The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

What is a Tenant Screening Report?

Landlords sometimes use tenant screening reports to check if applicants have:

  • Been evicted before.
  • Owe money to a previous landlord for rent or damages.
  • Have a criminal history.
  • Have a credit score below a certain number.

What if I'm denied housing because of the report?

If you’re denied housing because of a tenant screening report, ask the landlord why you were denied and the name of the company that made the report.

The law requires the landlord to:

  • Tell you if the tenant screening or credit report was used to deny you housing.
  • Give you the contact information for the company that made the report.
  • Let you know that you have the right to challenge the information in the report.
  • Let you know that you can get a free copy of the report if you ask for it within 60 days of being denied housing.

If you need help fixing wrong or missing information in your tenant screening report, we may be able to help you. Call us at 504-529-1000 ext. 223.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Do you rent a house or apartment in New Orleans? The City of New Orleans’ new Healthy Homes law will help ensure your unit is fit to live in.

What does the new Healthy Homes Law say?

Starting on July 1, 2023, renters can ask for repairs without worrying that their landlords will get back at them, thanks to the new Healthy Homes Law. The New Orleans City Council passed the law in November 2022.

The law makes landlords take steps to make their rental properties safe and healthy, starting January 1, 2024. Landlords who own big apartment complexes are the first to register their properties with the city. If they don't make the needed repairs, they might not be able to rent their properties anymore.

How will the new Healthy Homes law keep my landlord from getting back at me if I ask for repairs or report bad conditions?

Starting July 1, 2023, your landlord can’t get back at you for doing any of these things:

  1. You tell your landlord something in your unit does not meet the current health and safety rules (the Minimum Property Maintenance Code).
  2. You ask your landlord to fix something in the current health and safety rules.
  3. You report problems with your unit to the City of New Orleans (like Code Enforcement), the public, or the media. The current health and safety rules must cover the things you report.
  4. You speak at a hearing or in court about problems covered by the current health and safety rules.

Here are two examples of how the new law may apply to real-life problems with your landlord.

Example 1:

You ask for repairs or report a problem, and within six (6) months, the landlord tries to raise your rent or take away services. The Healthy Homes law says this is illegal retaliation. There are some key exceptions.

Your landlord’s actions would not be illegal if one of these things is true:

  1. The lease says the landlord can raise rent or fees because of higher utility bills, taxes, or insurance.
  2. The landlord is charging more rent or getting rid of some services for everyone in the building.
  3. The landlord charges more under approved rent changes by a government program like Section 8.

How to use the Healthy Homes law to protect yourself: If the landlord does not follow the Healthy Homes law, you might need to go to court to ask a Judge to rule that the rent increase or other things the landlord did are illegal.

Example 2:

You ask for repairs or report a problem, and within six (6) months, the landlord tries to evict you or refuse to renew your lease. The Healthy Homes law says this is illegal retaliation. There are some key exceptions.

Your landlord’s actions would not be illegal if one of these things is true:

  1. You are behind on rent.
  2. You, your family, or your guest damages the unit on purpose or threatens the safety of others.
  3. You violated the lease agreement in any other way.

Under the Healthy Homes law, it is not a violation of your lease to stay in your apartment past the date your landlord has asked you to leave after giving you a notice of nonrenewal. 

How to use the Healthy Homes law to protect yourself: You can use Healthy Homes to defend yourself in eviction court. That does not mean a judge will do as you ask. If you are facing eviction, try to get legal help.

All renters in New Orleans have a right to an attorney in eviction court. If you get an eviction notice, try to find legal help right away. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) gives free legal assistance to people who qualify. Reach SLLS at 1340 Poydras St., Suite 600, (504) 529-1000 x.223.

The Healthy Homes law only protects a renter who can prove they told the landlord about the problems in the unit. Always tell the landlord about problems in writing, like email or text message, and keep copies for your records. 

What happens in 2024?

In January 2024, landlords must begin registering their units with the City of New Orleans. First, larger apartment complexes will have to register. Later, smaller properties will have to register. The landlord does not pay to do this – it is free.

Landlords listing their rentals must swear that the properties are fit to live in under the City’s rules. Landlords also swear this knowing that it is a crime to lie.

There is a new list of things a landlord must do to ensure the rental is safe and in good shape called the Minimum Rental Standards.

What will the Minimum Rental Standards require starting in 2024?

