This article provides a summary of the basic forms and procedures required to evict a tenant under Louisiana law. The three basic steps include: (a) service of the Notice to Quit; (b) filing and serving the Rule to Show Cause; and (c) the court hearing.
The First Step in the Louisiana Eviction Process – Notice to Quit:
The first step in an eviction proceeding is serving Notice to Quit on the tenant. The notice can be served by the landlord or through the Sheriff, Marshal or Constable. The law says that if the tenant cannot be found the notice can be posted on a door.
If the reason for the eviction is for non-payment of rent or a violation of the lease, the tenant has no less than five (5) days after receiving the notice to vacate. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are not counted in these five (5) days.
If the rent is on a month to month basis and the landlord does not want to renew it, the landlord must give at least a ten (10) day notice before the rent is due again.
If the rent is not paid on the date it is due, the law states that thereafter the tenant can still be evicted even if the tenant later tenders payment. The landlord is not required to accept payment.
If any part of the rent is accepted after the Notice to Quit has been filed, the owner loses his right to evict. Thus, a landlord should carefully consider whether he or she wishes to accept a partial rent payment from the tenant at this state of the eviction process.
Louisiana law requires that the Notice to Quit state the reason(s) for the eviction. For example, if the reason for the eviction is non-payment of rent, the notice must state non-payment of rent. If there is a lease violation, the notice must particularize the alleged violation. If there is no lease and the rental is on a month to month basis or if the lease is expiring and the landlord does not want to renew it, the notice must so state – the landlord is not required to give any reasons why he does not want to renew it, just as the tenant does not have to give a reason if the tenant wants to move out.
The Second Step in the Louisiana Eviction Process – the Notice to Appear/Rule to Show Cause:
If the Notice to Quit has been served, the required number of days have passed, and the tenant and/or his belongings still occupy the premises, the landlord must then file with the court (District Court, City Court, Justice of the Peace) a Rule to Show Cause. A court date, not earlier than the third day after service, is scheduled and the tenant is served notice to appear. Again, if the tenant cannot be found, the notice is posted on a door.
The Basic Elements for This Step Are:
1. File eviction in court after notice to vacate period is over
2. Court serves suit on lessee
3. Notice of court date (at Least 72 hours Away)
4. Court hearing
5. Judgment making rule absolute
6. There is a possibility of appeal within 24 hours
7. If no appeal, Court Officers effect eviction 24 hours later
The Third Step in the Louisiana Eviction Process – the Hearing:
At the hearing, the parties can testify and/or have witnesses testify and/or introduce any type of evidence supporting their position. If the landlord proves his case, the Judge must immediately render a Judgment of Eviction. The Judge does not have the authority to allow the tenant to stay a few days longer. The Judge must decide one way or other; he is not to take the matter under advisement. The tenant thereafter has (24) hours to vacate. If he does not vacate, the Judge must sign warrants authorizing the Sheriff, Marshal or Constable to do what is necessary to evict the tenant and his belongings from the premises.
For further information or to download Louisiana Eviction Forms, you may visit http://www.LousianaLeaseForms.com.
Marc A. Rapaport, Esq.
Filed under: Tenant Law