Evictions

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab
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About

About Evictions

Eviction is a process by which a landlord legally removes a tenant from a rental property. There are several reasons why you might be evicted, often categorized into "for cause" or "no cause" evictions. 

It's important to note that tenants have certain protections under the law, including:

  • Notice Requirements: Landlords must provide tenants with a written notice to vacate the property, giving them time to either rectify the issue (in the case of for-cause evictions) or find new housing (in without-cause evictions).
  • Legal Process: Landlords cannot forcibly remove a tenant without going through the legal eviction process, which includes obtaining a court order.
  • Retaliation and Discrimination: Laws protect tenants from eviction as a form of retaliation or discrimination by the landlord.

The questions below cover a broad range of concerns that renters may have about evictions and how the eviction process works, offering a starting point for understanding and navigating the complexities of evictions. 

What You Need To Know

Four types of courts handle evictions including justice of the peace, city, parish, and district courts. 

Justice of the peace, city, and parish courts have limited jurisdiction, meaning they only can hear certain cases. They are restricted in the types of cases they can hear beyond just the rental amount or lease terms. For instance, they cannot adjudicate issues involving the title to immovable property, such as when a plaintiff seeks to evict a bond for deed purchaser. 

Justice of the Peace and District Courts: These courts can handle eviction cases involving residential tenants and occupants without any restriction on the amount of rent. This broad jurisdiction allows these courts to address eviction cases regardless of the rent amount, be it monthly or yearly, or the remaining lease term.

City and Parish Courts: These courts have a more restricted jurisdiction based on the rental amount. They can only hear eviction cases if the rent does not exceed certain thresholds: $150 daily, $500 weekly, $3,000 monthly, or $36,000 annually. Additionally, there is a peculiar limitation that they don't have clear statutory authority over evictions outside traditional lease terms (daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly), which complicates the process for landlords seeking eviction under such circumstances.

In Louisiana, the legal grounds for eviction are defined by state law and typically include the following reasons:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent: If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord can initiate an eviction process. Louisiana law requires landlords to give a 5-day notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent before they can file for eviction.

  2. Lease Violations: Tenants who violate specific terms of their lease agreement can be evicted. This might include having unauthorized pets, exceeding the number of occupants allowed, making unauthorized alterations to the property, or engaging in illegal activities on the premises. The specifics of the notice required for lease violations can depend on the terms of the lease itself.

  3. Expiration of Lease: Landlords can choose not to renew a lease at the end of its term and require the tenant to vacate. The required notice period for this action depends on the terms of the lease and the type of tenancy.

  4. No Lease or At-Will Tenancy: For tenants without a formal lease agreement (i.e., month-to-month tenancies), landlords can end the tenancy without providing a reason, but they must give proper notice, usually 10 days before the end of the rental period.

  5. Damage to Property: Causing significant damage to the property that affects its value or habitability can be grounds for eviction.

  6. Illegal Activity: Engaging in illegal activities on the rental property is a valid ground for eviction. This includes activities such as drug manufacturing or distribution.

  7. Disturbance of Peace: Behavior that significantly disturbs the peace, comfort, and convenience of other tenants or neighbors can lead to eviction.

Both landlords and tenants must understand these legal grounds and the process for eviction in Louisiana, as they provide the framework for what is considered a lawful eviction in the state. Tenants who believe they are being evicted without proper legal grounds or notice may have defenses available in court, and they may benefit from seeking legal advice.

The first step a landlord must take to begin the eviction process, regardless of jurisdiction, typically involves providing the tenant with a formal notice to vacate the property. This notice serves as a warning that the landlord is initiating the eviction process and outlines the reason(s) for eviction.  Here’s how it generally works in Louisiana: 

  • Nonpayment of Rent: Landlords must give a 5-day notice to the tenant to pay the overdue rent or vacate the property. This notice must be in writing and should specify the amount of rent owed and the deadline by which the tenant must act.
  • Lease Violations: If the eviction is for a lease violation (other than nonpayment of rent), the landlord must provide a notice that describes the violation and typically allows the tenant to correct the issue within a specified timeframe. The specific requirements for this notice can depend on the terms of the lease and the nature of the violation.
  • No Lease or End of Lease Term: For tenants who are on a month-to-month tenancy or if the lease has expired, landlords typically must provide a 10-day notice before the end of the monthly rental period, indicating that the landlord does not intend to renew the tenancy. There may also be a specific period the landlord has to give notice in the lease, like in a fixed-term lease.

If the tenant does not comply with the notice (by either rectifying the issue or vacating the premises), the landlord can then proceed to the next steps, which involve filing an eviction lawsuit (a "Rule for Possession") in the appropriate court.

Receiving an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent can be a stressful experience, but there are several steps you can take to address the situation. Here’s what you should consider, especially with a focus on Louisiana law:

  1. Review the Notice

    • First, carefully review the eviction notice to understand the specifics, such as how much rent is due and the deadline by which you need to pay or vacate the property. In Louisiana, landlords must give a 5-day notice for nonpayment of rent. 

  2. Communicate with Your Landlord

    • Reach out to your landlord as soon as possible. Many landlords are willing to work with tenants, especially if late payments are not a frequent issue. You might be able to arrange a payment plan, request an extension, or find another solution that works for both of you.

  3. Pay the Rent Owed

    • If you're able to pay the rent owed within the notice period (5 days in Louisiana for nonpayment of rent), do so. This is often the simplest way to stop the eviction process. Make sure to get a receipt or other proof of payment.

  4. Seek Legal Advice

    • If you're unable to pay the rent or if there's a dispute about the eviction (for example, if you believe you’ve already paid rent or are being unfairly evicted), consider seeking legal advice. Legal aid organizations can provide assistance or advice, often at low or no cost, to tenants facing eviction. Learn about finding and hiring a lawyer by clicking here

A landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without going through the court process. This means a landlord must obtain a court order to legally remove a tenant from the rental property.

The process typically involves:

  1. Providing Proper Notice: The landlord must first give the tenant a written notice of eviction, stating the reason for the eviction and giving the tenant a chance to resolve the issue if applicable (such as paying overdue rent).

  2. Filing an Eviction Lawsuit: If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice by either rectifying the issue or vacating the property, the landlord can then file an eviction lawsuit, often referred to as a "Rule for Possession," in court.

  3. Court Hearing and Judgment: The court will schedule a hearing where both the landlord and tenant can present their case. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue an eviction order.

  4. Execution of Eviction: Only after receiving a court order can the landlord proceed with the eviction. In Louisiana, the local sheriff's office typically carries out the physical eviction process.

