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Louisiana Property Management Laws

The numerous laws regarding property management can make it difficult to determine the correct choice of action in a renting situation. Landlords and tenants are both subject to strict rules, which change from state to state and can be difficult to understand. Those who manage properties in multiple states or tenants who have recently moved may have even more difficulty finding the legal information they seek.

This guide is intended as an outline of the laws and regulations in Louisiana regarding the management of residential properties and how to legally solve many common renting issues.

Key Points

  • 1 Tenants are able to make improvements to a property if they have written consent from the owner.
  • 2 Property managers are not permitted to perform unnecessary construction on residential properties until after the leases have expired.
  • 3 There are no regulations regarding late fees, and a tenant may be served an eviction notice if their rent is late any day after its due.
  • 4 A month-to-month lease can be terminated by either party with a 10-day written notice in Louisiana.

Note: This guide is intended to be used as an educational resource. The contents within do not constitute legal advice. To obtain information regarding property management laws in your state, consult a local attorney. This guide is based only on property management laws at the state level. Local county and city laws may exist that are not discussed in this guide. Consult a local attorney to obtain information that pertains to your specific location and situation.

Property Management Laws Overview in Louisiana

Code Description
Rental Application Laws
RS-9-3251 Security Deposit Laws
CC-2680 Lease and Termination Laws
CC-2704 Rent and Late Fee Laws
Disclosure Laws
CC-2682 Landlord Responsibility Laws
CC-2691 Property Maintenance and Repair Laws

Rental Application Laws

What application fees are allowed? 

Residential property managers are free to charge whatever they like to process an application to move into one of their properties. Typically, the charge is between $35 and $100.

What can a landlord search for with a background check?

There are no statutes regarding what a background check can encompass, but landlords typically look for credit-worthiness in addition to an acceptable criminal and rental history.

Can a landlord discriminate against renting to someone for any reason?

The Fair Housing Act prohibits renters from being discriminated against due to protected statuses such as:

  • Family composition
  • Nationality
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Religion

Security Deposit Laws

Are additional move-in fees allowed?  

Yes, a landlord is able to charge tenants any fees discussed in the lease including a security deposit and a pet deposit, if applicable.

Is there a limit on the security deposit amount that can be charged? 

There is no statute in Louisiana that limits the amount a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit. Generally, a landlord will charge between one and two months’ rent.

Does the landlord have to hold the security deposit in a specific way during occupancy? 

No, in Louisiana, there are no laws regarding how a landlord must store a security deposit.

How long does the landlord have to return the security deposit after move out? 

A landlord has 30 days to return a security deposit, as well as an itemized receipt showing what repairs were made with the money used., to a tenant (RS 9-3251). 

What are the reasons why a landlord can withhold part or all of the security deposit?

If a tenant abandons the property without giving the landlord proper notice, the landlord may keep the deposit. If the tenant leaves in compliance with a request to vacate or after serving the required notice, the landlord may retain any amount of the deposit they need to return the rental unit back to a habitable state or to make arrears for unpaid rent and fees (RS 9-3251).

What is the penalty if the landlord doesn’t return the security deposit? 

If a landlord refuses to return a security deposit or wrongfully withholds any portion, a tenant may take them to civil court to collect the debt.

Laws About Leases and Lease Termination

What types of lease terms are allowed? 

There are fixed and month-to-month leases allowable under Louisiana state law. If a rental agreement is void of a lease contract, it shall be assumed as a month-to-month lease (CC-2680-2).

What happens if the tenant violates the lease? 

If a tenant violates their lease agreement in any way, the landlord has the right to terminate the agreement (CC-2719).

How much notice is required for a month-to-month lease termination? 

Either a landlord or a tenant may terminate or alter the conditions of a monthly lease with 10 days’ written notice prior to the end of the month (CC-2728).

When can a tenant terminate a term lease without penalty? 

If the lease expires, a tenant may end their tenancy (CC-2720) unless the agreement specifies that it is allowable to request to end the tenancy before the end of the lease (CC-2718) provided they serve the landlord the required notice as specified in the lease.

How much notice do service members have to supply before terminating the lease?

