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Louisiana Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Louisiana, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Louisiana landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a lease agreement Louisiana considers compliant, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Louisiana lease template for download!
A Louisiana lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Louisiana’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Louisiana lease agreement. Keep in mind that these components primarily apply to residential leases; a Louisiana commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. There are no statewide rent control laws in Louisiana. This means landlords can choose their own rental rates free from state regulations. However, keep in mind that individual cities or counties in Louisiana may still have laws that regulate or restrict the price of rent. Be sure you know which laws apply in your area so that your rent increase practices and policies are compliant.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In Louisiana, there are no statutory limits on late fees, nor is there a mandatory grace period. This means landlords can once again choose their own fee amounts and enforce them as soon as rent is late. However, the late fee policy you enforce should be clearly defined in your Louisiana residential lease agreement so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late on rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
There is no maximum or limit for security deposits in Louisiana. However, Louisiana law does designate that when a tenancy ends, the landlord must return the security deposit within one month (La. Rev. Stat. § 9:3251). Your Louisiana rental lease agreement should carefully describe your security deposit policy, including the amount of the deposit, how/when it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. In Louisiana, there is only one required disclosure, which must be included in a lease agreement Louisiana considers compliant:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Louisiana, there are no specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. However, most landlords give their tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering for a non-emergency reason. Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in your Louisiana rental agreement.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Louisiana residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A Louisiana residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Louisiana, landlords must send eviction notices at least five days in advance, regardless of the reason or the lease violation. This notice period should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Louisiana sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Louisiana Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Louisiana lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Louisiana state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a Louisiana residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Louisiana lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Louisiana lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.