Illegal Eviction Practices

Landlords are prohibited from taking matters into their own hands to evict a tenant. Practices such as changing the locks, shutting off utilities, removing the tenant's belongings, or any form of self-help eviction are illegal without a court order. Such actions can give the tenant grounds to sue the landlord for illegal eviction practices.

If you believe your eviction is retaliatory or discriminatory, it's important to know that both federal and state laws offer protection against such actions.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Understand Your Rights

    • Retaliatory Eviction: Generally considered illegal, retaliatory eviction occurs if a landlord tries to evict you for exercising your legal rights, such as complaining about unsafe living conditions or requesting necessary repairs.
    • Discriminatory Eviction: Under the Fair Housing Act, it's illegal for a landlord to evict someone based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Some places offer additional protections, including protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other characteristics.
  2. Document Everything

    • Keep detailed records of all interactions with your landlord, including dates, times, what was said or done, and any witnesses. Save all written communications, notices from your landlord, and any other relevant documents.
    • Document the condition of your rental unit with photos or videos, especially if you're claiming retaliatory eviction due to complaints about conditions.
  3. Seek Legal Advice

    • Consult with a lawyer or a legal aid organization experienced in landlord-tenant law. They can advise you on the strength of your case, your rights, and the best course of action.
    • In Louisiana, there are legal aid organizations dedicated to assisting low-income individuals with housing issues.
  4. File a Complaint

    • If you believe you're being evicted due to discrimination, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or your local Fair Housing office. HUD investigates complaints of housing discrimination and can take action against landlords who violate fair housing laws. Learn more about filing a housing discrimination complaint with HUD by clicking here
    • For retaliatory eviction, the process might be more complex and typically involves presenting your case in court, where a judge determines if the eviction is indeed retaliatory. Legal representation is crucial in these instances.

Finding legal assistance or representation for an eviction in Louisiana involves several resources and strategies. Here are steps to help you locate the support you need:

  • Use our Referral Navigator to find which free or reduced-cost legal service programs you might qualify for. Typically, free legal assistance is for those who qualify - typically at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS): Provides free legal aid to low-income individuals in Southeast Louisiana, including eviction defense. Through the Right to Counsel Program, SLLS provides free legal assistance to renters in New Orleans facing eviction in eviction court. Call SLLS at (504) 529-1000 extension 223. 
  • Acadiana Legal Service Corporation (ALSC): Offers free legal assistance to those in need in the Acadiana region, including help with housing issues.
  • If you don't qualify for free legal services you may qualify for the Modest Means Directory. Attorneys listed in the directory have affirmed that they charge reduced rates to eligible clients or charge less because they represent someone for just part, and not all, of a case. 
  • You may be able to submit a question and get legal advice online through the Louisiana Free Legal Answers program
  • The Louisiana State Bar Association offers a Lawyer Referral Service, which can connect you with attorneys who practice landlord-tenant law. While these services may not be free, you can often get a consultation at a reduced rate. You can also call at 1-800-421-LSBA (5722). 

For Cause Evictions

About For Cause Evictions

"For cause" evictions occur because of a tenant's action or failure to act following the lease agreement or the law. Common reasons include: 

  • Nonpayment of Rent: This is the most common reason. If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, landlords can begin eviction proceedings. 
  • Violation of Lease Terms: If a tenant breaks any term of the lease or rental agreement (such as keeping a pet in a no-pet building, causing disturbances, or illegally subletting the apartment), the landlord may have grounds for eviction. 
  • Damage to the Property: Causing significant damage to the property beyond the normal wear and tear can lead to eviction. 
  • Illegal Activity: Conducting illegal activities within the rental property, such as drug manufacturing or distribution can result in immediate eviction. 

Notice Requirements For Cause Evictions

Landlords must give tenants a 5-day notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent before filing an eviction lawsuit. For other lease violations, the required notice period may vary depending on the lease terms and the nature of the violation. 

What You Need To Know About For Cause Evictions

In Louisiana, a lease violation that leads to a "for cause eviction" generally refers to any action or inaction by the tenant that breaches the terms outlined in the lease agreement. These violations can vary widely depending on the specific terms agreed upon in the lease. However, there are several common grounds for eviction due to lease violations, including but not limited to:

  1. Non-Payment of Rent: This is one of the most straightforward violations. If a tenant fails to pay rent on time as specified in the lease agreement, it can lead to eviction.

  2. Damage to Property: Causing significant damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear is a common reason for eviction. This can include both intentional and negligent damage.

  3. Unauthorized Tenants or Pets: If the lease specifies certain occupants or prohibits pets, and the tenant violates these terms by allowing additional people to live in the property or keeping unauthorized pets, this can lead to eviction.

  4. Illegal or Nuisance Activity: Engaging in illegal activities on the rental property or conducting behavior that constitutes a nuisance to neighbors or the public can lead to eviction. This includes drug manufacturing or distribution, excessive noise, or other disturbances.

  5. Failure to Maintain the Property: Tenants are often required to maintain the rental property in a clean and sanitary condition. Failure to do so, resulting in health or safety hazards, can be grounds for eviction.

  6. Violation of Specific Lease Provisions: Each lease can contain unique provisions tailored to the specific rental agreement. Violating any specific term or condition outlined in the lease agreement, such as smoking in a non-smoking property, can constitute a lease violation.

  7. Unauthorized Alterations: Making unauthorized alterations or improvements to the property without the landlord's consent can lead to eviction. This includes painting, structural changes, or adding fixtures.

Yes, non-payment of rent is a common and legally valid reason for a cause eviction in Louisiana.  The process for handling evictions due to non-payment of rent is regulated by state law to ensure both landlords and tenants are treated fairly. Here’s an overview of how non-payment of rent is typically handled in Louisiana:

  1. Notice Period: The first step in the eviction process for non-payment of rent is for the landlord to provide a written notice to the tenant. In Louisiana, the law requires that tenants are given a 5-day notice to vacate for non-payment of rent. This notice must inform the tenant that they have not complied with the lease's terms regarding rent payment and must vacate the property unless the overdue rent is paid within this timeframe.

  2. Opportunity to Pay: The 5-day notice period also serves as an opportunity for the tenant to pay the overdue rent and avoid eviction. If the tenant pays the full amount owed within this period, the eviction process is typically halted, and the tenant can continue residing in the property under the terms of the lease.

  3. Filing an Eviction Lawsuit: If the tenant does not pay the overdue rent within the 5-day notice period, the landlord can proceed to file an eviction lawsuit, known as a "Rule for Possession," in the appropriate court. This legal action formally begins the eviction process through the court system.

  4. Court Hearing: After filing the lawsuit, a court hearing will be scheduled. Both the landlord and the tenant will have the opportunity to present their cases. The tenant can argue against the eviction if they believe it to be unjustified or if they have a legal defense, such as proof of payment.

