A Louisiana eviction notice must be delivered to a tenant before attempting to file an eviction lawsuit with the court. In most eviction scenarios, the notice will inform the tenant that their lease will terminate in five (5) days due to a lease violation or non-payment of rent. The tenant must adhere to the notice terms or be forced to vacate the property at the expiration of the five (5) day period. A notice to quit may also be used to terminate a monthly tenancy without cause. However, when terminating a monthly tenancy, the notice period provided to the tenant will be ten (10) days.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment – This eviction notice is used when a tenant fails to pay rent. After the notice is delivered, the tenant must vacate the property in five (5) days.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance – Informs a tenant that they have breached the terms of their lease and that they have five (5) days to move out.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Expiration of Term – Used when a tenant remains on the premises after the expiration of their fixed-term lease. Following the delivery of the notice, the tenant will have five (5) days to vacate the property.
10-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease – This notice can be used by both the tenant and landlord to inform the other of their intention to terminate a monthly tenancy. The terminating party must deliver the notice at least ten (10) days before the start of the subsequent rental term.
- Grace Period: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Non-Payment of Rent (§ 4701): Five (5) Days
- Lease Non-Compliance (§ 4701): Five (5) Days
- Expiration of Term (§ 4701): Five (5) Days
- Periodic Tenancy Termination (§ 2728(2)): Ten (10) Days
Tenants in Louisiana may be evicted from a dwelling if they no longer have the right to stay on the premises. When a tenant fails to pay rent, violates their rental agreement, or continues to reside in a rental unit after their tenancy expires, the landlord will have legal grounds to terminate the individual’s tenancy and file for eviction.
Note: Some leases contain a provision that waives the tenant’s right to the notice requirements stated below, in which case the landlord may initiate the eviction process immediately after the tenant fails to pay rent, commits a lease violation, or continues to occupy the premises after the expiration of their lease.
Step 1 – Draft an Eviction Notice
Landlords must provide their tenant with a notice that describes the reason for the eviction and the duration in which the tenant must comply with the notice terms. The landlord can use one (1) of the following notices:
- 5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment
- 5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
- 5-Day Notice to Quit for Expiration of Term
- 10-Day Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Lease
Step 2 – Deliver Eviction Notice to Tenant
After preparing an eviction notice, it should be hand-delivered to the tenant in the presence of at least one (1) witness. If the tenant is not home at the time of delivery, the notice may instead be posted to the door of the premises with at least one (1) witness present, or sent by certified mail with a return receipt requested (receipt must be signed by the tenant).
Step 3 – Wait for Notice Period to Expire
Each eviction notice describes the time frame in which the tenant must vacate the premises. If the eviction is for non-payment, non-compliance with the lease, or failure to vacate after the expiration of a rental term, the tenant will have a notice period of five (5) days following the date of delivery/receipt date of the certified mail notice (do not count weekends and holidays). When terminating a month-to-month lease, the notice must be delivered at least ten (10) days before the end of the month. The landlord must wait for the notice period to expire before proceeding with the eviction.
Note: Unlike in other states, landlords in Louisiana may file an eviction lawsuit regardless of whether the tenant pays rent or fixes a lease violation before their notice period expires.
Step 4 – File a Petition for Eviction
The landlord must visit a city court (also known as a parish court) or a justice of the peace court to file for eviction. Depending on the district, the requisite eviction document may be referred to as a Petition for Eviction or a Rule to Evict. Both of the aforementioned documents must be filed alongside a Court Information Sheet. These documents are provided by the court upon request (samples available below). Included with the court documents must be copies of the lease, the notice to quit, and the certified mail receipt (if applicable). A filing fee will be required upon submission along with an added amount for each additional tenant. The filing fee will vary depending on the county where the property is located (the landlord should contact the court to determine the proper filing fee).
Sample Court Documents:
- Petition for Eviction
- Rule to Evict
- Court Information Sheet
Step 5 – Notice of Court Hearing
After the landlord’s petition has been filed, the court will schedule a hearing date and issue a Rule to Show Cause (a.k.a. Rule for Possession) to be served on the tenant by a constable, marshall, or the sheriff. This document will inform the tenant of the date they are required to appear in court should they wish to contest the case. Before the court date, the tenant will have the opportunity to file an Answer with the court to state the reasons they believe they are entitled to possession of the dwelling.
Step 6 – Attend Court Hearing
Both the tenant and landlord must appear in court for the eviction trial. If one (1) party fails to attend the hearing, a judgment will be ruled in favor of the party in attendance. The landlord should be sure to bring copies of their eviction documents and the lease. If the initial notice to quit was delivered or posted to the premises by the landlord, the witness(es) must also be in attendance.
Step 7 – Judgement
At the hearing, the court will determine whether the landlord is entitled to reclaim possession of the premises. If the tenant prevails in court, they will be permitted to stay. However, if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be forced to vacate the property within twenty-four (24) hours.
Step 8 – Evict Tenant
If the tenant fails to vacate within twenty-four (24) hours following the eviction judgment, the landlord may file a Warrant for Possession (a.k.a. Writ of Possession) with the court for a small fee. This document will authorize law enforcement to remove the tenant from the premises. The landlord must then schedule a time for a constable, marshall, or the sheriff to visit the property and remove the tenant.
- Signing: Tenant and Notary Public
- Court Information Sheet – Sample
- Signing: N/A
- Petition for Eviction – Sample (Zachary City)
- Signing: Landlord
- Petition for Eviction – Sample (Shreveport City)
- Signing: Landlord and Clerk
- Rule to Evict – Sample (Baton Rouge City)
- Signing: Landlord and Clerk
- Rule to Show Cause (Rule for Possession)
- Signing: N/A
- Warrant for Possession (Writ of Possession)
- Signing: N/A