Not all landlord/tenant relationships are a happily ever after tale.
You may run a thorough screening and take every precaution with your rental property, but that doesn't guarantee smooth sailing. Occasionally, something goes wrong, and you need to evict that tenant.
You might feel apprehensive if you haven't evicted a tenant before. If so, read on for our guide on tenant evictions in Louisiana.
Familiarize Yourself With Louisiana Laws on Eviction
Eviction laws vary by state, so you will need to know a bit about the rules for Louisiana.
In this state, you must notify tenants when you intend to evict them. In Louisiana, that's five days. And the notice to vacate must be a formal communication in writing.
You must also cite a reason for the eviction, which must be fair. That could include non-payment of rent or a violation of the lease agreement. You can also evict for issues like property damage.
Always keep up with changes to tenancy laws, as they may impact you as a landlord.
Evicting a Tenant: the Steps
As a landlord, you'll take several steps before evicting a tenant. Here is the typical process you'll follow:
You'll need to notify the tenant when you decide on an eviction. You'll do this in writing and provide a reason for the eviction.
An Eviction Lawsuit
Your tenant will have five days to vacate the property. If they do, then your eviction process stops at that point.
But if the tenant remains in your property, you must move to this next step: filing a lawsuit with the courts. You'll need to prepare the relevant legal documentation at this point.
Going to Trial
During the court hearing, you'll present your case to the judge. The tenant also has a chance to prepare their defense. If the court rules in your favor, the judge will order a Sheriff to remove the tenant from the property.
Tips for Handling Eviction Proceedings
Evictions can feel stressful, but with some preparation, you can increase your chances of success. So here are two essential tips. First, make sure you follow the law.
That will protect you if matters go to court. You may prefer to get professional legal advice. Secondly, always keep a written record and other supporting evidence, like photos of any property damage.
Post-Eviction: What to Do
When a tenant has vacated your property, you have some remaining responsibilities. First, you must ensure your tenant receives any belongings they left behind after an eviction.
Once you have done that, take some time to inspect your property. After that, you may need to return any deposit monies owed to your tenant. You may also need to make some repairs before re-advertising it for rent.
Evictions in Louisiana: Protecting Your Property
Evictions might be unwelcome for all parties, and as a landlord, you'll want to do your best to avoid them. However, it is sensible to plan for them so you are well-prepared if you need to go down that route.
You should also consider some professional support from experts with a background in tenant evictions. Discover how PMI Integrity Property's eviction service can help you by heading here.