  5. Judgment and Writ of Possession: If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment for eviction will be issued. The court will then issue a "writ of possession," giving the landlord the right to regain possession of the property. Louisiana law allows for an expedited process in eviction cases, aiming to resolve such disputes quickly.

  6. Eviction by Law Enforcement: The writ of possession authorizes law enforcement officers to remove the tenant from the property if they have not voluntarily left by the specified date.

In Louisiana, "damage to property" as a cause for eviction refers to any significant harm or alteration to the rental property that goes beyond normal wear and tear. The specific legal framework does not always precisely define "property damage," but it generally encompasses actions by the tenant that negatively affect the structural integrity, functionality, or aesthetic value of the property in a way that requires repair or replacement beyond typical maintenance.

Key Considerations for "Damage to Property" in Louisiana Evictions:

  • Beyond Normal Wear and Tear: Normal wear and tear refers to the expected deterioration of the property over time due to ordinary, daily use. Examples include minor scuffs on walls, carpet wear from walking, and fading paint. In contrast, property damage involves significant harm that is not a result of ordinary use, such as holes in walls, broken windows, or substantial water damage due to tenant negligence.

  • Intentional or Negligent Actions: Damage caused intentionally or through negligence can lead to eviction. This includes actions taken without the landlord's permission, such as unauthorized renovations, or neglecting to report or mitigate damage on time, which then worsens.

  • Legal Procedure for Eviction Due to Damage: To evict a tenant for causing damage to the property, a landlord must typically provide written notice to the tenant, detailing the nature of the damage and the tenant’s responsibility for it. The notice may also offer the tenant an opportunity to repair the damage or compensate the landlord as a condition to avoid eviction. If the situation is not remedied, the landlord can proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit.

  • Documentation and Proof: Landlords are advised to document any damage thoroughly, using photographs, repair estimates, and detailed records of communication with the tenant regarding the damage. This documentation can be crucial in proving the case during an eviction proceeding.

  • Security Deposits: Landlords might use the tenant's security deposit to cover the cost of repairs for damages caused by the tenant. However, the use of the security deposit must comply with Louisiana's laws regarding security deposit deductions and the process for returning or retaining the deposit post-tenancy. Learn more about security deposits for a rental property by clicking here

In Louisiana,  certain tenant behaviors or actions can lead to what might be considered an "immediate" cause for eviction, although the legal process must still be followed. Immediate-cause evictions are generally reserved for serious violations that pose a significant risk to the property, other residents, or the community. While the law requires landlords to provide notice and follow due process, these severe breaches can accelerate the eviction process. Even in cases where the behavior or action seems to justify an immediate cause for eviction, landlords must adhere to Louisiana's legal procedures for eviction.

Here are some specific behaviors or actions that can lead to an immediate cause for eviction:

  1. Illegal Activities: Engaging in illegal activities on the premises, such as drug manufacturing, distribution, or other criminal acts, can lead to immediate steps being taken to evict a tenant.

  2. Severe Damage to Property: Intentional or reckless behavior that causes significant damage to the property can be grounds for immediate eviction. This does not include normal wear and tear or minor damages but refers to substantial harm that affects the livability or structural integrity of the property.

  3. Threats or Violence: Actions that threaten the safety or security of other tenants, the landlord, their employees, or guests can lead to an expedited eviction process. This includes physical violence, threats of violence, or any behavior that constitutes a serious and immediate safety risk.

  4. Serious Lease Violations: Certain serious violations of the lease agreement, explicitly specified as grounds for immediate action within the lease itself, can lead to an expedited eviction. This might include unauthorized subletting in violation of the lease terms, having pets in a no-pet property when expressly prohibited, or significant violations of community rules in a multi-unit complex.

The legal process for a landlord to initiate a for cause eviction in Louisiana involves several steps, designed to ensure both the landlord's and the tenant's rights are protected under the law. The process typically follows these key stages:

  1. Lease Violation Identification
    • The landlord must first identify a violation of the lease agreement. This could be for various reasons, including non-payment of rent, damage to the property, unauthorized occupants, or other lease violations.
  2. Notice to Vacate
    • For most cause evictions, Louisiana law requires landlords to provide the tenant with a written "Notice to Vacate" before filing an eviction lawsuit. This notice must clearly state the reason for the eviction and typically offers the tenant a certain period to remedy the violation if applicable (e.g., pay the overdue rent or repair damages).
    • For non-payment of rent, a 5-day notice to vacate is required. The notice period for other violations can vary, and in some cases, immediate eviction can be sought for severe violations, such as illegal activities.
  3. Filing an Eviction Lawsuit
    • If the tenant does not remedy the violation within the notice period or if the violation cannot be remedied, the landlord can then file an eviction lawsuit, often called a "Rule for Possession," in the appropriate court. The landlord must provide the court with evidence of the lease, the violation, and the notice given to the tenant.
  4. Court Hearing
    • Both the landlord and tenant will be given the opportunity to present their case at a hearing. The tenant can use this opportunity to contest the eviction, present evidence, or argue that they have remedied the violation if applicable.
    • The timeline from filing to hearing can be relatively quick in Louisiana, as the state aims to resolve eviction cases promptly.
  5. Judgment and Writ of Possession
    • If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment for eviction will be issued. Following this, a "Writ of Possession" may be issued by the court, authorizing the sheriff or another law enforcement officer to remove the tenant from the property.
  6. Execution of the Writ of Possession
    • The Writ of Possession gives the tenant a final short period (often 24 to 48 hours) to vacate the premises voluntarily. If the tenant does not leave, law enforcement will forcibly remove the tenant and allow the landlord to reclaim the property.

Important Considerations

  • Legal Requirements: Landlords must strictly follow all legal requirements and procedures for the eviction process, including specific timelines and how notices are delivered.
  • Documentation: Landlords should thoroughly document the eviction process, including any communications with the tenant, notices served, and evidence of the lease violation.
  • Legal Representation: Both landlords and tenants may benefit from legal representation during the eviction process to ensure their rights are protected and to navigate the complexities of Louisiana's eviction laws. Learn more about finding and hiring a lawyer by clicking here

Yes, a tenant can challenge a for cause eviction in Louisiana. The legal process allows tenants to contest an eviction for various reasons, such as disputing the landlord's claims, asserting that the eviction notice was improperly served, or demonstrating that the landlord did not follow the correct legal procedures.

  1. Review the Eviction Notice
    • Tenants should carefully review the eviction notice to understand the grounds for eviction and ensure it was properly served according to Louisiana law. Improper service can be a basis for challenging the eviction.

