How Can I Make Repairs and Deduct the Cost from My Rent in Louisiana? (Article)
Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab
- Repair and Deduct Procedure
- Kinds of Repairs the Landlord is Obligated to Make
- Give Notice of Needed Repairs
- Landlord Refuses or Fails to Make Repairs in Reasonable Time
- Tenant Makes Necessary Repairs for Reasonable Cost
- Tenant Deducts Cost of Repairs from Rent
- Tenant's Burden to Prove Necessary Repairs
- Tenant's Burden to Prove Reasonable Cost
Repair and Deduct Procedure
Your rental needs repairs and your landlord will not make them. In certain circumstances, Louisiana law allows a tenant to pay for repairs. The tenant can deduct from the rent the costs of the repairs. The law calls this process "repair and deduct." A tenant using the repair and deduct law must follow proper procedure. It is best to talk with a lawyer first.
The repair and deduct procedure has seven elements:
The repair must be the kind of repairs which the landlord is obligated to make to ensure the property is in a suitable condition.
The tenant must then request that the landlord make the repair by sending the landlord proper notice and demand.
The landlord must refuse or fail to make the repairs within a reasonable amount of time or within a contractually allowed amount of time after receiving the notice and demand.
The tenant must make the necessary repairs for a reasonable cost.
The tenant must deduct the cost of repairs from rent.
The tenant must prove the repairs were necessary.
The tenant must prove the price paid was reasonable.
Caution for Month-to-Month Tenants
A month-to-month tenant should limit the cost of the repairs to the amount of monthly rent.
In a month-to-month lease, a landlord can evict a tenant for no cause, meaning that a landlord can evict a tenant without giving a reason. It is possible that a landlord might evict a tenant who uses the repair and deduct procedure. The law does not give a month-to-month tenant protection from this kind of eviction.
Caution for Tenants in Written Leases
Even if a tenant follows the proper repair and deduct procedure, a landlord may file to evict the tenant. In these cases, repair and deduct is part of the tenant's defense to eviction. Failure to follow the proper procedures could result in eviction.