In 2024 rental units in New Orleans must have everything listed here:

  • Working fire and smoke detectors.
  • At least one bathtub or shower, toilet, and kitchen sink. These things must be clean and in good working order.
  • Hot and cold running water.
  • Working water heater that can heat enough water to 110 degrees.
  • Heaters that can reach at least 68 degrees in every room.
  • Air conditioning that can cool every bedroom down to at least 80 degrees. (This rule about minimum A/C is new for 2024!)
  • Safe working electrical wiring and outlets.
  • Safe working appliances (if the landlord supplies them).
  • The roof, windows, and doors must keep dampness out of the unit.
  • A unit that has no signs of mold inside.
  • Walls, floors, or interior surfaces, without major cracks, holes, or decay.
  • No rodents (like rats and mice).

What rental property standards are in place now, before 2024?

The New Orleans Minimum Property Maintenance Code protects you now. It lists what landlords must do to keep their rentals in shape. These rules will still apply on top of the new rules for 2024.

You can read more here: New Orleans Municipal Code (Article IV, Sections. 26-156 through 26-230).

How will the City of New Orleans enforce the new Healthy Homes law?

The City plans to hire more people to inspect rentals and respond to complaints to enforce Healthy Homes.

What happens if a rental unit fails inspection under the new 2024 rules?

The City can act against a landlord if a unit does not meet the new Minimum Rental Standards in 2024.

First, the City might allow the landlord to fix the problem. If the landlord does not fix the problem, the City will hold a hearing.

The Hearing Officer may make the landlord pay a fine or take other action against a landlord with repair issues or problems that do not meet the new rules.

The City can also take away the landlord’s right to rent the apartment if the unit is unsafe and the landlord will not fix it.

Can a tenant be kicked out if a rental unit fails inspection under the new 2024 rules?

The Healthy Homes law says you will get a written notice if the landlord loses their right to rent your apartment. You will have a chance to go to a hearing before being asked to move. You will get at least 60 days to move. There is an exception for emergencies.

A renter who has to move would also be eligible for assistance from the Anti-Displacement Fund once money is in that fund.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Who does the new rule apply to?

Tenants, owners, and management of the following types of housing subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) –

  • Public Housing
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, including
    • New Construction
    • State Housing Agency Program
    • Substantial Rehabilitation
    • Section 202/8
    • Rural Housing Services Section 515/8
    • Loan Management Set-Aside (LMSA)
    • Property Disposition Set Aside (PDSA)
    • Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
  • Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract (PAC)
  • Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC)
  • Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contract (SPRAC)
  • Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Contract

This rule does NOT apply to –

  • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (tenant-based vouchers)
  • Section 8 Project Based Voucher Program (project-based vouchers administered by a Public Housing Authority)

What does it require?

On November 8, 2021 a set of new HUD regulations went into effect which require Landlords at the above properties must provide more notice to tenants before evicting them for nonpayment of rent during certain federally-declared disasters where HUD has published a determination to enforce the new rule: 

  • At least 30 days’ notice must be provided for eviction for nonpayment of rent; and
  • The notice must notify tenants of available Emergency Rental Assistance, and include at least the information in the Appendix to the attached HUD Supplemental Guidance (PIH 2021-29; H 2021-06)

HUD published its determination that the conditions exist for the rule to go into effect here, so it is currently in effect. HUD’s Interim Final Rule outlining the changes can be found here.

When does it go into effect?

The new rule went into effect on November 8, 2021. 

How do I know if a property is covered?

How do you know if a property has a subsidy covered by the new rule? You can check one of the following databases: 

  • National Housing Preservation Database: https://preservationdatabase.org/
  • HUD Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance database: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/mfh/exp/mfhdiscl

If a tenant is paying below-market rent equal to about 1/3 of their income at a multifamily property operated by a Public Housing Authority or private owner, they may be covered by this protection.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Can I get my security deposit back if I break my lease because my unit was destroyed by a hurricane or other Act of God?

If your unit was damaged enough to be unfit to live in because of a hurricane or other “Act of God” you may be able to end your lease early.

If you have the right to break your lease, then you should be able to get back your security deposit. But your landlord can keep money out of your deposit for damage beyond “normal wear and tear” that you let happen to the unit.

Use this link for more information on whether the damage to your unit makes your unit unfit before you decide to break your lease and move.  If that information is not enough for you to make a decision, try to get help from an attorney as soon as you can.

The amount the landlord would keep is for damage that happened before the hurricane or other Act of God. The amount the landlord keeps could be for fees or rent that you owed before the hurricane or other Act of God.

You could have an issue getting some or all of this money back if hurricane damaged items that you or your guests had also damaged.

Example: someone in your house damages a wall before the hurricane. Then the hurricane ruins that same wall.  Some courts might decide that you owe for the damage you caused to the wall before the wall was ruined by the hurricane.

What should I do if I have to end my lease early because of the hurricane damage or other Act of God?

If you want to get out of your lease because a hurricane or other Act of God made your place unfit to live in, you need to tell your landlord in writing that you are ending your lease early.

