Louisiana Eviction Process
October 25, 2023
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Eviction In Louisiana
If you own and rent properties in the state of Louisiana, you are responsible for complying with Louisiana eviction laws. In this article, we break down each step of the legal eviction process in Louisiana.
Eviction Process in Louisiana
- Landlord serves a five-day eviction notice.
- Landlord files an eviction lawsuit with the court.
- Court serves tenant the summons.
- Landlord and tenant attend court hearing and receive judgment.
- Tenant gets 24 hours to move out or appeal.
- Sheriff arrives to forcibly remove the tenant.
In Louisiana, tenants can be evicted for failing to pay rent, violating the lease, or breaking the law or other obligations as per Louisiana landlord-tenant law.
1. Landlord Serves a Five-Day Eviction Notice
If any of the above lease violations occur, the first step in the Louisiana eviction process is serving a five-day Louisiana eviction notice. This notice applies in all circumstances of eviction as per LA CCP § 4701:
- Rent Demand Notice: 5 days to quit. If rent is unpaid when due, Louisiana landlords may deliver this notice stating the date on which the lease will terminate (not less than five days after receipt of the notice).
- Lease Violation Notice: 5 days to quit. If a tenant violates a lease term, Louisiana landlords may deliver this notice stating the breach and the date on which the lease will terminate (not less than five days after receipt of the notice)
Per Louisiana eviction laws, tenants can waive the above notice requirements by signing a written waiver in the lease document. If the landlord includes such a waiver and the tenant agrees to it, no notice is required before the landlord can file for eviction in case of lease violations (LA CCP § 4701).
For all evictions, the landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney fees.
2. Landlord Files an Eviction Lawsuit with the Court
The next step in the Louisiana eviction process is filing a formal eviction complaint with the court. Five days after serving the eviction notice, the landlord can file a Rule for Possession (the eviction lawsuit) in an appropriate local court. Louisiana evictions can be filed in a Louisiana City, District, or Justice of the Peace Court (LA CCP § 4731).
Eviction forms vary by court and county, so the landlord must visit the appropriate court’s website or physical location to retrieve the correct Rule for Possession form (e.g., Here is the Rule for New Orleans Second City Court).
The Rule for Possession typically includes the names of all parties, the rental property address, the reason/basis for eviction, the amount of rent/other fees due and the date the eviction notice was served. The landlord will also need to pay a filing fee, the amount of which varies depending on the court and location. In Baton Rouge City Court, for example, the filing fee is $160 plus $10 for each additional defendant.
3. Court Serves Tenant the Summons
Once the Rule has been filed, the court will issue a Citation (the summons to court). A sheriff or constable must serve the Citation with a copy of the Rule of Possession to the tenant. The summons will include the names and contact information of both parties, the name and address of the court, and the date and time of the court hearing that the tenant must attend, which must be at least three days after the Citation and Rule of Possession were served (LA CCP § 4732).
These documents generally must be served to the tenant either in person, to a suitable person residing at the unit, and/or mailed by certified mail with a return receipt. The landlord will also need to pay a fee of $30 for the sheriff to serve the citation to the tenant (LRS § 13:5530)
Louisiana law does not require the tenant to file a written answer with the court unless they are planning to appeal the judgment.
4. Landlord and Tenant Attend Court Hearing and Receive Judgment
On the day of the eviction hearing, the landlord should bring copies of the lease agreement, the eviction notice with proof of service, the Rule for Possession, and any evidence of the lease violation. Both the landlord and tenant will present their cases and any evidence to the judge, who will afterwards issue a judgment.
If the judgment is in the landlord’s favor, the tenant will be required to move out and the landlord will regain right to possession of the property.
If the tenant does not attend the hearing, a default judgment will be awarded to the landlord.
5. Tenant Gets 24 Hours to Move Out or Appeal
After the judgment of eviction has been entered, the tenant has 24 hours to comply and vacate the unit. They must move out within this time frame to avoid being forcibly removed by the sheriff (LA CCP § 4733).
The tenant can suspend execution of the judgment by appealing the case. However, they must submit a written answer to the court under oath that pleads an affirmative defense to the eviction. Both the appeal application and bond must be filed within 24 hours of the judgment for eviction in order for the execution to be suspended (LA CCP § 4735).
