A Louisiana lease agreement is a legal document used for renting residential or commercial property. The main contractual parties in the lease agreement are the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee).
Some of the main reasons people choose to have a lease agreement are to clearly define the rights and duties of the landlord and the tenant. Another reason is that with the lease agreement, each party can protect their rights before the court. This gives additional stability to each party when renting a property.
The tenant will first submit the application to the landlord, where they will include the financial information and references from the previous leases. After reviewing the application, if everything is in order, the landlord will start drafting the lease agreement.
This article will show you how to structure your Louisiana lease agreement and how to get a template of this document hassle-free.
Louisiana Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
When drafting the Louisiana lease agreement, pay attention to the mandatory clauses that must be included:
Louisiana state law doesn’t require any mandatory disclosures to be included in the lease agreement.
However, federal law provides that for any property built before 1978, the lead-based paint disclosure has to be included in the lease agreement. This disclosure informs the tenant of the presence of any lead-based paint at the property and gives them the safety guidelines. (U.S. Code § 4852d)
Louisiana Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Although not declared mandatory by federal and state laws, these disclosures are often included in lease agreements in Louisiana in order to minimize the liability and protect the contractual parties.
Asbestos disclosure. The landlord should inform the tenant if any form of asbestos is present at the leased property. The lease agreement shall also include guidelines for the tenant on using the property without disturbing the asbestos fibers in the property structure.
Bed bug disclosure. In case there is a history of bed bug infestation at the property, the landlord should include this disclosure in the lease agreement. The tenant shall also be given guidelines on how to act in case of a new bed bug infestation.
Fees disclosure. If any late or non-refundable fees are to be charged to the tenant, this shall also be included in the lease agreement. Otherwise, the tenant can ask for a full refund for any non-disclosed fees.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
The tenant can sue the landlord in civil court for any damage caused by health and safety hazards that were not properly mentioned in the lease agreement.
The landlord can also be fined up to $19,507 if they fail to include a lead-based paint disclosure in the lease agreement. (24 CFR § 30.65)
Louisiana Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
The state of Louisiana does not set a maximum limit for the security deposit. Therefore, it is important that the landlord and the tenant determine if a security deposit is going to be taken and what a reasonable amount would be.
Security Deposit Return
Any security deposit remaining after the tenancy must be returned to the tenant within one month after the tenancy is over. (RS 9:3251)
The landlord shall also inform the tenant of any deductions made from the security deposit by submitting an itemized list of deductions made.
Suppose the landlord doesn't return the security deposit by the due date. In that case, the tenant is entitled to the amount of the security deposit plus $300 or double the amount of the security deposit, whichever is greater. (RS 9:3252)
When is Rent Due in Louisiana? (Grace Period)
The due date for the rent payment is determined in the lease agreement by the contractual parties.
Louisiana’s statutes don’t provide a grace period for the rent payment. That means that the landlord can charge the late fee from the moment the rent is due. The landlord can also start the eviction process after issuing a 5-day notice to pay or quit to the tenant.
Louisiana Rent Late Fees
Louisiana does not set any limits for late rent payment fees. The landlord can, therefore, set any reasonable amount as the late rent fee.
Louisiana NSF Checks
If paying the rent using a worthless check, the tenant will be liable to compensate the landlord.
The compensation shall include:
Compensation for NSF Checks
The value of the check
Service charge of $25 or 5% of the check value, whichever is greater
Louisiana Landlord’s Right to Enter
There is no minimum time in which the landlord must inform the tenant before visiting the leased unit. In practice, the landlord would give the tenant at least a 24-hour notice before visiting. However, this does not apply in the case of an emergency.
Moreover, the landlord should visit the property only at reasonable times, usually between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Louisiana Lease Agreement FAQ
The Louisiana lease agreement is a legally binding document. If both the landlord and the tenant sign the lease agreement, there is no doubt it will be binding on both parties.
A lease agreement can be made in the form of a written contract as well as a verbal agreement. Although both forms are valid and binding, a written contract gives the parties more stability and details about the contract terms.
When drafting a lease agreement, you should include the following clauses:
Details about the contractual parties
Information about the property
Duration of tenancy
Rent amount and due date
Deposit and late fee
Lead-based paint disclosure
Additional disclosures (optional)
Rights and duties of contractual parties
You can simply download one of our lease agreement templates, specially drafted to be in accordance with federal and Louisiana state laws and regulations.
Depending on your needs, you can choose between the:
Long-term lease agreement or month-to-month lease agreement
Commercial or residential lease agreement
Sublease or room rental agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After signing the lease agreement, ensure to properly inspect the leased unit and determine if any repairs or cleaning need to be done at the property.
If everything is in order, both parties can sign the move-in form, the tenant can pay the deposit and first month’s rent, and the landlord can hand over the keys to the tenant.