Louisianna Home Rental Laws

By Nicholas Pell
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Rental laws protect landlords and tenants alike. Whether you&#039;re renting out your property or moving into an apartment, you&#039;ll want to know Louisiana home rental laws. This allows tenants to protect themselves against unfair and illegal treatment at the hands of landlords. On the other hand, landlords can protect themselves from illegal or destructive behavior on the part of their tenants.

Leases

Louisiana law prohibits certain provisions from existing in a lease. These provisions are called "unconscionable" in Louisiana law and cannot be enforced by any court of law. Unconscionable provisions under Louisiana law include agreements to pay a landlord&#039;s legal fees, waive a tenant&#039;s rights or limit or waive a landlord&#039;s legal responsibilities with regard to the lease. Landlords who knowingly put unconscionable provisions into a lease may be held liable.

Landlord Duties

Landlords have a number of responsibilities under Louisiana state law, regardless of lease provisions. Landlords must keep a rental property in good repair. This includes keeping a building up to local health and safety codes. Landlords must also provide for working utilities, pest control and working locks, doors and windows.

Tenant Duties

Tenants must comply with all legal provisions of a lease, as well as paying rent on time. Tenants must also keep the property in as good a condition as possible, including keeping the property reasonably clean and removing garbage. Louisiana law prohibits tenants from causing damage to a property or from being a nuisance to other tenants. Tenants must notify their landlords when damage occurs.

Security Deposits

Louisiana home rental laws have provisions for security deposits. The state does not provide for limits on the amount of money a landlord may charge for a security deposit, except in the case of tenants subsidized by the state. However, if a security deposits sounds unreasonably large, you may be a target of housing discrimination. In that case, you should contact the local Fair Housing Authority. A security deposit cannot be applied to a last month&#039;s rent except at the mutual agreement of renter and landlord. Security deposits do not have to be put in interest-bearing accounts. Landlords have one month after a tenant moves out to return a deposit with an accompanying letter detailing all deductions.

Evictions

For tenants in subsidized housing or tenants with a lease, a good reason, such as a failure to pay rent or other breach of terms of a lease, is required to evict a tenant. Tenants with no lease must be given 10 days&#039; notice before the end of the current rental period. No matter what kind of rental agreement you have, a landlord may not evict you without a court order.

About the Author

Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.