Write down that you are ending your lease early because your place was destroyed or is unfit to live in because of a hurricane or other Act of God.

Take good pictures of the unit. Take pictures that show what kind of shape the unit is in.  Write down how the destruction made your place unfit to live in. Give specific examples of things that make your place unfit to live in.

When you write to your landlord to end your lease it can help to send pictures of the damage to your place.  You can use a text message or email.

Also be sure to keep any pictures you have of your place from the time before the disaster. Those pictures would show the damage was from the disaster, and not your fault.

Contact a lawyer if your landlord sues you later for ending your lease early, or if your landlord reports a debt to credit agencies.

How do I get my security deposit back if I move out because my unit was destroyed by a hurricane or other Act of God?

After you are completely out of your unit, turn in the key or tell your landlord in writing where you left the key.  Text message or email works for this.

Be sure to take all of your own things with you when you leave.

Clean up anything you changed in the unit as best as you can. Throw away any your trash or things you are not taking with you.

Take pictures and videos to show what shape the unit was in when you moved out.  Tell your landlord in writing that you are willing to do a walk-through inspection of your unit with your landlord.  If your landlord tells you, but not in writing, that they will not do a walk-through, send them a text, email, or letter saying that you understand they do not want to do a walk-through inspection. This way you have something in writing about it.

Once you are out of your unit and returned your key, you need to tell the landlord in writing that you want your deposit back. You must include a forwarding address where the landlord can reply or send you the refund.

The forwarding address you give the landlord does not have to be your actual address. The address can be any place where you can receive mail.

It is best you send this demand letter to your landlord on the same day you return the keys.

If you can, use certified mail, return receipt requested, to send your security deposit demand letter. This can help you show that your landlord actually got the letter.

If you cannot send the letter by certified mail, send a text message or email message with the same information that is in the letter you mail (a request for the deposit and a forwarding address) may be acceptable here.

Your landlord has 30 days from the day he or she gets your letter to return your deposit or to tell you in writing why he or she is keeping all or some of the deposit.

If your landlord does not respond to your written demand for a security deposit refund within 30 days of getting your letter, then he or she has “willfully” failed to return your deposit. That means you may have the right to get back three times the amount of your deposit.

After the 30-day period is over, you can sue your landlord in small claims court.

You do not need an attorney to go to small claims court.

But if you hire a lawyer the court may order the landlord pay attorney fees to you. The amount of these fees may cover all or some of what you may actually owe to an attorney.

You can find more information about the security deposit recovery process through small claims court here.

La información proporcionada en esta publicación no representa, y no pretende, un asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es información general. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe comunicarse con un abogado. Usted puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales. Nuestros servicios son gratuitos. Usted puede solicitar nuestros servicios con llamar nuestra línea directa de asistencia legal por desastre al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra aplicación electrónica.

¿Puede el personal de un hotel sacarme si no puedo pagar mi tarifa de hotel?

No. Solo la "autoridad legal apropiada" puede removerlo, es decir, un oficial de policía o un ayudante del sheriff. Esto es bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:76. Tenga en cuenta: usted puede acceder a todas las leyes a las que se hace referencia en este documento a través de Google.

Registrarse en un hotel con la intención de no pagar se considera "defraudar a un posadero", una ofensa bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:21.

¿Puede un hotel sacarme si vivo en un hotel a largo plazo y pago semanalmente?

Si está alquilando una habitación de hotel a largo plazo como su residencia principal y pagando por semana, un juez podría decir que debe ser tratado como inquilino. Si usted es un inquilino, el hotel debe pasar por el proceso de desalojo judicial. En este momento, el gobernador Edwards ha suspendido los desalojos en todo el estado de Luisiana hasta el 24 de septiembre de 2021, por lo que no puede ser desalojado legalmente hasta después de esa fecha. Si este argumento no tiene éxito, para mas información vea abajo esta página.

¿Puede un hotel sacarme si solo he estado en el hotel unas pocas noches?

Incluso si las leyes de desalojo no se aplican a usted, el hotel debe completar varios pasos antes de que puedan llamar a un oficial para sacarlo del hotel. Primero, el hotel debe haberle dado un aviso por escrito de la fecha de salida acordada y la hora de salida cuando usted se registró. En segundo lugar, el hotel debe darle al menos 1 hora de aviso escrito o verbal de que usted debe irse. Esto es bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:75.

La ley dice que el oficial no puede desalojarlo de un hotel durante una "emergencia médica grave". Esto es bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:76.

¿Hay asistencia para un hotel disponible si soy evacuado debido al Huracán Ida?

Sí, la asistencia de la agencia federal de FEMA puede estar disponible para pagar un hotel.