If a service member in Louisiana is required to move 35 miles or further away from their residence or to move into military housing, they are able to break their lease with a 30-day written notice.

Are there special lease termination rules for victims of domestic violence? 

Louisiana does not have any laws that protect victims of domestic violence from paying for breaking a lease early, but housing managed by federal programs and local regulations may have different criteria for victim protection.

How and when can a landlord evict a tenant? 

A landlord may evict a tenant immediately if the rent is left unpaid (CC-2704) or if a tenant violates the lease agreement. A landlord must give the tenant a 5-day written notice to vacate, excluding weekends and holidays, and this notice may be posted on their door. The landlord will then have an eviction proceeding date three days after the tenant received notice to vacate. If the eviction is successful, the tenant will have 24 hours to leave the property.

How much notice does a landlord have to give before making changes to the property that result in the termination of tenancy? 

Under Louisiana law, property owners are prohibited from making any alteration to a property until a lease has expired, unless that alteration is a required repair (CC-2690).

Laws About Rent and Late Fees

Does Louisiana have any laws that pertain to rent control?

No, rent control is not practiced in the state of Louisiana, but local and city ordinances may apply.

Is there a state-mandated grace period that landlords must give tenants before charging a late fee? 

There is no state regulation prescribing how soon a landlord can charge a late fee after the rent has gone unpaid, only that a landlord may evict a tenant as soon as rent has gone unpaid after the due date (CC-2704), which is either agreed upon in the lease or is on the first day of the month. The terms of a late fee can be agreed upon by the tenant and renter during the creation of the lease agreement.

Is there a limit on how much of a late fee the landlord can charge tenants?

No, state law does not outline how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a late fee, but it must be detailed in the lease, and unreasonably high late fees can be contested in court.

Other Laws About Rent and Late Fees in Louisiana

Can a landlord hold a tenant’s possessions if they don’t pay their rent? 

Yes, a landlord is legally entitled to maintain the possession of a tenant’s belongings of value if there has been a withholding of rent payments (CC-2707) and the belongings are left in or on the property. 

Legally Required Disclosures

What types of disclosures are landlords required to supply regarding ownership of the property?

Louisiana doesn’t have any laws that require a property manager to disclose the owner of the property.

Can the owner designate an agent to serve and receive disclosures? 

Yes, in Louisiana, an owner may choose an agent to manage their properties and serve documents and notices to tenants (CC-2674).

What disclosures related to mold are landlords required to supply?

Under state law, a landlord has the duty to maintain a safe and habitable environment (CC-2682), but they are not required to disclose the presence of mold to renters. 

What disclosures related to lead paint are landlords required to supply?

Federal EPA requirements dictate that any residential building built before 1978 have a completed lead disclosure form attached to the lease.

Laws About Landlord Responsibilities

How much notice does the landlord have to supply before entry? 

The landlord must supply a reasonable amount of time before demanding entry to their property, but the state does not specify how much time that must be. The law dictates, however, that the owner must provide a peaceful possession of the residency to tenants, implying that harassment is not permissible (CC-2700).

When can the tenant refuse to allow the landlord entry? 

The law does not define any circumstance in which a tenant may deny entry to a landlord, but it does stipulate that a tenant must allow a landlord in to make necessary repairs, even if it is an inconvenience or requires the tenant to move (CC-2693).

What steps must the landlord take to keep the property habitable? 

A landlord must take all steps required to keep a property in a safe environment suited for leasing, including any ongoing maintenance needs (CC-2691).

What amenities must the landlord supply and maintain? 

It is not determined by Louisiana law what amenities a landlord must provide aside from a safe, peaceful residence (CC-2682), but any stipulations put forward in the lease must be maintained, including the payment of utilities if it is outlined as the responsibility of the lessor to pay them.

What utilities must the landlord supply and maintain? 

There are no laws in Louisiana requiring a landlord to pay for utilities, but local laws may differ.

Does the landlord have to supply a certificate of inspection? 

State laws don’t regulate a landlord’s need to provide inspection certificates to renters, but local and city ordinances apply in some areas.

