Louisiana Rent Control Laws in 2024

Introduction to Louisiana’s Rent Control Laws

Louisiana is known as a landlord-friendly state with some of the weakest tenant protections in the country. The state has very limited rent control laws and places few restrictions on what landlords can charge for rent or do with their rental properties. 

Unlike many other states and cities across the U.S., Louisiana does not have any statewide rent control policies in place. This means there are no caps on how much landlords can raise rents each year, no limits to how frequently rents can be increased, and no regulation of rental rates when a unit turns over to a new tenant. Landlords have free rein to charge market-rate rents and increase rents as they see fit.

The lack of rent control in Louisiana is seen as a major factor in rapidly rising rental costs, especially in cities like New Orleans. With no rent stabilization measures, landlords can raise rents by any amount at the end of a lease term, or with proper notice during a lease. Tenant advocates argue this leads to rent hikes well above the rate of inflation. However, landlord groups say rent control would discourage investment in rental housing supply.

Louisiana's limited rent regulations put much of the balance of power in landlords' favor in the state’s rental housing market. Tenants have little leverage or recourse when it comes to avoiding excessive rent increases. However, Louisiana does have basic landlord-tenant laws around lease agreements, security deposits, discrimination, and warranty of habitability. This guide provides an overview of tenants' rights and rent control policies in Louisiana.

Rental Agreements

In Louisiana, landlords are required to provide a written lease agreement for any rental term longer than 30 days. Lease agreements can be month-to-month or a fixed term, but they must contain certain provisions to be considered valid and enforceable under Louisiana law.

A valid rental agreement must identify the landlord and tenant, list the full address of the rental property, specify the amount of rent and when it is due, and outline the rental term and length of occupancy. Landlords are also required to provide their contact information and address where the tenant can deliver notices or requests. 

The lease should clearly state any utilities, services, parking, storage or other amenities that are included in the rent. Landlords may ask tenants to pay a security deposit, but the amount is limited to one month's rent for an unfurnished unit and up to 1.5 month's rent for furnished units. The lease must disclose the intended use of the security deposit.

Louisiana landlords can include various standard clauses and terms in their lease agreements, such as policies for late fees, returned checks, maintenance requests, smoking, pets, guests, subletting, and more. However, state law prohibits certain clauses that unfairly favor the landlord or limit tenants' legal rights.

For example, landlords cannot require tenants to waive their right to demand repairs or deduct repair costs from rent. A lease cannot make the tenant liable for all damages, even if caused by factors out of their control. Landlords also cannot limit liability for failing to meet requirements under building, housing and health codes.

Louisiana has specific rules around automatic lease renewal and co-signers. If a fixed term lease continues with the tenant still residing in the unit after it expires, it automatically converts to a month-to-month lease. Landlords must give 45 days written notice to tenants if they do not intend to renew the lease at the end of a term.

Tenants who need a co-signer on their lease are protected under state law. Co-signers cannot be held liable for more than one year of rent after they notify the landlord in writing that they no longer wish to guarantee the lease.

Security Deposits

Security deposits are funds paid by the tenant at the start of a lease to cover any potential damages or unpaid rent. Louisiana law places certain limits and requirements around security deposits:

Deposit Limits

  • Louisiana does not limit the maximum amount a landlord can charge for a security deposit. However, it must be a reasonable amount based on factors like the size of the unit, rent amount, and length of tenancy. Typically deposits range from 1-2 months rent.
  • No statute limits security deposits specifically for pet owners. Landlords have discretion to charge reasonable pet deposits.  

Returning Deposits

  • Landlords have 30 days after a lease ends to return the full deposit or provide an itemized list of deductions and the remaining balance.
  • Tenants must provide a forwarding address in writing to receive deposit refunds after moving out.
  • Landlords can deduct for unpaid rent, physical damages beyond normal wear and tear, and any other reasonable costs outlined in the lease. Improper deductions can be challenged in small claims court.
  • Interest does not need to be paid on security deposits in Louisiana. 


  • Tenants should thoroughly inspect and document the condition of the unit upon move-out. Photographs and videos are recommended.
  • Tenants can request a walk-through inspection with the landlord before turning in the keys. This creates an opportunity to address any deficiencies.
  • If disputes arise over deposit refunds, tenants can file a claim against the landlord in small claims court if the amount is under the limit. Consultation with a landlord-tenant attorney may also be advisable.

Rent Increases

Louisiana does not have any statewide laws limiting how much or how often landlords can raise rents on residential properties. This gives landlords a lot of flexibility when it comes to increasing rents.

Landlords are not required to provide tenants with any notice before increasing rents in Louisiana. The notice requirement will depend on the individual rental agreement. Typically, landlords will provide 30-60 days notice of any rent increase by sending a notice to the tenant.  

If the tenant has a fixed-term lease, the rent cannot be increased during the term unless specifically allowed in the lease. Once the lease expires, landlords can raise the rent to any amount for the next term.