  2. Cure the Violation (If Possible)
    • If the eviction is for a curable violation (like non-payment of rent or another breach that can be remedied), the tenant may be able to stop the eviction process by rectifying the issue within the specified notice period.

  3. Prepare to Contest the Eviction
    • If the tenant believes the eviction is unjustified or the landlord has not followed legal procedures, they can prepare to contest the eviction. This preparation might include gathering evidence, such as payment receipts, communication records with the landlord, photographs of the property condition, or anything else relevant to the dispute.

  4. Attend the Court Hearing
    • Tenants have the right to attend the eviction hearing and present their case. At the hearing, the tenant can present evidence and argue their defense against the eviction. Common defenses include:

      1. The eviction notice was not properly served.

      2. The allegations of the lease violation are untrue.

      3. The landlord did not maintain the property in a habitable condition, which can sometimes be a defense to certain types of evictions.

      4. The eviction is in retaliation for the tenant exercising a legal right, such as complaining about unsafe living conditions.

  5. Seek Legal Assistance
    • Tenants facing eviction may benefit from seeking legal assistance. Legal aid organizations, or private attorneys who specialize in landlord-tenant law can provide valuable advice and representation. Some defenses and procedural arguments can be complex, and professional legal assistance can significantly impact the outcome of an eviction dispute. Learn more about finding and hiring a lawyer by clicking here

  6. Appeal, if Necessary
    • If the court rules in favor of the landlord and the tenant believes there was a legal error in the judgment, the tenant may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court. Appeals must be based on legal grounds, such as procedural errors or misinterpretations of the law, and typically must be filed within a short timeframe after the judgment.

If a tenant refuses to leave the property after a cause eviction order has been issued in Louisiana, the landlord cannot forcibly remove the tenant themselves. Instead, the landlord must follow legal procedures to enforce the eviction order through the court system.

Here's what typically happens next:

  1. Writ of Possession
    • After obtaining a judgment for eviction from the court, the landlord can request a "Writ of Possession." This legal document is issued by the court and directs the sheriff or another law enforcement officer to remove the tenant from the property.

  2. Notice of the Writ of Possession
    • Once the writ is issued, the tenant is usually given a final notice, often providing them with a short period (such as 24 to 48 hours) to vacate the premises voluntarily. This timeframe can vary based on local jurisdiction and the specifics of the case.

  3. Law Enforcement Intervention
    • If the tenant still refuses to leave after the notice period has expired, the sheriff or designated law enforcement officer will execute the writ of possession. This involves law enforcement officials physically going to the property to remove the tenant and allowing the landlord to reclaim possession.

  4. Removal of Belongings
    • The process for handling the tenant's personal belongings that are left on the property varies. In some jurisdictions, landlords may be required to store the tenant's belongings for a certain period, giving the tenant an opportunity to claim them. The specifics can depend on local laws and the terms of the eviction judgment.

  5. Potential Legal and Financial Consequences for the Tenant
    • Refusing to vacate the property after an eviction order can have additional legal and financial consequences for the tenant. They may be liable for costs associated with the eviction process, including storage fees for personal belongings, additional court costs, and possibly damages if their refusal to leave causes financial loss to the landlord.

A for-cause eviction in Louisiana can significantly impact a tenant's ability to rent in the future. Landlords typically conduct background checks on potential tenants, which can include checking rental history, credit reports, and sometimes even court records. Here are several ways in which a for-cause eviction might affect a tenant's future rental prospects:

  1. Rental History and Background Checks
    • Eviction Records: An eviction can remain on a tenant’s record for up to seven years. When future landlords conduct a background check, this eviction record can appear and may make the landlord hesitant to rent to the tenant.
    • Credit Reports: If an eviction is accompanied by a money judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent or damages, this judgment can appear on the tenant's credit report. Lower credit scores and negative entries can make it harder to pass the credit checks many landlords require.
  2. Reference Checks

    • Future landlords often contact previous landlords for references. If a tenant has been evicted, the previous landlord might provide a negative reference, especially if the eviction was due to significant lease violations or damage to the property.
  3. Application Processes

    • Many rental applications include questions about previous evictions. Lying on an application can lead to automatic disqualification, while honesty about past evictions requires the tenant to explain the circumstances, potentially putting them at a disadvantage compared to other applicants.
  4. Security Deposits and Rental Terms
    • Tenants with evictions in their history may find that landlords who are willing to rent to them might require higher security deposits, additional pre-paid rent, or impose stricter lease terms as a risk mitigation strategy.
  5. Limited Housing Options
    • A history of eviction can limit a tenant's housing options to landlords who may not conduct thorough background checks. Unfortunately, these properties might be in less desirable locations or conditions.

No Cause Evictions

About No Cause Evictions

Landlords can evict tenants without or for no cause, meaning the tenant hasn't necessarily done anything wrong. These can include: 

  • End of Lease Term: The landlord may choose not to renew a lease at the end of its term without providing a reason. Tenants who don't have a formal lease (month-to-month tenancies) can be evicted with proper notice, typically 10 days before the end of the monthly rental period. 
  • Owner Move-In: The landlord or their immediate family members wish to move into the property. 
  • Sale of Property: If the property is sold, the new owner may choose to evict existing tenants. 

Notice Requirements For No Cause Evictions

For expiring leases, landlords may issue a no-cause notice to vacate with specific timelines based on the type of lease (30 days for a year-long lease; 10 days for a month-to-month lease). Some leases also indicate a timeframe to give notice to vacate. 

What You Need To Know About No Cause Evictions

A no-cause eviction in Louisiana refers to a situation where a landlord decides to terminate a rental agreement and evict a tenant without needing to provide a specific reason for the eviction, such as lease violations or non-payment of rent. This type of eviction is typically associated with month-to-month rental agreements, although it can also occur under certain conditions in fixed-term leases, depending on the terms of the lease and state law.

In month-to-month tenancies, either party (the landlord or the tenant) can decide to end the rental agreement without stating a cause, provided they give the appropriate notice as required by Louisiana law. For fixed-term leases (e.g., a one-year lease), no-cause evictions are less common and usually only occur if the lease explicitly allows the landlord to terminate the lease early without cause, or when the lease term comes to an end and the landlord chooses not to renew it.

In Louisiana, no-cause evictions primarily apply to month-to-month tenancies, where either the landlord or the tenant can decide to terminate the lease without providing a specific reason. The process is straightforward in these cases: the party wishing to end the tenancy must give the other party a written notice to vacate, typically 10 days before the end of the monthly rental period unless the lease specifies a different notice period.

