Before moving into a rental unit or becoming a landlord, Louisiana has some unique aspects of their landlord tenant law which should be reviewed.
In basic terms, tenants are responsible for paying rent on-time and maintaining a healthy and safe living environment.
Landlords must provide a residence which is habitable and up to building codes.
Here are some of the important points to know beyond those basics.
1. Lease Terms Must Be Specific.
If there is not a fixed term specifically stated on a rental agreement, then Louisiana considers this to be a month-to-month lease.
Tenants or landlords can terminate a month-to-month lease with 10 days written notice before the end of the month.
2. Late Fees Must Be Included In a Lease.
If a rental agreement does not contain any language about paying a late fee when a tenant misses a rent payment deadline, then Louisiana forbids landlords from charging one.
There are no set laws about how much a late fee which is legally included in a lease can be.
3. No Alterations Are Allowed Unless They Meet Or Improve Tenant Habitability.
Landlords must provide tenants with a private living experience.
This means in Louisiana, unless there is a need to make an alteration to come into compliance with expectations, a property must not be altered while it is occupied.
Tenants can make alterations, however, with landlord permission.
4. Louisiana Holds Those Who Cause Damage To a Rental Unit Responsible.
If a landlord fails to maintain a habitable living environment, then any needed repairs are their responsibility.
Tenants are responsible for their damage or damage caused by guests or pets which exceeds normal wear and tear.
If a landlord fails to make a needed repair for habitability issues and a tenant has provided them with a written notice and reasonable time, then the tenant may pay for the repairs and deduct a reasonable price from the rent.
5. Pet Fees Are Not Covered By Security Deposit Terms.
A landlord may or may not choose to charge a pet fee.
If they do, then this amount is not considered part of the security deposit, which is returnable after a tenant moves out.
These important points are just a few of the highlights presents under the Louisiana landlord tenant laws.
For specific answers to any questions you have that were not covered here, be sure to check with your local statutes or consult with a legal professional.