For month-to-month tenants without a lease, landlords can raise the rent at any time with proper notice. There is no limit on how frequently the rent can be raised. Landlords could theoretically raise the rent every month if they wanted to, as long as proper notice is given.

In terms of the amount, landlords in Louisiana can raise rents by any percentage or dollar amount they choose. There are no rent control laws restricting rent increases to a certain percentage per year. Even rent increases of 100% or more are allowed under Louisiana law.

The lack of restrictions on rent increases gives landlords in Louisiana tremendous power over setting rent prices. Tenants have little leverage or recourse when it comes to excessive rent hikes. Their only options are trying to negotiate a smaller increase with the landlord or moving out.

Repairs and Maintenance 

Louisiana law outlines specific responsibilities for landlords and tenants when it comes to repairs and maintenance of rental properties.

Landlord Responsibilities

Under Louisiana law, landlords are required to:

  • Maintain the premises in a habitable and safe condition that complies with health and safety codes
  • Make any necessary repairs to keep the property in good working order and fit for habitation
  • Keep common areas reasonably clean and safe
  • Maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems in good repair
  • Provide operable locks and security devices on exterior doors and windows

Landlords must make repairs within a reasonable time after being notified of an issue by the tenant. What is considered "reasonable" will depend on factors like the severity and urgency of the repair.

Tenant Responsibilities  

While the landlord is responsible for most property maintenance and repairs, tenants also have some obligations:

  • Properly disposing of trash and garbage
  • Using electrical, plumbing, and other facilities properly to avoid damages
  • Avoiding damaging the unit or premises through negligence or misuse
  • Notifying the landlord promptly about needed repairs

Tenants may need to pay for any damages they or their guests cause due to negligence or improper use. But they are not responsible for normal wear and tear.

Handling Repair Requests and Disputes

Tenants should notify the landlord of any necessary repairs in writing. The notice should describe the issue and requested remedy. 

If the landlord does not make the repair within a reasonable time frame, the tenant may have options like terminating the lease or repairing the issue themselves and deducting the costs from rent. Tenants should consult Louisiana landlord-tenant law before taking any action.

For disputes over repairs, tenants can try discussing the issue in good faith with the landlord first. If that fails, legal action may be necessary, such as filing a complaint with a local housing authority or taking the landlord to court. Tenants may be able to recover damages or get an injunction ordering the landlord to make repairs.

Eviction Procedures

Louisiana law outlines specific legal procedures that landlords must follow to remove tenants from rental properties. Landlords cannot simply lock out tenants or seize their property without going through the proper eviction process.

Grounds for Eviction

In Louisiana, landlords can start the eviction process if a tenant:

  • Fails to pay rent on time
  • Violates the lease agreement
  • Damages the property
  • Engages in criminal activity on the premises  
  • Remains after the lease expires
  • Violates health and safety codes

Tenants with a fixed-term lease can be evicted for lease violations before the term ends. Tenants with a month-to-month lease can be evicted for no cause, with proper notice.

Required Notices and Processes  

To start the eviction process in Louisiana, the landlord must first provide the tenant with a written notice to vacate. This notice gives tenants 5 days to vacate for nonpayment of rent or 10 days for other lease violations. 

If the tenant does not move out after receiving notice, the landlord can file a petition for eviction with the local justice of the peace court. The court will schedule an eviction hearing, where both parties can present evidence.

If the court rules in the landlord's favor, the tenant will be ordered to vacate. If they still refuse, the landlord can request a warrant for eviction from the constable's office. Law enforcement will then forcibly remove tenants who do not leave.

Illegal Lockouts and Seizures

Landlords cannot attempt "self-help" evictions in Louisiana by changing locks, removing tenant possessions, or shutting off utilities to force tenants out. This is illegal without a court order.

Tenants who are illegally locked out can call the police or sue their landlord. They may recover up to 3 times the monthly rent or damages (whichever is greater), plus attorney fees.

Lease Termination

In Louisiana, landlords must provide proper notice to terminate a lease agreement. The rules depend on whether the tenant has a month-to-month rental agreement or a fixed-term lease.

Month-to-Month Agreements

For month-to-month rental agreements, landlords in Louisiana must provide the tenant with a written notice of lease termination at least 10 days before the end of the monthly rental period. For example, if the tenant pays rent on the 1st of each month, the landlord would need to provide notice of termination on or before the 21st of the month to terminate the lease at the end of that month. 

The notice given by the landlord must explicitly state that the lease will terminate at the end of the upcoming rental period. If the landlord fails to provide adequate notice, the tenant can continue to legally occupy the unit on a month-to-month basis until proper notice is given.

Fixed End Date Lease 

For fixed-term leases with a predetermined end date, no notice is required from the landlord to terminate the tenancy when the lease ends. The lease automatically expires at the end of the rental period stated in the agreement. 

However, if the landlord accepts rent from the tenant after the expiration date, this can inadvertently renew the lease on a month-to-month basis. To avoid this, the landlord should provide a notice reminding the tenant when the lease ends if they do not intend to renew it.