For fixed-term leases, such as a one-year lease, no-cause evictions are less common and generally not applicable in the same way. In a fixed-term lease, the lease agreement typically specifies the duration of the tenancy and the conditions under which it can be terminated. The landlord and tenant are both expected to honor the terms of the lease for the duration of the agreed term.

To be considered valid and legally enforceable a no-cause eviction notice generally should contain:

  1. Identification of the Tenant(s): The notice must identify the tenant(s) being evicted from the property. This includes all adult occupants listed on the lease agreement.

  2. Property Address: The full and accurate address of the rental property, including any unit or apartment number, should be included to identify the premises subject to eviction.

  3. Notice of Lease Termination: The document should state explicitly that the landlord is terminating the lease agreement. For a no-cause eviction, the landlord is not required to provide a reason for the termination.

  4. Date of Termination: The notice must specify the exact date by which the tenant must vacate the property. This date should comply with the legally required notice period in Louisiana, which is typically 10 days for month-to-month tenancies before the end of the monthly rental period.

  5. Notice Delivery Date: While not always a requirement, including the date the notice was delivered to the tenant can help establish timelines and ensure compliance with the required notice period.

  6. Signature of the Landlord or Property Manager: The notice should be signed by the landlord or the landlord's agent, such as a property manager, to authenticate it.

  7. Instructions for Vacating the Property: While not strictly required, it's often helpful to include a reminder for tenants to remove all personal property and leave the premises clean and in good condition, according to the terms of their lease.

  8. Reminder of Tenant Rights: Some landlords choose to include a reminder about the tenant's rights, such as the right to seek legal advice or the availability of housing assistance programs. This is not a legal requirement but can be a good practice.

When tenants in Louisiana receive a no-cause eviction notice, they retain several rights that protect them through the eviction process. Understanding these rights is crucial for tenants to navigate the situation effectively and ensure they are treated fairly. Here are the key rights tenants have upon receiving a no-cause eviction notice:

  1. Right to Adequate Notice
    • Tenants have the right to receive adequate notice before they must vacate the property. In Louisiana, for month-to-month tenancies, the required notice period is typically 10 days before the end of the rental period. This allows tenants time to find alternative housing and prepare for the move.

  2. Right to Occupy Until the Notice Period Expires
    • Tenants can remain in the property until the end of the notice period without fear of being forcibly removed. Landlords cannot legally evict tenants without following the proper legal procedure, including obtaining a court order if necessary.

  3. Right to Dispute the Eviction in Court
    • If a tenant believes the eviction notice was served improperly or if the landlord is acting in retaliation for the tenant exercising a legal right (e.g., complaining about unsafe conditions), the tenant may have the right to dispute the eviction in court.

  4. Right to a Habitable Living Environment
    • Tenants continue to have the right to a safe and habitable living environment up until they vacate the property. Landlords are still responsible for making necessary repairs and maintaining the property in a condition that complies with health and safety standards.

  5. Right to the Return of Security Deposit
    • Tenants have the right to have their security deposit returned minus any lawful deductions for damages beyond normal wear and tear or unpaid rent. In Louisiana, the landlord must return the security deposit or provide a written itemized statement of deductions within one month after the lease ends. Learn more about security deposits for a rental property by clicking here

  6. Right to Privacy
    • Tenants maintain their right to privacy, and landlords must give proper notice before entering the property, typically 24 hours, unless it's an emergency or otherwise stipulated in the lease. Learn about landlord access to a rental by clicking here

  7. Protection Against Retaliatory Eviction
    • While no-cause evictions do not require the landlord to state a reason for the eviction, tenants are protected against retaliatory evictions. If the eviction is in response to the tenant legally exercising their rights (e.g., reporting violations of health and safety codes), the tenant may have grounds to challenge the eviction.

  8. Right to Legal Representation
    • Tenants have the right to hire an attorney to represent them in disputes related to the eviction. Low-income tenants may qualify for assistance through legal aid organizations. Learn more about finding and hiring a lawyer by clicking here

Yes, a tenant can challenge a no-cause eviction in Louisiana, although the grounds for challenging such evictions are generally more limited than those for cause evictions, given that no specific allegation of lease violation is being made by the landlord. However, there are still several circumstances under which a tenant might successfully challenge a no-cause eviction:

  1. Improper Notice
    • If the landlord fails to provide the legally required notice period or if the eviction notice is not served properly, the tenant can challenge the eviction. For month-to-month tenancies in Louisiana, the law typically requires a 10-day notice before the end of the rental period.

  2. Discrimination
    • Tenants can challenge an eviction if they believe it is being done for discriminatory reasons. Federal and state laws prohibit eviction based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, disability, or other protected classifications. Learn more about filing a housing discrimination complaint with HUD by clicking here

  3. Retaliation
    • An eviction cannot legally be used as retaliation against tenants for exercising their legal rights, such as complaining to health or building inspectors about unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, joining or organizing a tenants' union, or otherwise lawfully asserting their rights.

  4. Violation of Lease Terms or Local Laws
    • If the lease specifies conditions under which a no-cause eviction is not allowed, or if local laws provide additional protections against eviction, tenants may challenge the eviction on these grounds.

  5. Not a True No-Cause Eviction
    •  

      If a tenant thinks their landlord is using a no-cause eviction as an excuse but has a specific reason that's unfair or violates the tenant's rights, the tenant can fight the eviction by arguing it's just a cover-up for the real motive.

The Process to Challenge a No-Cause Eviction:

  • Review the Eviction Notice: Ensure that the notice meets all legal requirements for a no-cause eviction, including the length of the notice period and how it was served.

  • Gather Evidence: Collect any documentation that supports your challenge, such as records of timely rent payments, communication with the landlord, reports of repairs, or any other relevant information.

  • Seek Legal Advice: Consider finding a legal professional to understand your rights and the best course of action. Learn more about finding and hiring a lawyer by clicking here. 

  • Respond Formally: If challenging the eviction, you may need to file a formal response with the court or appear in court to present your case.

If a tenant refuses to leave after the notice period for a no-cause eviction ends, the landlord must follow legal procedures to evict the tenant. Here’s what typically happens:

  1. Filing an Eviction Lawsuit
    • The landlord cannot forcibly remove the tenant themselves. Instead, they must file an eviction lawsuit, in court. This legal action is the formal process to seek a court order for eviction.

  2. Court Hearing
    • The landlord and the tenant will be notified of a court hearing date. At this hearing, both parties have the opportunity to present their case. The tenant can raise any defenses they might have to the eviction, such as the eviction being retaliatory or the landlord not following proper legal procedures.

  3. Judgment
    • If the court rules in favor of the landlord, it will issue a judgment for eviction. This judgment authorizes the landlord to regain possession of the property, and it typically includes a date by which the tenant must leave.

