Louisiana Eviction Laws: 2024 Step by Step Process & Costs

Eviction is a legal process that allows landlords to remove tenants from a rental property when they violate the lease agreement or fail to pay rent. Louisiana has specific laws that govern evictions, outlining the valid grounds for eviction, notice periods required, and the court procedures landlords must follow to legally evict and regain possession of their property. 

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of Louisiana landlord-tenant laws related to evictions. It covers the eviction process from start to finish, including the notices landlords must provide, filing an eviction lawsuit, the court hearing, enforcing the eviction order, and what happens after a tenant is evicted. The guide also outlines tenant rights and defenses in Louisiana eviction cases. 

Whether you are a tenant facing potential eviction or a landlord considering evicting a problem tenant, this guide will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under Louisiana law. Having a strong grasp of the eviction process and procedures can help both landlords and tenants avoid common mistakes and navigate the system effectively.

Grounds for Eviction in Louisiana

In Louisiana, landlords can legally evict tenants for several reasons, known as grounds for eviction. The main grounds for eviction in Louisiana include:

Nonpayment of Rent

Not paying rent is the most common reason landlords evict tenants in Louisiana. If the tenant fails to pay rent when due, the landlord can give the tenant a 5-day notice to pay or vacate. If the tenant still does not pay all rent due within the 5 days, the landlord can file for eviction.

Lease Violations 

If the tenant violates the lease agreement, such as having unauthorized guests or pets, the landlord can give them written notice of the violation. If the tenant does not fix the violation within the time specified in the notice, usually 5-10 days, the landlord can file for eviction.

Damage to Property

If the tenant or their guests damage the rental property, the landlord can give written notice requiring the tenant to repair the damage within a certain time frame, such as 30 days. If the tenant does not make the repairs, the landlord can file for eviction.

Illegal Activity

Landlords in Louisiana can immediately evict tenants who use the rental property for illegal activity, such as selling drugs. The landlord does not have to give notice before filing for eviction.

End of Lease Term

When a fixed-term lease ends, the landlord can evict a tenant who does not move out or sign a new lease. The landlord must give the tenant a 30-day notice to vacate before filing for eviction.

Louisiana 5 day notice to quit

Louisiana Eviction Laws: Quick Reference Table

Problem Louisiana Eviction Law Says… Which Eviction Notice Templates To Use
Tenant hasn’t paid rent. In Louisiana, rent is late one day after it’s due. Louisiana law states that landlords do not have to accept late rent payments.
LA Code Civ Pro art. 4701 (2021)
Issue either a 5-Day Notice to Quit and a 20-Day Notice to Quit depending on the terms of your lease. If they don’t comply, initiate an eviction lawsuit.
Tenant has pets or long-term guests. Landlords are not required to give tenants an opportunity to fix their mistakes.
LA Code Civ Pro art. 4701 (2021)
Issue a 5-Day Notice to Quit. If they don’t comply, initiate an eviction lawsuit.
Tenant has damaged the property. Landlords are not required to give tenants an opportunity to fix their mistakes.
LA Code Civ Pro art. 4701 (2021)
Issue a 5-Day Notice to Quit. If they don’t comply, initiate an eviction lawsuit.
Tenant is conducting illegal activities. Landlords are not required to give tenants an opportunity to fix their mistakes.
LA Code Civ Pro art. 4701 (2021)
Issue a 5-Day Notice to Quit. If they don’t comply, initiate an eviction lawsuit.

Notice Requirements in Louisiana 

Before a landlord can file for eviction in Louisiana, they must properly notify the tenant in writing. The notice periods and requirements depend on the reason for eviction:

Nonpayment of Rent

If the tenant has failed to pay rent on time, the landlord must provide a 5-day written notice to vacate. This gives the tenant 5 days to either pay the full amount of rent owed or move out. 

The 5-day notice must state:

  • The amount of rent owed 
  • That the tenant has 5 days to pay the rent or vacate 
  • That failure to do so will result in eviction proceedings

Lease Violations 

If the tenant has violated the lease, such as having unauthorized pets or occupants, the landlord must provide a 10-day written notice to vacate. This gives the tenant 10 days to correct the lease violation or move out before the landlord can file for eviction.

The 10-day notice must: 

  • Specify the lease violation(s)
  • Demand the tenant correct the violation or vacate within 10 days
  • State that failure to do so will result in eviction proceedings

End of Lease Term

If the landlord does not intend to renew the lease at the end of the term, they must provide a 30-day written notice to vacate before the lease expires. 

Delivery of Notice

The written notice must be delivered properly for the notice period to start. The landlord can deliver the notice to the tenant by:

  • Handing it directly to the tenant 
  • Mailing it via certified mail 
  • Leaving it with someone of a suitable age at the rental unit
  • Posting it on the door if no one is home

If the notice is mailed, the landlord must add 3 days to the notice period requirement. Not properly delivering notice can invalidate the eviction case.

The Eviction Process in Louisiana 

In Louisiana, evictions must go through the court system. Landlords cannot physically remove or lock out tenants without a court order.