Is the landlord required to supply locks and keys?

Landlords are not required by law to provide tenants with keys or a lock to their front door, but if a key is provided, it needs to be included in the lease and the tenant is responsible for returning the key when moving out (CC-2683).

Are retaliatory actions prohibited?  

Unlike many states, Louisiana does not have any specific statutes prohibiting a landlord from performing retaliatory actions against a tenant if they make repair requests, complain to the local housing authorities or join a tenant union.

Property Maintenance and Repair Laws

What type of maintenance is the landlord responsible for?

The landlord is responsible for all maintenance and repairs in their properties needed to keep their rentals in a condition suited for leasing (CC-2682), which typically includes:

  • Maintaining clean, well-lit common areas
  • Performing ongoing maintenance working electrical and plumbing fixtures
  • Initiating inspections as needed to ensure the continued health of their properties

How long does the landlord have to make repairs? 

There is no statute requiring a landlord to make repairs based on a given timeframe, but the renter may take action if the landlord does not respond to a repair request within a “reasonable amount of time” (CC-2694).

What type of maintenance is the tenant responsible for? 

The tenant is responsible for maintaining the premises in a fit condition so the only damage caused by their occupancy is of normal wear and tear (CC-2683).

Is the landlord responsible to fix damage caused by tenants? 

No, tenants are liable for damages done to the property by themselves or their guests (CC-2687),and the security deposit is required to protect the landlord financially if the tenant does cause damages to the property.

When does a landlord have to return and/or lower rent due to diminished rental value? 

If the premises is in such a condition that it is not considered habitable, the renter may be entitled to a diminished rent rate or be eligible to break the lease early under Statute CC-2693

When can a tenant request an official inspection to determine substandard or dangerous living conditions? 

If there is a structural or environmental issue in a residency that threatens the safety or health of its occupants, the tenant may make a complaint to the state attorney general or to the local building commission.

Under what circumstances can a tenant make a repair and deduct the cost from the rent paid to the landlord? 

If a landlord receives written notice by the tenant that repairs are needed and fails to follow through with their maintenance obligations, a tenant may pay for the repairs themselves and deduct the costs from their owed rent (CC-2694), assuming they are able to prove that the action was required and the price incurred was reasonable.

When is a landlord required to pay for relocation assistance? 

The statutes don’t outline a landlord needing to pay for relocation. Instead, landlords are responsible for refraining from undergoing extensive construction efforts on a property until residential leases there have expired (CC-2690).

Other Laws About Property Maintenance and Repair Laws in Louisiana

Can tenants make improvements to properties?

Yes, a tenant can build on or decorate a structure with written consent from the owner (CC-2695).

Does a landlord need to reimburse tenants for improvements made to their properties? 

Yes, at the end of the lease, the landlord must either repay the tenant for the actual cost or the improved value of the residency or demand the tenant remove the improvements (CC-2695). If the tenant refuses, the landlord may keep the fixtures without paying the tenant.

Additional Rental Law Resources for the State of Louisiana

These agencies and documents help tenants and landlords learn more about their rights and responsibilities and can provide assistance mediating issues. There are also housing programs that may have funding to help renters and owners pay for housing, repairs or energy costs.

Name Phone Number Description
Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) (888) 454-2001 The LHC administers housing assistance programs for residents who need help paying rent and offers education in landlord-tenant rights.
Attorney General Consumer Protection Section (800) 351-4889 Tenants can lodge a complaint with the attorney general if the landlord fails to provide any required services or return a security deposit. 
Louisiana Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (225) 763-8700 This program offers federal funding to help low-income residents pay for their energy costs. This is a yearly program that may or may not have assistance available, depending on funding.
HUD Housing Discrimination Hotline (800) 351-4889 Accepts complaints regarding unfair housing practices, such as discrimination, and reports of fraud.

Note: This guide is intended to be used as an educational resource. The contents within do not constitute legal advice. To obtain information regarding property management laws in your state, consult a local attorney. This guide is based only on property management laws at the state level. Local county and city laws may exist that are not discussed in this guide. Consult a local attorney to obtain information that pertains to your specific location and situation.