6. Sheriff Arrives to Forcibly Remove the Tenant
The final step in the Louisiana eviction process is the tenant’s removal. If the tenant does not move out or file an appeal and bond within 24 hours after the judgment, the court will immediately issue a Warrant of Possession. The Warrant is a formal court order for the tenant’s removal from the rental property. After receiving it, the landlord must take it to a sheriff, constable, or marshal to request its service and execution (LA CCP § 4733). The sheriff can charge a fee of $30 for service of the Warrant and between $10 and $30 for its execution (the actual removal of the tenant) (LRS § 13:5530).
The officer tasked with executing the warrant must do so in the presence of at least two witnesses. They will remove any locks that interfere with the eviction process, forcibly remove the tenant, and restore possession of the property to the landlord. (LA CCP § 4734). Afterwards, the officer will clear the premises of the tenant’s remaining personal property.
Louisiana law does not state whether landlords need to store the tenant’s personal property remaining in the unit after eviction. In most cases, landlords can sell or dispose of abandoned property, but it’s recommended to store high value or personal items and inform the tenant where they are stored for retrieval.
Evicting a Squatter in Louisiana
A squatter is a person who moves into a vacant or abandoned property without getting permission from the owner or paying rent. Squatters can usually be charged as criminal trespassers and be evicted like any other tenant. However, some squatters can receive the right to possession by meeting certain state-determined criteria. According to squatters rights Louisiana enforces, squatters must have lived in the property for 30 years or for 10 years with color of title to invoke Louisiana squatters rights and claim right of possession (LA Civ. Code § 742). Their possession must also be:
- Hostile/Adverse—The squatter must not have a valid lease with the owner
- Actual—The squatter must be actively residing on the property
- Open and Notorious—The squatter is openly and obviously living there.
- Exclusive—The squatter does not share possession of the property with anyone else.
- Continuous—The squatter must hold continuous and uninterrupted possession.
While relatively rare, if a squatter meets all these criteria, they have “color of title”: the right of legal ownership without having a written deed to the property. They can file an action for what’s called “acquisitive prescription” in Louisiana, or adverse possession, to legally obtain the title to the property. However, in most cases, a squatter will not meet the criteria and can be removed. If you think a squatter is living in your vacant property in Louisiana, you should:
- Call local law enforcement.
- Determine whether the person is a trespasser or a squatter.
- If the person is a trespasser, they can be removed immediately by a police officer.
- If the person is a squatter, you must contact the sheriff’s office.
- Send the squatter a five-day notice to quit as per Louisiana eviction laws.
- If the squatter does not vacate the premises by the end of the five-day period, file for eviction and follow the typical eviction process.
- Only the sheriff can physically remove a squatter from your property. You cannot do so, and neither can a police officer.
Louisiana Eviction Cost Estimates
This chart shows estimates of the approximate cost of the eviction process in Louisiana, according to civil procedure in the state and iPropertyManagement. A highly accurate estimate of an eviction is impossible to provide, as cases and circumstances vary so widely. Remember to factor in other losses due to an eviction as well, such as lost rent, time, and stress.
|Service of Citation||$30|
|Service of Warrant of Possession||$30|
|Execution of Warrant of Possession||$10 -$30|
|Average locksmith fees||$160|
|Storage fees for abandoned property||Varies|
|Tenant turnover costs||Varies|
Louisiana Eviction Time Estimates
The chart below shows an estimate of the duration of each part of the eviction process. Keep in mind that the length of eviction cases varies widely depending on the complexity of the eviction, the court’s current caseload, and whether or not the tenant contests or appeals the lawsuit.
|Eviction notice period||5 days|
|Service of Citation and Rule of Possession||A few days|
|Eviction hearing||At least 3 days after service of summons|
|Notice to move out after judgment/appeal period||24 hours|
|Service of Warrant for Possession||A few days|
|Time to move out after the Warrant is posted||Unspecified|
- Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure – This page includes the specific rules of civil procedure and court policies according to Louisiana law.
The eviction process in any state can be long and complex, so hiring an eviction attorney is advised in most cases. It’s also important to note that municipalities and local governments often have stricter laws and requirements for landlords, so be sure to check local statutes as well as state ones. However, by reviewing the legal procedures and Louisiana laws on eviction, you can feel more confident pursuing an eviction in this state.
Innago does not provide legal advice. The content and materials provided in this article are for general informational purposes only and may not be the most up-to-date information.