Louisiana Eviction Notices
Louisiana eviction notices are instruments used to outline the details of impending lease termination. In the contents of the eviction notice, the landlord shall indicate the reason the lease is ending and the period in which the premises must be vacated (either five (5) or ten (10) days). The landlord may also include information relating to what actions the tenant can perform to retain their occupancy and stop the eviction. If the tenant does not meet the notice terms, the landlord will be authorized to file for eviction by submitting a Rule for Possession action before the court.
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
A Lousiana landlord can start a Rule for Possession action (a.k.a. eviction lawsuit) after the tenant violates the lease, fails to pay rent, or continues to reside on the leased premises after their term expires. The landlord must begin by serving the tenant with a written letter of eviction. After delivering the letter, the tenant will have a period of five (5) or ten (10) days in which they must comply by either vacating or curing their lease (unless the lease is incurable). If they fail to comply within the five (5) or ten (10) day period, the landlord will have the right to file a Rule for Possession action with the court.
Step 1 – Notice of Termination
Landlords must notify tenants of the impending eviction by serving them with a written “Notice to Quit.” The notice will describe the circumstance of the eviction and provide the tenant with a period in which they must vacate the leased premises. While not required, the landlord may allow the tenant to cure their lease (i.e., stop the eviction) by paying rent or correcting any violations (this information must be outlined in the Notice to Quit).
The following Notices To Quit are available for use in Louisiana:
Non-Payment of Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord must serve them with a 5-Day Notice to Pay or Quit
Non-Compliance – If the tenant is non-compliant with the lease or rental agreement (e.g., material damage, unauthorized pets, failure to vacate after the lease expires), the landlord must give the tenant a 5-Day Notice to Comply or Quit.
Month-to-Month Lease Termination (No Cause) – For month-to-month tenancies, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement without cause by serving the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit.
Note: Some leases may contain a “waiver of notice” allowing the landlord to file for eviction without notifying the tenant in advance.
Step 2 – Serve the Eviction Notice
The completed notice must be served to the tenant using either of the following service methods: personal delivery performed in front of one (1) witness, postage on the front door of the dwelling performed in front of one (1) witness, certified mail with a return receipt requested (if sent by mail, the return receipt must be filed with the court).
The notice period begins the day after the letter is served to the tenant. If the eviction is for non-payment of rent or non-compliance, the tenant shall have five (5) business days to comply (holidays and weekends excluded). For month-to-month lease terminations, the tenant will have ten (10) calendar days to vacate the property.
Step 3 – Fill Out an Eviction Complaint
If the tenant does not comply with the landlord’s demands before the notice period expires, their tenancy will end and the landlord can initiate the Rule for Possession action by filing an eviction complaint. The form used for evictions in Louisiana will be either the “Petition for Eviction” or “Rule to Evict,” both of which must be obtained from a clerk of the court or on a local court webpage.
Step 4 – File the Complaint
After the eviction complaint has been filled out, the landlord must file it with a clerk of the city court (also referred to as the parish court) or the justice of the peace court in the division where the dwelling is located. A service fee will be required at the time of filing (fees vary between courts). The landlord should also submit a copy of the eviction notice and the lease (if applicable). After the documents are filed, the clerk will schedule a date for the eviction trial. The clerk will then arrange to have the trial information served to the tenant by a local law enforcement officer.
Step 5 – Eviction Trial and Judgment
Both the landlord and tenant (or their agents/attorneys) and the landlord’s witness must appear in court for the eviction trial. Each party will present their case before a judge and await a final judgment. The landlord should ensure they are able to provide the judge with a copy of the lease (if applicable), a copy of the eviction notice, and any additional supporting documents.
If the landlord wins the eviction lawsuit, the judge will grant the tenant twenty-four (24) hours to move out. If they fail to vacate after twenty-four (24) hours, the landlord must visit the courthouse and request a Warrant for Possession (a.k.a. Writ of Possession) permitting local law enforcement to remove the individual from the leased property.