Bloom Legal Guide: Evictions
Posted on Mar 5, 2014 in Local Issues
Eviction proceedings are subject to strict procedural rules. If a landlord fails to follow the procedures, they could be liable to the tenant. Accordingly, it may be in your best interest to hire an eviction attorney to assist you in the process. Bloom Legal is available to assist you in the eviction process. In Louisiana a landlord can only evict a tenant through the judicial process. Lock-outs, removal of the tenant’s property, utility terminations or rendering the premises uninhabitable or inaccessible is strictly prohibited under Louisiana eviction law. A louisiana landlord cannot disturb the peaceful possession of the premises in anyway without first seeking the assistance of the judicial process through an eviction proceeding. When a tenant breaches the lease for non-payment, expiration of lease term or any other reason, the landlord must first deliver a written Notice to Vacate to the tenant. A tenant may waive the notice requirements by written waiver contained in the lease, in which case, the landlord or his agent may immediately institute eviction proceedings.
Bloom Legal can assist you in determining whether you have properly waived the notice to vacate in your lease. The Notice to Vacate gives the tenant five (5) days, not counting weekends or holidays, to vacate the property. Service of the Louisiana eviction notice can be done by personal service on the tenant in the presence of at least one witness. If the tenant is absent, the notice can be affixed to the unit’s door and again be witnessed by at least one other person. An alternative is to send the notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to show proof of service. This has the same effect as delivering the notice to the tenant. Once the notice period has passed and the tenant has failed to comply with the terms to prevent the lease’s termination, Bloom Legal can assist you by filing a Rule for Possession with the Parish Court or the Justice of the Peace Court where the property is located. This is an action for possession only. A separate action must be filed to collect any rent owed or other damages. The citation or rule to show cause containing the date, location and time of a hearing will need to be served on the tenant by the Sheriff or Constable. The court will set a hearing date no earlier than 3 days after service of the citation or order to show cause. There are no jury trials in a Louisiana eviction hearing. At the eviction hearing Bloom Legal will be there to prove your burden as a landlord. A landlord has the burden of proof regarding the following elements: 1) That a relation of landlord and tenant existed between the parties (evidence of the lease); 2) That the lease has expired or terminated for a particular reason; 3) That due notice to vacate has been served or has been waived and 4) That the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. If the tenant fails to appear or the landlord proves his or her case, the court must immediately render judgment for the landlord, which gives the tenant only 24-hours to vacate or appeal the judgment. After 24-hours and the tenant has not vacated the property, the landlord must return to court and ask the clerk for a Warrant of Possession authorizing the Sheriff or Constable to enter the property and remove the tenant and all of his or her belongings.
Let Bloom Legal help you through the eviction process. Call us at 504-599-9997 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation today!