Words Used in Louisiana Eviction Lawsuits
How to Use this Dictionary
At the top of each section of this dictionary, you will see a list of commonly used words in alphabetical order. Click on any word to jump to that word's definition in this dictionary.
Words Used in Louisiana Eviction Lawsuits
- Constructive Eviction
- Equitable Discretion
- Justice of the Peace
- Landlord (lessor)
- Lessor's Privilege
- Month-to-month (month-to-month tenant or month-to-month lease)
- Notice to Vacate (Notice to Quit)
- Repair and Deduct
- Rule for Possession (Rule to Evict)
- Subsidized housing
- Tenant (lessee)
- Warrant of possession
Landlord (Lessor)A landlord is a person who agrees that their property can be used by another person. In Louisiana, this person who agrees that their property can be used by another person is also called a "lessor".
Tenant (Lessee)A tenant is a person who has the right to use another person's property. In Louisiana, the word used to describe persons with the right to use another person's property is "lessee."
A lease is an agreement for one party (lessee) to use property owned by another (lessor). A lease is a kind of contract. To create a lease, the parties to the contract (lessor and lessee) must agree on: (1) the thing to be rented; (2) the rent to be paid; and (3) the term, or length of time. Contracts are simply agreements that are legally enforceable. In Louisiana, the lease agreement for a home or apartment does not have to be written to be enforceable. However, it does have to be written to be effective against third parties, or people who are not part of the agreement.
Month-to-month tenants are those that do not have: (1) a written lease with (2) a fixed end date. A month-to-month tenancy can be created by reconduction after the expiration of a fixed-term lease or it can be a verbal agreement between the lessor and lessee.
An occupant describes a person who has possession of a property belonging to another, but without the rights of a lessee. Persons who are living in hotels, campgrounds, nursing homes, or other temporary living arrangements that do not require a lease could be occupants. A person whose lease has expired, but who has not yet paid rent or otherwise gotten the landlord's consent to remain in the home could also be an occupant.
Eviction describes the process by which an owner removes an occpuant or tenant from property. It is a summary proceeding in Louisiana.
Constructive eviction is when the landlord, by their acts or failure to act, violates the tenant's "peaceful possession" of the leased thing. A constructive eviction can be anything that interferes with the tenant's use of the property, like changing the locks or cutting off utilities. For more information, see this article on Constructive Eviction.
A Notice to Vacate means that your landlord plans to file a lawsuit for your eviction if you don't move out by the end of the notice period. It is not a court order to move out. The landlord cannot get a court order for eviction until there has been a trial before a judge. It is sometimes called a Notice to Quit. For more information about what must be included in a Notice to Vacate and the proper method for giving a tenant notice, read About the Notice to Vacate.
Reconduction happens if, at the end of a fixed-term lease, a tenant remains in possession of the property for a certain amount of time and the landlord does not object. When the fixed term of the expired lease was one month or longer, the lease is reconducted from "month-to-month".
Repair and deduct is the name of a process that tenants can use to make necessary repairs to the property they have leased and to deduct the cost of those necessary repairs from their rent. To learn more about this process, read How Can I Make Repairs and Deduct the Cost from My Rent in Louisiana?
A Rule for Possession is the paper a landlord will file with the Court to start the eviction case. It cannot be filed until after the time delay required by the Notice to Vacate. It may also be called a Rule to Evict. For more information, read this article on the Rule for Possession.
Equitable discretion describes the judge's ability to make a fair ruling under the circumstances, even if there has been a technical lease violation.
A warrant of possession is a paper that comes from the Court and gives the landlord the right to get his apartment back. You must move out of your apartment after getting the warrant. If you do not move out, the sheriff or constable will remove you and your property.
Subsidized housing means housing provided through government subsidies. It includes public housing, project-based Section 8, tax credit, or other government-subsidized housing. Different laws apply to subsidized housing. While these pages contain some information that applies to subsidized housing, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney if you are a tenant of subsidized housing.
A lessor's privilege gives a landlord the right to take their tenant's property to offset damages if the tenant has failed to pay rent, damaged property, or has otherwise violated the lease. However, a landlord cannot take the tenant's property without first getting a court order for unpaid rent or damages.