Whether you’re an experienced Louisiana native or new to the area, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the real estate laws in the state so you don’t make any mistakes when investing in a new property. Louisiana can be an attractive place to invest as the home of the famous New Orleans, but take the time to read about some Louisiana laws below to guide your further research.
Some states have laws regarding the safekeeping of your tenants’ security deposits. It’s important that every landlord, even in the absence of these laws, remembers that a security deposit belongs to your tenant until they have proven that they deserve to have some funds deducted. In Louisiana, there are few laws regarding security deposits, but it’s still crucial that you take the steps to preserve your tenants’ hard-earned money.
There is no deposit limit in Louisiana, and landlords are not required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account, nor are they required to pay interest on that amount.
Landlords must return their tenant’s security deposit within one month of them vacating the unit, and any deductions that were made from the original amount must be itemized and given to the tenant alongside the remainder of their deposit. Also, those deductions must have been “reasonably necessary to remedy a default of the tenant or to remedy unreasonably wear” to the property.
In Louisiana, all evictions begin with the landlord sending a five-day eviction notice to the tenant who is breaking the lease. After sending this notice, if the tenant does not leave the premises within five days, the landlord can then begin the evictions process with the court.
There are three main reasons why someone would receive a notice. First, if a tenant has neglected to pay rent, they may receive a rent demand notice. A tenant may also be sent a notice of violation of lease if they violated a certain aspect of the lease agreement in a way besides nonpayment of rent. Finally, if a tenant is committing illegal acts on the property, a landlord can issue an unconditional notice to quit under Louisiana eviction laws and begin evictions proceedings if they have not moved out within five days.
Rent and Fees
It’s important to pay attention to Louisiana landlord tenant laws when collecting rent and other fees from your tenants. This responsibility is the main way you receive a profit from your rental business, so doing so correctly and within the confines of state law is crucial.
Louisiana rent laws do not specify rules for rent control, late fees, grace periods, or application fees. Unless otherwise indicated in a lease agreement, the tenant is expected to pay rent at the beginning of each month. Also, if a tenant’s rent check bounces or their account doesn’t have sufficient funds for the transaction, the landlord can charge a fee of $25 or 5% of the amount that bounced.
Tenants do have a right to “repair and deduct” as necessary. This law dictates that, if a tenant has notified their landlord of a pressing maintenance issue and the landlord has not fixed it within 14 days, the tenant can arrange to have an outside party repair the issue and then deduct the cost of that repair from their monthly rent. They can also request to have an immediate reimbursement for the repair if they choose not to deduct from rent. However, in order for tenants to utilize this right, the repair must be necessary and reasonably priced.
Louisiana’s landlord-tenant laws are relatively few compared to other states in the country, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore what real estate laws they do have. Take the time to become familiar with the rules and regulations that govern your business and tenants, and if you’re ever confused about what’s expected of you, consult an attorney.