  4. Issuance of a Writ of Possession
    • If the tenant still does not leave by the date specified in the court's judgment, the landlord can request a writ of possession from the court. This writ is a legal document that authorizes law enforcement officers to remove the tenant from the property.

  5. Execution of the Writ of Possession
    • Law enforcement officers, such as sheriffs or marshals, will serve the writ of possession on the tenant, often giving them a final short period (such as 24-48 hours) to vacate. If the tenant still refuses to leave, the officers are authorized to physically remove the tenant and their belongings from the property.

A no-cause eviction can still impact a tenant's ability to rent in the future, though the effects may be less severe compared to a for-cause eviction. Landlords often conduct background checks that can reveal previous evictions, and having an eviction on your rental history can make finding new housing more challenging.

Here's how a no-cause eviction might affect future renting opportunities:

Rental History and Background Checks

  • Eviction Records: Even though the eviction is "no-cause," it may still be recorded in public records or tenant screening databases. Future landlords who see an eviction on a tenant's record might be hesitant to rent to them, fearing potential issues.

  • Credit Reports: While a no-cause eviction itself does not directly affect a credit score, any related financial issues, such as unpaid rent or a judgment for eviction costs, can negatively impact credit reports.

Mitigating the Impact

  • Explanations: Tenants can sometimes mitigate the impact of an eviction by providing potential landlords with an explanation. In the case of a no-cause eviction, explaining that the eviction was not due to lease violations or non-payment of rent may help.

  • References: Providing references from previous landlords, especially those who can attest to the tenant's reliability and timely rent payments, can also help counteract the negative impact of an eviction.

  • Proof of Financial Stability: Demonstrating financial stability through steady income, a solid credit score, and savings can make a tenant more appealing to landlords, even with an eviction in their past.

  • Renter’s Resume: Creating a comprehensive renter’s resume that highlights positive aspects of your rental history, employment, and character references can also help.

Legal Protections

  • Disputing Errors: If an eviction record is inaccurate or improperly recorded, tenants can dispute the errors with credit bureaus or courts to have them removed from their records. You can learn more about disputing errors on your tenant screening report by clicking here

  • Sealing Records: In some cases, tenants may be able to petition the court to seal eviction records, making them inaccessible to landlords and the public.

After a no-cause eviction, tenants have rights concerning their security deposit that are similar to any other end-of-tenancy situation. Landlords are generally required by law to return a tenant's security deposit within a specified timeframe after the tenant moves out, minus any lawful deductions.

You can learn more about how to get back your security deposit for a rented home by clicking here

Here’s what tenants need to know about their rights regarding security deposits:

  1. Right to a Refund of the Security Deposit
    • Refund Timing: In Louisiana, the law requires landlords to return the security deposit to the tenant within one month after the tenant vacates the property. This timeframe allows the landlord to inspect the property for damages and make any necessary deductions.
  2. Deductions from the Security Deposit
    • Allowable Deductions: Landlords can make deductions from the security deposit for unpaid rent, damages beyond normal wear and tear, cleaning to return the property to its initial condition (if stipulated in the lease), and other breaches of the lease agreement.

    • Itemized Statement: If deductions are made, landlords must provide an itemized statement listing the reasons for and the amounts of each deduction. This statement should be sent to the tenant along with any remaining portion of the security deposit.

  3. Disputing Deductions
    • Dispute Process: If a tenant disagrees with the deductions made from their security deposit, they can dispute these deductions. Initially, this may involve direct communication with the landlord to seek a resolution. If the dispute cannot be resolved directly, the tenant may need to pursue legal action, such as small claims court, to recover the disputed amount.
    • Failure to Return the Security Deposit Legal Recourse: If the landlord fails to return the security deposit or provide an itemized statement of deductions within the required timeframe, the tenant may have the right to sue for the return of the deposit. Based on state law, tenants may also be entitled to additional damages if the landlord acted in bad faith.

Steps In The Eviction Process

About The Steps In The Eviction Process

You can find a general overview of the eviction process in the steps below. 

Steps In The Eviction Process

The landlord provides the tenant with a notice, stating the reason for eviction or vacating the premises and the time frame in which a tenant must vacate. If the tenant fails to comply, or if the notice requirement is waived in the lease agreement, the landlord can start the judicial eviction process. 

The notice to vacate must clearly state the reasons for vacating the premises. 

Initially, a tenant is given a notice to vacate the premises for various reasons. If the tenant fails to comply, or if the notice requirement is waived in the lease agreement, the landlord can start a judicial eviction process. This begins by filing a rule for possession in court, which is essentially a formal request for the tenant to show why they shouldn’t be evicted. 

The rule for possession should clearly state the reasons for eviction, matching those given in the initial notice to vacate. Any discrepancy between the grounds stated in the notice to vacate and those in the rule for possession could be contested for causing prejudice to the tenant’s defense, potentially rendering the eviction action premature. Switching issues or grounds from notice state to trial might also be challenged as a violation of due process, affecting the tenant’s right to a fair hearing. 

The court issues an order or citation to the tenant, mandating them to respond and justify their continued occupancy. 

The rule for possession is served on the tenant by a sheriff, marshal, or constable, and can include "tacking" (posting the notice on the premises) or by service by mail. This ensures the tenant is properly informed about the eviction process in court. 

The hearing for the rule for possession can't occur until at least three days after the rule has been served, providing a short window for tenants to prepare a defense. 

Learn more about preparing an answer to eviction by clicking here. There are a few steps you should take to prepare an answer with your defenses to the rule for possession in an eviction. These include: 

  1. Determine the Reason for Eviction:  Look at the notice to vacate and the rule for possession that you received. These documents will state why your landlord is attempting to evict you, such as non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms, etc. 
  2. Identity Possible Defenses: Understand what types of potential defenses you can raise based on the reason or cause for the eviction. Learn about defenses to eviction by clicking here
  3. Prepare A Notarized Answer: Once potential defenses are identified, you can prepare an answer to the rule for possession before the trial begins. When you prepare your answer, it must state your defenses and must include a notarized affidavit by swearing that the statements in your answer are true. Your answer should also deny any incorrect statements made by the landlord in the Rule for Possession. Include all relevant details such as dates, receipts, communications, or other evidence that supports your case. 
    • Have your Answer Notarized: This usually involves signing the document in front of a notary public who will verify your identity and signature. 
  4. File the Notarized Answer with the Court:  File your notarized answer at the court handling your eviction case. Be mindful of deadlines; filing your answer late can result in losing the case by default. You may need to pay a filing fee. However, if you cannot afford the fee, inquire about filing in forma pauperis, which allows you to proceed without paying fees upfront. This generally involves filling out a financial affidavit that demonstrates your inability to pay.  You can learn about proceeding in forma pauperis by clicking here

Additional Considerations: 

  • It is important to file an answer before the court if you want to be able to appeal your eviction and stay in your home during the appeal. You can still appeal if you don't file an answer, but you will have to move during the appeal. 
  • It might be beneficial to seek legal advice from an attorney specializing in tenant law to ensure your defenses are presented effectively. 

