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UPDATED: Feb 13, 2020
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Louisiana landlords can evict any tenant so long as the landlord follows Louisiana law. This means the landlord must go through the proper eviction procedure and may not lock out the tenant or turn off the utilities to force the tenant out. Only when the landlord has received a court order as a result of an eviction can he or she (with the help of the sheriff) remove the tenant from the property.
Available Louisiana Termination Notices
The most common reasons for evictions in Louisiana are failure to pay rent and breach of the lease. Before going to court and beginning the eviction process, the landlord must terminate the lease by notifying the tenant of the termination. The notice requirements depend on the type and wording of the lease itself.
If the tenancy is month-to-month, the landlord must give 10 days notice that he or she is terminating the lease. In month-to-month tenancies, the landlord does not have to have a reason to terminate. However, if the lease states that the landlord will give another kind of notice (30 days, for example), the landlord must give that notice before filing an eviction suit. The type of notice a landlord must give is:
Notice to vacate: This can be as little as 5 days notice for good cause or as much as 30 days, but no longer (La. Code Civ. Proc. Art. 4701).
For notice and eviction forms, go to your local court (see “Getting Help” below).
Evictions in Louisiana are generally handled by the Justice of the Peace courts and sometimes the city or Parish courts. Contact your local district court to find out where you should file an eviction claim. Your local court may also have forms for you to fill out to help with the eviction process. While filling out a court form may seem like the easiest way to evict a problem tenant, remember that tenants have rights too, and things do not always work out as you had planned. If you are unsure of the termination and/or eviction process at any point, you may wish to hire a Louisiana landlord tenant attorney. When speaking to an attorney, be sure to reference Questions to Ask Your Louisiana Evictions Lawyer below.
Self-Help Evictions in Louisiana
As in all states, it is illegal in Louisiana to lock out a tenant or turn off the utilities when the tenant has breached the lease or failed to pay rent. These kinds of self-help eviction methods are prohibited and if the landlord uses them, he or she may be liable for damages (including mental anguish).
Questions to Ask Your Louisiana Evictions Lawyer
- How many evictions cases have you handled?
- How many were successful/unsuccessful?
- How long will the eviction process take?
- For tenants: How long do I have before I MUST move out?
- For landlords: Will I be able to get a judgment for back rent for the amount of time the tenant has been living in the rental property illegally?
- What do you charge?
- For landlords: If I hire you, will I be subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?