Military Deployment

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, military members who receive deployment orders can terminate their lease with 30 days' notice if the deployment is for 90 days or more. The service member needs to provide a copy of their deployment orders along with the termination notice.

Fair Housing Laws

Louisiana has fair housing laws at both the state and federal level that prohibit discrimination in the rental housing market based on protected characteristics. Landlords in Louisiana cannot refuse to rent, charge higher rents, or impose different terms on tenants because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

Some examples of unlawful discrimination under Louisiana's fair housing laws include:

  • Refusing to rent to families with children 
  • Charging higher security deposits for tenants who are disabled
  • Evicting or refusing to renew the lease of someone for their race
  • Harassing female tenants and creating a hostile living environment
  • Blocking people with service animals from renting units  
  • Placing restrictive occupancy limits that discriminate against families
  • Refusing reasonable accommodation requests for disabilities 

If a tenant believes they have experienced housing discrimination, they can file a complaint with Louisiana's Office of Fair Housing Action or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged violation. 

The agencies will investigate the complaint and determine if discrimination occurred. If the landlord is found to have violated fair housing laws, they may face fines, be ordered to pay damages, and be required to take corrective action. Landlords can also face civil lawsuits over discrimination.

Tenants experiencing discrimination should document all incidents and interactions. This includes keeping copies of ads, applications, leases, letters, recordings, and notes from conversations. Victims of egregious violations may also consider contacting an attorney who specializes in fair housing law.


There are several helpful resources available for both landlords and tenants to learn about rent control laws and rental housing rights in Louisiana.

The Louisiana State Law Institute provides the full text of state statutes governing landlord-tenant relations, including the Louisiana Civil Code on Lease and the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. These are essential references for understanding the legal framework around leases, deposits, maintenance, termination, and more.

The Louisiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section offers guides on landlord-tenant issues, details on security deposit return procedures, and resources if you need to file a complaint against a landlord. 

The Louisiana Real Estate Commission provides information on licensing and regulations for property managers and landlords. Their website includes downloadable forms for leases and notices.

For tenants' rights guidance, the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services housing law page covers common questions on fair housing, repairs, evictions, and renters' entitlements. They provide self-help materials and legal aid contact info.

Industry associations like the Louisiana Landlord Association and Louisiana Realtors offer their landlord and tenant members education, sample lease agreements, best practices, and updates on the evolving regulatory landscape.

Tenants should also check if their parish or city has supplementary tenant protections or housing authorities that administer rent control policies for certain units.

With these statewide and local resources, Louisiana landlords and renters can educate themselves on rent control laws and rental housing regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can a landlord not do in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, landlords are prohibited from the following:

  • Retaliating against tenants for exercising their legal rights, such as reporting housing code violations. Landlords cannot evict, raise rents, or cut services in response.
  • Engaging in self-help evictions by locking out tenants or seizing their possessions without going through the court eviction process. This is illegal in Louisiana even if the tenant is behind on rent.  
  • Discriminating against tenants based on race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, or familial status. This violates federal and Louisiana fair housing laws.
  • Entering a rental unit without proper notice, except in cases of emergency. Louisiana requires 24-48 hours written notice in most cases.
  • Charging excessive late fees. Louisiana law caps late fees at 10% of the monthly rent or a flat $25 fee, whichever is higher.
  • Withholding security deposits without cause. Landlords must return deposits within 30 days or provide an itemized list of deductions.

Is Louisiana a landlord friendly state?

Yes, Louisiana is considered a very landlord-friendly state. Key reasons include:

  • No rent control laws. Landlords can raise rents without limits.
  • No duty to mitigate damages if a tenant breaks a lease. Landlords can continue charging rent with no obligation to re-rent. 
  • Quick eviction processes favoring landlords. Tenants have just 5 days to respond to eviction lawsuits. 
  • Lack of implied warranty of habitability. Tenants have limited rights regarding repairs and maintenance issues.
  • Allowance for no-cause lease terminations with notice. Landlords can end month-to-month tenancies without providing a reason.

However, landlords must still follow basic obligations under Louisiana law and cannot violate tenant rights.

Can you legally withhold rent in Louisiana?

No, tenants in Louisiana do not have the right to withhold rent payments for any reason, even if the landlord fails to make repairs. Withholding rent will lead to eviction. Instead, tenants should:

  • File official repair requests in writing and keep copies.
  • Look up applicable housing codes to reference.
  • Consult local tenant advocacy groups for guidance. 
  • File complaints with code enforcement agencies if violations are found.
  • Take the landlord to court by filing a rent escrow case to force repairs if needed.
  • Move out after proper notice if the unit remains uninhabitable.

But tenants should never stop paying rent without first getting legal advice. There are limited situations where rent withholding is allowed.

Can a landlord enter without permission in Louisiana? 

Louisiana landlords must provide proper notice before entering rental units, generally 24 hours for regular visits and 48 hours for move-out inspections. Tenants cannot unreasonably refuse entry but can insist on being present. Exceptions are for emergencies or if the tenant requests repairs. Entering without permission or proper notice violates state law and tenants can file trespassing complaints.

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