Both parties present their case in court at a Rule to Show Cause or Summary Proceeding. These proceedings are typically faster and less formal than ordinary legal processes. 

Landlords must establish a case for eviction, including proving the existence of the landlord-tenant relationship, violations or cause for eviction and proper service of the eviction notice. 

When you go to court, you can present your defenses. Make sure to bring any witnesses or evidence that supports your case, such as payment records, communications with the landlord, photographs of the premises, and any other documents that support your defense. 

In Louisiana, eviction proceedings do not permit jury trials.

Should a tenant not respond or appear for trial, the court has the authority to issue an immediate eviction judgment with a very short notice period for the tenant to vacate. 

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, it will issue an eviction order or judgment. The court rules and renders a judgment immediately after trial in eviction cases. The judgment is put into writing, formalizing the eviction process and ensuring that there is a clear and official record of the court's decision. 

Other judgments may also result in dismissal in favor of the tenant or a consent judgment between the landlord and the tenant. 

The tenant is provided notice of the judgment, ensuring that the tenant is fully informed of the court's decision and their rights following the eviction including the right to appeal. 

If you filed a verified answer, you have the right to stop the eviction by filing an appeal within 24 hours of the judgment. To get your appeal, you must also file an appeal bond. The appeal bond is money you deposit into the court registry to protect your landlord in case your appeal is not justified. The bond is usually set as one month’s rent, but it is up to the judge. A higher court will review your appeal and decide whether the trial judge was right or wrong. If you timely filed your appeal and bond, you can stay in your apartment until the appeal is decided by the higher court.

If the tenant still does not vacate after a judgment in favor of the landlord, law enforcement can remove the tenant from the property. Typically, this process starts when a tenant fails to vacate the premises  24 hours after the judgment for eviction is rendered. 

The tenant is required not only to remove themselves and their personal possessions from the property but to also ensure that the property is free of other occupants. This means the tenant is responsible for ensuring that everyone who lives in or is occupying the space must leave as well. 

To enforce the eviction, a warrant for possession is issued. This warrant authorizes law enforcement officers (such as the sheriff, marshal, or constable) to carry out the eviction. The authorized officers are permitted to use force if necessary to open doors and windows to execute the eviction. Furthermore, they have the authority to seize and sell the tenant's property to cover the costs associated with the eviction process.

Other Issues To Consider

Other Issues To Consider

Below you can find some questions and issues that you may consider related to evictions in Louisiana. 

Other Issues To Consider

Evictions from subsidized housing in Louisiana, are subject to both federal regulations and state laws, offering tenants additional protections compared to conventional housing. Subsidized housing programs, such as those provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including Section 8 vouchers, impose strict rules that landlords must follow before evicting a tenant.

For more information, see Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Evictions

Here's how evictions generally work in the context of subsidized housing in Louisiana:

  1. Grounds for Eviction
    • Lease Violations: Tenants can be evicted for significant violations of the lease agreement, such as non-payment of rent, damage to the property, or illegal activities on the premises.

    • Violation of Program Rules: In addition to lease violations, tenants must also comply with specific program requirements. Failure to do so can be grounds for eviction. For example, failing to report changes in income or household composition can violate Section 8 program rules.

  2. Notice Requirements
    • Proper Notice: Landlords must provide proper notice to tenants before initiating eviction proceedings. This notice must detail the reasons for the eviction and, in many cases, offer the tenant an opportunity to correct the issue (when applicable).

    • Notice Period: The required notice period in subsidized housing is often longer than for conventional housing, giving tenants more time to address the violations or seek legal assistance.

  3. Legal Process
    • Court Proceedings: Landlords must go through the court system to evict a tenant legally. They cannot forcibly remove the tenant or their belongings without a court order.

    • Legal Defenses: Tenants have the right to present their case in court, including any legal defenses they may have against the eviction. This might include proving that the landlord did not follow proper procedures or that the reasons for eviction are not valid.

  4. Protections Under HUD
    • HUD Regulations: For HUD-subsidized housing, specific regulations protect tenants from unjust eviction. Landlords must comply with these regulations in addition to state laws.

    • Due Process: Tenants are entitled to due process, meaning they must be given notice, an opportunity to be heard, and a fair trial before being evicted.

  5. Special Considerations
    • Reasonable Accommodation: Tenants with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations that might prevent eviction, such as modifications to lease terms or policies that address their disability-related needs. Learn about reasonable accommodations in housing by clicking here

    • Domestic Violence Protections: The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking living in subsidized housing, including certain protections against eviction.

  6. Seeking Assistance
    • Tenants facing eviction from subsidized housing should seek assistance from legal aid organizations or attorneys familiar with subsidized housing laws. They may also contact the housing authority or the agency administering their housing program for guidance and support. Learn about finding and hiring a lawyer by clicking here

During states of emergency or natural disasters in Louisiana, the eviction process can be significantly affected. Government authorities may issue temporary regulations or orders that alter standard eviction procedures to provide additional protections to tenants. These changes are typically designed to prevent homelessness and ensure housing stability during times of crisis.

Learn more about disaster relief in Louisiana by clicking here

Here's how the eviction process might change during such periods:

  1. Moratoriums on Evictions
    • Temporary Halts: State or local governments, or even the federal government, may impose temporary eviction moratoriums. These moratoriums can prevent landlords from initiating new eviction proceedings for certain periods, especially for reasons related to non-payment of rent.

    • Scope and Duration: The specifics of an eviction moratorium, including its duration and the types of evictions it covers (e.g., all evictions or just those for non-payment of rent), depend on the issuing authority's directives.

  2. Extensions of Notice Periods
    • Longer Notice Requirements: Emergency regulations may extend the notice periods landlords must give tenants before proceeding with an eviction, giving tenants more time to find alternative housing solutions or catch up on overdue rent.

  3. Restrictions on Late Fees and Other Penalties
    • Waiving Late Fees: During emergencies, there may be restrictions on landlords’ ability to charge late fees or other penalties for overdue rent, helping tenants avoid falling deeper into financial hardship.

  4. Court Operations
    • Delays in Eviction Proceedings: State of emergency declarations can lead to temporary closures or reduced operations of courts, resulting in delays in eviction proceedings. This can inadvertently extend the time tenants can remain in their homes, even if an eviction process has been initiated.