To start the eviction process, the landlord must file a petition with the court in the jurisdiction where the rental property is located. This petition should state the grounds for eviction and request a court date. 

The court will schedule a hearing between 2-10 days after the petition is filed. The landlord must have the eviction petition and hearing notice served to the tenant by a sheriff, constable, or court-appointed process server.

At the hearing, both the landlord and tenant will have a chance to present their case before the judge. The tenant can raise any defenses against the eviction, like improper notice from the landlord or discrimination. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a judgment of eviction.

The landlord must then apply for a Writ of Possession from the court. This document allows the sheriff to forcibly remove tenants if they don't vacate within 24 hours of receiving it. The sheriff will supervise the lockout and oversee the removal of the tenant's belongings to the nearest public storage facility if needed.

If the tenant wishes to appeal the eviction, they must file an appeal petition with the court within 5 days of the judgment and post a bond for two months' rent. An appeal will delay the eviction unless the landlord proves urgent need to the court.

eviction laws in Louisiana

Tenant Rights and Defenses

Tenants in Louisiana have certain rights and can raise defenses to challenge an eviction. Some key tenant rights and defenses include:

Right to Cure Lease Violation

If a landlord is evicting for nonpayment of rent or another lease violation, tenants have the right to "cure" or fix the violation within a certain time period and avoid eviction. For nonpayment, tenants typically have 5 days to pay the past due rent. For other lease violations, tenants may have longer like 10-14 days to remedy the issue if possible.

Improper Notice from Landlord 

Landlords must provide proper written notice before starting the eviction process. If they do not give the required notice or have other deficiencies like not properly serving the tenant, that can be grounds to dismiss the eviction case.

Landlord Retaliation

If a tenant makes certain complaints or requests maintenance, a landlord cannot retaliate by filing for eviction. Retaliatory eviction cases can be dismissed.


Landlords cannot evict tenants for discriminatory reasons based on protected characteristics like race, religion, family status, disability, etc. Discrimination can be used as a defense to an eviction.

The Eviction Judgment and Appeal Process

If the court rules in favor of the landlord after an eviction hearing, it will issue a judgment of eviction against the tenant. This judgment means the tenant is ordered to vacate the rental property. 

The judgment does not actually remove the tenant - it simply gives the landlord the legal right to regain possession of the property. The landlord has to take additional steps to enforce the judgment.

The Writ of Possession 

After receiving the judgment, the landlord can file a writ of possession with the court. This is an order directing the sheriff's department to remove the tenant and their belongings from the rental unit.  

The sheriff will usually serve the writ on the tenant within 7-10 days. It will give the tenant 24-72 hours to vacate before the sheriff returns to forcibly remove the tenant if they haven't left.

Tenant's Right to Appeal

After a judgment in favor of the landlord, the tenant has the right to appeal within 5 days in Louisiana. The tenant has to pay an appeal bond, usually equal to one month's rent.

Filing the appeal will pause the eviction. The tenant can remain in possession of the property while the appeal is pending. The case moves to a higher court, which will review the lower court's judgment.  

The appeal process can take several weeks or longer. If the tenant loses the appeal, they will have to vacate the property and may be responsible for the landlord's court costs related to the appeal.

What Happens After Eviction

When a tenant is evicted in Louisiana, the landlord has the right to reclaim possession of the property and remove the tenant's belongings. 

Removing the Tenant's Property

Once the eviction order is enforced, the landlord can legally remove the tenant's possessions from the rental unit. The sheriff or constable will oversee this process.

The landlord must inventory and store the tenant's property in a safe, secure place for a certain period of time. This allows the tenant to reclaim their belongings. 

Storing and Disposing of Property

Louisiana law requires landlords to store the tenant's property for 30 days if the tenant was evicted for nonpayment of rent. For any other eviction, the storage period is 15 days. 

The storage facility must be safe, enclosed, and weatherproof. The landlord bears responsibility for any damage or theft during this period.

After 30 or 15 days, the landlord may dispose of unclaimed property as they see fit. Common options are selling it or donating to charity. 

If the tenant contacts the landlord during the storage period, the landlord must release the property upon payment of any moving and storage fees incurred.

Impact on Tenant's Record

An eviction judgment in Louisiana remains on a tenant's public record for 10 years. This can make it very difficult for them to find housing in the future.

Many landlords screen tenant applicants and automatically reject any with recent evictions. The tenant essentially gets "black listed" from renting for a period of time.

To avoid this, the tenant can try to negotiate a "cash for keys" deal or voluntary move-out agreement with the landlord before the eviction filing occurs. This keeps the eviction off their record.

COVID-19 Eviction Moratoriums

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in temporary eviction moratoriums at both the federal and state level. These moratoriums paused evictions for nonpayment of rent for tenants impacted by the pandemic.

The federal eviction moratorium was enacted by the CDC and went into effect in September 2020. It prevented landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment if they provided a declaration stating they met certain eligibility criteria. The federal moratorium was extended several times, but ultimately expired on July 31, 2021. 

Louisiana also instituted a temporary eviction moratorium that prevented evictions in cases where the tenant could show they suffered a COVID-19 related hardship. This state moratorium expired on June 5, 2021. 

