay rent on a monthly basis without a fixed end date, either you or the landlord must give a written notice at least 10 days before the next rental due date. This notice informs the other party that you intend to terminate the lease.

However, if you have a lease agreement for a longer period, such as a year or six months, the notice period is usually the length of one full rental period. This means you need to provide notice at least one month or 30 days in advance before you wish to end the lease.

It's important to follow the specific notice requirements and provide written notice to ensure that both parties are aware of the intention to terminate the lease. This allows sufficient time for everyone to make necessary arrangements and plan accordingly.

Last Review and Update: Jul 06, 2023
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