  5. Increased Tenant Protections
    • Protections Against Utility Shutoffs: In addition to protections against eviction, emergency regulations may include prohibitions on utility shutoffs for non-payment, ensuring that tenants have access to essential services during crises.

  6. Government Assistance Programs
    • Rental Assistance: Federal, state, or local governments may offer additional rental assistance programs to help tenants pay rent and avoid eviction during states of emergency or disasters. These programs can provide critical financial support to tenants facing economic hardship due to the emergency. Learn more about housing after a disaster by clicking here

  7. Importance of Staying Informed
    • Tenants and landlords should stay informed about current regulations and protections that apply during emergencies or natural disasters. This can include monitoring official state or local government websites, legal aid organizations, and housing advocacy groups for updates.

In Louisiana, while there are general protections applicable to all tenants, including the elderly and disabled, these groups may have access to additional protections and resources under federal and state laws. However, Louisiana's state-specific laws do not automatically provide special eviction protections for elderly or disabled tenants beyond what federal law mandates.

Here’s an overview of the protections and considerations that may impact elderly or disabled tenants facing eviction:

  1. Federal Protections
    • Fair Housing Act (FHA): This act prohibits discrimination against tenants based on disability, age (in housing designated for older persons), and other protected classes. It requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for disabled tenants, which can sometimes include modifications to eviction procedures or timelines but does not inherently prevent evictions.

    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): While the ADA primarily addresses accessibility in public spaces, it also offers protections that can indirectly impact housing stability for disabled individuals.

    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: This act prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. For housing, this means that any federally funded program must provide accommodations for disabled individuals, which could include considerations around eviction processes.

  2. State Protections
    • State Anti-Discrimination Laws: Louisiana, like other states, has its own anti-discrimination laws that complement federal protections. While these laws primarily prevent discrimination in housing, they may offer some level of indirect protection against eviction by ensuring that landlords cannot evict tenants based on their age or disability.

  3. Legal Assistance: Elderly and disabled tenants facing eviction may qualify for legal assistance that specializes in helping vulnerable populations. A lawyer can provide guidance, represent tenants in court, or negotiate with landlords. Learn about finding and hiring an attorney by clicking here

  4. Housing Programs
    • Subsidized Housing: Elderly or disabled tenants living in subsidized housing, such as Section 8 or public housing, have additional protections against eviction. These protections include specific procedures landlords must follow before evicting a tenant, which often offers greater security to these groups. For more information, see Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Evictions

    • HUD Housing: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers housing programs specifically for the elderly and disabled, which come with strong protections against eviction, including higher standards for landlords to meet before proceeding with an eviction. For more information, see Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Evictions

  5. Practical Considerations
    • Reasonable Accommodations: Tenants with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations that might affect the eviction process. For example, if a disability contributes to behavior that leads to an eviction notice, the tenant can request a reasonable accommodation that addresses the underlying issue. Learn about reasonable accommodations for a disability by clicking here

    • Eviction Notices: All tenants, including the elderly and disabled, must receive proper notice before an eviction process begins, providing them time to respond or seek assistance.

There are special protections against eviction for military personnel in Louisiana, as well as under federal law. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides these protections to eligible military personnel by allowing servicemembers to request certain legal protections in civil matters, including eviction proceedings. 

For more information about protections against foreclosure for active-duty personnel, see the section under Housing in Veterans and Military

Key aspects include: 

  1. Eviction Protection: If a servicemember rents a property for residential purposes at a monthly rent that does not exceed a certain amount (adjusted annually for inflation), they cannot be evicted without a court order. As of 2024, this amount is $4,676.24 per month. This protection applies if the servicemember or their dependents occupy the property for residential purposes.
  2. Court Actions: If an eviction action is filed, the court may grant a stay of proceedings for 90 days, or potentially longer, if the servicemember's military service has materially affected their ability to meet their rental obligation.
  3. Reduced Interest Rate: Additionally, the SCRA allows for the reduction of interest rates on certain financial obligations to a maximum of 6% per year during military service, which can indirectly aid in preventing eviction by easing other financial burdens.

Servicemembers who believe their rights under the SCRA may have been violated, or who need assistance with invoking these protections, should contact their unit's legal assistance office or an attorney who is familiar with military law. For more information, see Finding and Hiring a Lawyer

In Louisiana, if a property is foreclosed due to the landlord's inability to make their mortgage payments, the process can impact tenants in various ways, depending on several factors including the status of their lease and who purchases the property at the foreclosure sale.

For more information, see Tenant Options When Landlord Is In Foreclosure or Bankruptcy

Here’s a general breakdown of how evictions work in such scenarios:

  1. Notification of Foreclosure: Typically, when a property is going through foreclosure, all parties with an interest in the property, including tenants, should be notified. This notification informs tenants that the ownership of the property is changing due to the landlord's failure to meet mortgage obligations. For more information, visit Executory Process Foreclosure

  2. Rights of Tenants: The rights of tenants during a foreclosure largely depend on the terms of their lease and federal protections such as those previously afforded by the "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" (PTFA), which expired but sometimes serves as a guideline. Under similar protections, tenants with a bona fide lease that was signed before the notice of foreclosure can usually stay until the end of their lease. Month-to-month tenants, however, are often required to vacate with a 90-day notice.

  3. New Ownership: If the property is bought by someone who intends to occupy it as a primary residence, they may have the right to terminate existing leases or rental agreements, typically with a notice period (like the 90-day notice mentioned above).

  4. Eviction Process: If the new owner wants to evict the tenants, they must follow Louisiana's legal process for eviction. This involves providing a written notice to vacate, and if the tenant does not leave by the specified date, the owner can file an eviction lawsuit. Tenants have the right to contest the eviction in court.

  5. Legal Assistance: Tenants facing eviction from a foreclosed property are advised to seek legal help. Various legal aid organizations assist tenants in such situations, helping them understand their rights and options under the current laws. For more information, see Finding and Hiring a Lawyer

When a landlord faces bankruptcy, the process of eviction can be complex and varies significantly depending on the type of bankruptcy filed (Chapter 7, Chapter 13) and the specific circumstances of the case. 

For more information, see Tenant Options When Landlord Is In Foreclosure or Bankruptcy

Here are some key points to consider: 

  1. Tenant Rights and Notices: Regardless of the type of bankruptcy, tenants must be notified of any actions affecting their lease or occupancy. Tenants often have certain rights and protections and may be entitled to damages or allowed to stay until the end of their lease under certain conditions.

  2. Legal Advice: Tenants whose landlords are going through bankruptcy should seek legal advice. For more information, see Finding and Hiring a Lawyer

Last Review and Update: Apr 30, 2024
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