Tenants' Security Deposit Rights in Louisiana
Security Deposit Amount, Deductions and Return
Tenants in the state of Louisiana are protected by the Lessee’s Deposit Act. This Act is part of Louisiana’s landlord tenant law. The purpose of this Act is to outline the requirements of both landlords and tenants in the state. Learn seven specific security deposit rights that are protected in Louisiana under this law.
7 Security Deposit Rights in Louisiana
Collecting a security deposit from your tenants in addition to the first month’s rent can help financially protect a landlord. If a tenant fails to pay their rent or otherwise breaches the lease agreement filing to evict the tenant can be a long and costly process. The security deposit is money the landlord can use to pay for these damages and it acts as an incentive for the tenant to follow their lease so they receive their full security deposit back.
Security Deposit Limit
There is no set security deposit limit in Louisiana as to the maximum amount a landlord can collect from a tenant. Although there is no limit, most landlords will charge between one month and two months’ rent. For example, if the rent is $1000 a month, requiring a one-time security deposit between $1000 and $2000 would be typical.
While you want the security deposit to be enough to protect you from tenant wrongdoing, you do not want it to be so high that prospective tenants do not want to rent from you. In addition, you should always check with your local city or town because they may have different or additional laws that may apply.
Storing Security Deposits in Louisiana
There are no specific rules in the state of Louisiana for how a landlord must store a tenant’s security deposit. The tenant's deposit does not have to be placed in a separate bank account and the deposit does not have to earn interest.
Written Notice Required After Security Deposit Receipt?
No. In Louisiana, landlords do not have to provide written notice to the tenant after receiving the tenant’s security deposit. The landlord can still send the tenant a receipt as part of a good record keeping process.
Reasons to Keep Security Deposit in Louisiana
In the state of Louisiana, landlords can make deductions from the tenant’s security deposit for the following reasons:
- Unpaid Rent
- Damage in Excess of Normal Wear and Tear
- To Remedy Any Defaults of the Tenant- Such as Unpaid Utility Bills
- Other Breaches of the Lease Agreement
No. When a tenant moves out of a unit, a landlord is not required to perform a move-out inspection with them.
Returning a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a landlord has one month after a tenant moves out to return the tenant’s security deposit.
The tenant must provide the landlord with a forwarding address where he or she can be reached after move-out. The landlord is responsible for sending the security deposit, minus any allowable deductions, to the tenant at this address.
If any deductions have been made from the security deposit, the landlord is responsible for sending a written itemized list to the tenant at the forwarding address provided. This list should state what deductions have been taken from the deposit and the amount that has been deducted.
If a landlord fails to return a tenant’s security deposit within the time specified or wrongfully withholds a portion of the security deposit, he or she could be liable to pay $200 or actual damages to the tenant, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.
The landlord has no further obligations to return a tenant’s security deposit if the tenant has abandoned the premises.
Security Deposit Rules When Selling Property In Louisiana
If you sell your property, or the property otherwise changes hands, the landlord is responsible for transferring all tenants’ security deposits to the new owner. Once this transfer is complete, the landlord has no further liability for the security deposits. The new owner will be responsible for returning the tenants’ security deposits.
What Is Louisiana's Security Deposit Law?
If you want to view the original text of the security deposit law in Louisiana, please consult Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §§ 9:3251 to 9:3253.