Louisiana Landlord Tenant Laws

This is a summary of Louisiana Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated, the  Louisiana Civil Code, the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Louisiana landlord-tenant laws, Louisiana eviction laws, and Louisiana renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing Louisiana Landlord-Tenant Laws

Louisiana Lease Terms Provisions

Security Deposits

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?

There is no Louisiana law limiting security deposits.

  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring security deposits to earn interest.

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. 

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There is no Louisiana law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge. 

  • How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

One month. (La. Rev. Stat. 9:3251(A))

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to remedy a default of the tenant or to remedy unreasonable wear to the premises. (La. Rev. Stat. 9:3251(A))

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. Landlords must forward to the tenant an itemized list, detailing the amount withheld and the reasons for withholding. The list must be sent to tenant’s forwarding address provided by tenant at the termination of lease. (La. Rev. Stat. 9:3251(A)

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no Louisiana law specifying record-keeping requirements.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

The tenant may recover any portion of the security deposit wrongfully retained and three hundred dollars or twice the amount of the portion of the security deposit wrongfully retained, whichever is greater.  (La. Rev. Stat. 9:3252(A))

Rent

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. There are no rent control laws in Louisiana.

  • When is rent due?

Rent is due at the beginning of the term. If the rent is payable by intervals shorter than the term, it is due at the beginning of each interval. Rent is payable at the address provided by landlord and in the absence of such address-at the tenant’s address. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2703)

  • Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring a certain payment method for rent.

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. There is no Louisiana law forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no Louisiana law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Can landlords charge returned check fees?

Yes. Landlords can charge a late fee up to the greater of $25 or 5% of the face amount of the check, whichever is greater.   (La. Rev. Stat. 9:2782(B))

Louisiana Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. However, landlords cannot raise your rent in the middle of your lease.

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no Louisiana law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

  • What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.

  • What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 5 calendar days’ written notice. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2728(3))

  • What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 10 calendar days’ notice.  (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2728(2)

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in Louisiana law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?

There is no statute in Louisiana law covering this issue.

  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

There is no Louisiana law requiring landlords to give tenants notice of entry.

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?

There is no statute in Louisiana law covering this issue.

Landlord’s Duties

Tenant’s Duties

  • Tenants must pay the rent according to the agreed terms. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2683(1))
  • Tenants must use the unit as a prudent administrator and according to the purpose for which it was leased. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2683(2))
  • Tenants must return the unit at the end of the lease in a condition that is the same as it was when the unit was delivered, except for normal wear and tear. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2683(3))
  • Tenants must notify the landlord without delay when the unit has been damaged or requires repair, or when the tenant’s possession has been disturbed by a third person. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 2688)

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).

Louisiana Renters’ Rights

  • What are Louisiana renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)

When a tenant has been constructively evicted from the premises, and when the premises are rendered uninhabitable through no fault of the tenant, the landlord shall be required to mitigate the damages. (La. Rev. Stat. 9:3260)

  • Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

No. There is no Louisiana law allowing tenants to withhold rent to enforce their legal rights. 

Louisiana Eviction Laws

  • What notice do Louisiana eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent or violations of the rental agreement (first offense), or a material health and safety violation the landlord must give a 5-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure their breaches.  (La. Code Civ. Pro. Ann art. CCP 4701)
  • For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice.  (La. Code Civ. Pro. Ann art. CCP 4701)
  • Do Louisiana eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. There is no Louisiana law permitting self-help eviction.

COVID-19 Changes to Louisiana Landlord-Tenant Laws

Squatter’s rights in Louisiana 

Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.

Louisiana has no specific laws recognizing squatters..

The squatter can claim adverse possession after either 30 years of continuous possession without the need of just title or possession in good faith, or 10 years with color of title, god faith, just title, and a thing susceptible of acquisition by prescription. (La. Civ. Code art. CC 3486, La. Civ. Code art. CC 3475).

Related Links

Government 

Legal Aid

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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