Evicting a tenant in Louisiana requires the landlord to formally notify the tenant that they are in violation of their lease, or that the landlord is terminating their tenancy-at-will. In the case of a violation, the notice will provide the tenant an opportunity to rectify the issue. If the tenant fails to respond, the landlord files the Petition for Eviction, Soldier’s/Sailor’s Affidavit, and the Court Information Sheet with the Local Court. The court will then issue an Order to Show Cause and set a hearing date. If the landlord wins in court the judge will issue a Judgement of Eviction, which gives the tenant twenty-four (24) hours to vacate the premises.
Laws – Title XI (Eviction of Tenants and Occupants)
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send an Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Set a Hearing Date
- Step 5 – Appear in Court
- Step 6 – Obtain a Warrant for Possession
- Step 7 – Repossess the Property
Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
The landlord must provide the tenant with a formal written notice before beginning any eviction proceedings. It is suggested that the landlord keep a copy of the notice to file with the court if needed.
- Non-Payment (5-Day Notice): This notice is used if the tenant fails to pay rent by the due date established in the lease agreement. The landlord can decide if they want to accept late rent or make the notice incurable.2
- Non-Compliance (5-Day Notice): If the tenant breaches a provision in the lease agreement other than nonpayment of rent, the landlord can give them five (5) days to rectify the breach or can require them to vacate.2
- Month to Month (10-Day Notice): A landlord may use this notice when they want to end a month-to-month tenancy. This gives the tenant ten (10) days to vacate the premises.1
Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
The landlord waits the number of days on the notice to give the tenant an opportunity to respond, cure the breach or pay overdue rent. It is preferable to come to a compromise outside of court if possible
Step 3 – File in Court
- Average Processing Time: 2-5 weeks
- Filing Fee: Varies by County/Parish
- Where to File: Local Court to where the property is located3
If the tenant doesn’t respond to the notice to quit, the landlord files the following documents with the Local Court where the property is located:
- Petition for Eviction: This petition initiates the eviction process.
- Soldier’s/Sailor’s Affidavit: This form indicates whether the defendant is in active military service, as this can affect the outcome of the case.
- Court Information Sheet: This document lists the names and contact information for all persons involved in the case.
Step 4 – Set A Hearing Date
Once the paperwork has been filed, the court will issue an Order to Show Cause. This order demands that the tenant appear in court on the indicated date and must be served on the tenant by a constable.
Step 5 – Appear in Court
If the tenant does not show up for court, or the ruling is in the landlord’s favor, the judge will issue a Judgment for Eviction.
Tenants can win in court based on a number of common tenant defenses. In Louisiana, tenants may claim that the landlord is out of compliance with any of the following responsibilities:
- The landlord fails to maintain the rental unit to a livable standard5
- The landlord discriminates against the tenant based on disability, familial status, gender, national origin, race, or religion4,5
- The landlord attempts to evict the tenant with “self-help” methods such as changing the locks or shutting off the utilities4
- The landlord fails to follow proper eviction procedures4
Step 6 – Obtain a Warrant for Possession
A landlord has to obtain a Warrant for Possession if the tenant still fails to vacate the premises after the Judgment for Eviction has been issued. It provides the Sheriff with the authority to remove the tenant from the premises.
Step 7 – Repossess the Property
The landlord can use the Warrant for Possession to utilize the constable to forcibly remove the tenant and their possessions from the property.
Video: Evictions in Louisiana
- CC 2728 (month-to-month termination)
- CCP 4701 (non-payment of rent and non-compliance)