While evictions for nonpayment can now resume across Louisiana, there are some lingering impacts:

  • Tenants may still have back rent owed that accumulated during moratoriums. Landlords can now file for eviction for this nonpayment.
  • Rental assistance is available through Louisiana's ERAP program for tenants behind on rent. Tenants can apply for these funds to avoid eviction.
  • Tenants can still raise the prior existence of moratoriums as a defense in eviction cases. For instance, arguing illegal eviction if landlord did not honor the moratorium while it was active.
  • Courts may be overloaded with new eviction filings after the moratorium, causing delays in processing cases.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought major, but temporary, changes to the eviction process in Louisiana. While evictions can now proceed, tenants still have some protections and assistance available related to the previous moratoriums.

Government and Financial Assistance

There are several government and nonprofit programs that can provide financial assistance to tenants facing eviction in Louisiana.

Rental Assistance

  • The Louisiana Housing Corporation administers the Louisiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provides assistance for up to 15 months of past-due, current and future rent and utilities payments. To qualify, tenants must have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and have a household income below 80% of the area median income.
  • Catholic Charities of New Orleans and Acadiana offers emergency rent and utility assistance through various programs. Funding is limited so applicants should contact their local Catholic Charities office for availability. 
  • Local Community Action Agencies run emergency rental assistance programs with funding from the Department of Children and Family Services. Tenants can contact their local CAA to apply.
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services provides free civil legal assistance to low-income renters, including legal advice and representation in eviction cases. Tenants can apply online or by calling the New Orleans or Baton Rouge offices.
  • LawHelp.org lists additional legal aid organizations across Louisiana that assist with housing cases, tenant rights disputes, and evictions.
  • The Louisiana State Bar Association offers a directory of reduced-fee attorney referral services that tenants can utilize if facing eviction.
  • EvictionHelp.org provides an interactive map of Louisiana eviction resources, legal aid services, and financial assistance programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the laws for evicting a tenant in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, landlords must follow specific rules and procedures to legally evict a tenant. The eviction process begins by giving proper written notice to the tenant stating the reason for eviction. Common legal grounds for eviction include nonpayment of rent, lease violations, property damage, or criminal activity. 

After giving notice, if the tenant does not move out voluntarily, the landlord must file a petition with the court and receive a judgment before the tenant can be removed. Self-eviction through methods like changing locks or shutting off utilities is illegal in Louisiana.

How many days notice does a landlord have to give a tenant before eviction in Louisiana?

The required notice period depends on the reason for eviction:

  • Nonpayment of rent - 5 days
  • Lease violation - 5 days to cure violation  
  • End of lease term - 10 days for week-to-week tenancy, 30 days for month-to-month
  • No cause - 10 days for week-to-week, 30 days for month-to-month

Proper notice must be delivered in writing and comply with Louisiana statutes.

Can a landlord evict a tenant in Louisiana without going to court?

No. In Louisiana, landlords must go through the court eviction process to legally remove a tenant. This involves filing a petition, receiving a judgment from the court, and getting a writ of possession to have the sheriff enforce the eviction. Self-eviction through methods like changing locks, shutting off utilities, or removing belongings is unlawful.

What are valid reasons for evicting a tenant in Louisiana?

Louisiana landlords can start the eviction process if a tenant:

  • Fails to pay rent
  • Violates the lease agreement 
  • Damages the property
  • Engages in criminal activity
  • Stays past the rental term without permission 

For month-to-month or weekly tenancies, no cause is needed to terminate with proper notice.

What tenant defenses can be used in an eviction case in Louisiana? 

Common defenses in Louisiana eviction cases include:

  • Landlord did not provide proper notice
  • Tenant paid rent or cured lease violation
  • Landlord did not maintain habitability  
  • Landlord is retaliating against tenant
  • Eviction violates Fair Housing laws

Tenants should consult a lawyer to understand all their rights and options for fighting an eviction case.

What are the tenant rights laws in Louisiana?

Louisiana tenants have legal rights including the right to proper notice before eviction, maintenance of a habitable dwelling, freedom from retaliation, and freedom from discrimination. Tenants also have rights regarding the return of rental deposits and abandoned property after eviction.

What is the eviction process in Louisiana?

The standard eviction process has these main steps:

  1. Landlord gives written notice to tenant to vacate 
  2. Landlord files eviction lawsuit if tenant does not leave
  3. Court holds hearing and issues eviction judgment  
  4. Court issues writ of possession for sheriff to enforce
  5. Sheriff forcibly removes tenants if necessary

The entire legal process usually takes 2-6 weeks depending on the court's schedule.

What are the grounds for eviction in Louisiana?

Louisiana landlords can evict tenants for:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violations 
  • Property damage
  • Criminal activity
  • No cause with proper notice (month-to-month/weekly leases)

Evictions without legal grounds or proper notice are unlawful. Tenants should consult an attorney if they believe the eviction is invalid or retaliatory.

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With Hemlane, you can rely on our expertise and support to navigate the process effortlessly. Take advantage of Hemlane's eviction services and on-demand delinquency management today.

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