||homes for sale.Is Great Idea for moving. Louisiana law allows tenants to pay for “necessary” repairs and to deduct the repair cost from the rent due or demand immediate reimbursement from the landlord30. In order to deduct repair costs, tenants must be able to prove each of the following:A.The repairs were necessary.B.The landlord failed to act within a reasonable time after being notified.C.The price paid was reasonable.The tenant should keep copies of estimates, letters, receipts, and other documents which support his/her case.At the termination of the lease —absent a contrary agree-ment —improvements, attachments, or additions made by the tenant to the property are dealt with as follows: The tenant may remove his/her improvements if he/she restores the property to its former condition. If the tenant fails to remove the improvements, then: A.The landlord may pay the tenant for the cost of the improvements or for the enhanced value of the leased thing —whichever is less. B.The landlord may demand that the tenant remove the improvements within a reasonable time and re-store the property to its original condition.19IMPROVEMENTS, CONT.If the tenant fails to remove the improvements, the landlord may:Remove the improvements and restore the property to its former condition at the expense of the tenant.Acquire the improvements without any obligation to reim-burse the tenant.
The Lessee’s Deposit Act requires the landlord to return de-posits within one month after the end of the lease, provided the tenant fulfilled the lease obligations and left a forwarding address.If any part of the deposit is retained, the landlord must send the tenant an itemized list of deductions and any remaining balance within one month. If the landlord fails to return the de-posit or to send the itemized list within one month, the tenant may sue in Small Claims Court to recover the deposit.If the landlord fails to account for the deposit within 30 days of a tenant’s written request for a refund, then the law allows the tenant to recover actual damages (amount of damages made) or $200.00 —whichever is greater. The judge may also award court costs and attorney fees to the person who wins the suit. The law does not permit the tenant to give up or waive this right in a lease.Pets may or may not be permitted under the terms of the lease. However, most leases that allow pets require the tenant to pay a deposit for damages caused by the pet. Money held as a pet deposit is recoverable under the Lessee’s Deposit Act.Money held as a “pet fee or charge” is not covered by the Act and may or may not be recoverable according to the terms of the lease. Tenants should apply for refunds of pet deposits in writing on the final day of occupancy, the same way they would request security or damage deposits.
The tenant must give proper written notice of his/her intent to vacate the property in accordance with the provisions of the lease³³. If there is a month-to-month lease, then the tenant must give written notice of intent to vacate at least ten days prior to the last day of the month for which the rent was paid.
If there is no clause in the lease which requires specific clean-ing, then the tenant must return the property in the same con-dition in which it was rented —allowing for normal wear and tear35. If the tenant fails to do so, all or part of the deposit may be withheld.If the property is not cleaned, the landlord may deduct all or part of the cleaning charges from the deposit. Clauses in a lease that automatically deduct for cleaning, regardless of the property’s condition, may be invalid.
During the final week of occupancy, the landlord should in-spect the property. If the landlord refuses to perform the in-spection, the tenant should have a witness inspect and/or pho-tograph the property and prepare a written statement of the apartment’s condition. The tenant should date and sign the statement and have it witnessed.
Proper procedure must be followed.When the tenant breaches the lease agreement (i.e., fails to pay rent), the landlord must first deliver a written Notice to Vacate to the tenant.This notice gives the tenant five days, not counting week-ends or holidays, to vacate36. If the tenant is not at home when the notice is given, then the notice may be posted on the door of the leased proper-ty. This has the same effect as delivering the notice to the tenant37. If a tenant fails to vacate within five days of notice, the landlord will begin eviction proceedings by filing a petition with the justice of the peace or city court.The eviction trial will be heard three days after the tenant has been served39. The tenant will then have to appear in court and state why he/she should or should not be ordered to vacate the prop-erty40. If the justice of the peace finds the landlord entitled to evict the tenant or if the tenant fails to appear at the trial, the court will rule in favor of the landlord. The tenant will be ordered to vacate the property within 24 hours41