La agencia federal de FEMA puede proporcionar Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio (Abreviamientos “TSA” en inglés) a los solicitantes que no pueden regresar a sus hogares porque su hogar es inhabitable o inaccesible debido al Huracán Ida.

Bajo la Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio, los sobrevivientes de desastres pueden ser elegibles para quedarse en un hotel o motel aprobado por un período de tiempo limitado y tener el costo de la habitación y los impuestos cubiertos por FEMA. Para aquellos que son elegibles, FEMA autorizará y financiará, a través de pagos directos a los hoteles / moteles participantes, el uso de hoteles / moteles como refugios de transición.  El solicitante es responsable de todos los demás costos, como los cargos incidentales por teléfono, servicio de habitaciones, comida, etc.

Usted puede ser elegible para la Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio si se:

  • Regístrese con la agencia federal de FEMA para obtener ayuda,
  • Si usted es aprobado con la verificación de identidad y ciudadanía,
  • Si su casa está ubicada en un área geográfica que está designada para la Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio,
  • Como resultado del desastre, usted es desplazado de su hogar,
  • No puede obtener alojamiento a través de otro recurso.

Los solicitantes aprobados pueden optar por quedarse en cualquier hotel o instalación en la lista de FEMA en http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php (información está disponible en español) o por la línea telefónica para ayuda de la agencia federal de FEMA.

¿Qué pasa si soy evacuado en un hotel en otro estado?

Las leyes de Luisiana no se aplican a los hoteles en otros estados. Usted debe consultar con la ley del estado que usted esta localizado o hablar con un abogado de ese estado.

¿Necesita asesoramiento legal sobre su situación?

Usted puede calificar para asistencia legal gratuita con Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas en el área de Nueva Orleans: (504) 529-1000 x.223
  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas del North Shore: (985) 345-2130
  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas en el área de Houma: (985) 851-5687

* Tenga en cuenta que la oficina de Houma está cerrada hasta al menos el 9/13 debido a daños del Huracán Ida.

  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas en el área de Baton Rouge: (225)-448-0080

If you missed our live webinar on "Understanding the FEMA Claim and Appeal Process and Disaster Legal Rights," you can watch it below. You can also download the PowerPoint slides here.

 

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Can hotel staff put me out if I can’t pay my hotel fee?

No. Only “appropriate lawful authority” may remove you, meaning a police officer or sheriff’s deputy. La. Revised Statute § 21:76. Note: you can access all the laws referenced in this document through Google.

Checking into a hotel with the intent to not pay is considered “defrauding an innkeeper,” an offense under La. Revised Statute § 21:21.

Can the hotel put me out if I am living in a hotel long-term and pay weekly?

If you are renting a hotel room long term as your primary residence and paying by the week, a judge might say you should be treated as a tenant. If you are a tenant the hotel should go through the court eviction process. Right now Governor Edwards has suspended evictions statewide until September 24, 2021, so you cannot legally be evicted until after that date. If this argument is unsuccessful, see below.

Can the hotel put me out if I have only been in the hotel a few nights?

Even if the eviction laws don’t apply to you, the hotel must complete several steps before they can call an officer to put you out. First, the hotel must have given you written notice of the agreed-upon departure date and checkout time when you registered. Second, the hotel must give you at least 1 hour’s written or verbal notice that you must leave. La. Revised Statute § 21:75.

The law says that the officer cannot evict you from a hotel during a “serious medical emergency.” La. Revised Statute § 21:76.

Is there hotel assistance available if I am evacuated because of Hurricane Ida?

Yes, FEMA assistance may be available to pay for a hotel.

FEMA may provide Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) to applicants who are unable to return home because their home is either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to Hurricane Ida.

Under TSA, disaster survivors may be eligible to stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and taxes covered by FEMA. For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund, through direct payments to participating hotels/ motels, the use of hotels/motels as transitional shelters.  The applicant is responsible for all other costs like incidental room charges for telephone, room service, food, etc.

You may be eligible for TSA if you:

  • Register with FEMA for assistance,
  • Pass identity and citizenship verification,
  • Your home is located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA,
  • As a result of the disaster, you are displaced from your home,
  • You are unable to obtain lodging through another source.

Approved applicants may choose to stay at any hotel or facility on FEMA’s list at at http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php or the FEMA Helpline.

What if I am evacuated in a hotel in another state?

The laws of Louisiana do not apply to hotels in other states. You will need to consult the law for that state or talk to an attorney in that state. 

Need legal advice on your situation?

You may qualify for free legal aid from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

New Orleans area: (504) 529-1000 x.223

North shore: (985) 345-2130

Houma area: (985) 851-5687 *Note Houma office is closed until at least 9/13 due to Ida damage

Baton Rouge area: (225)-448-0080

La información proporcionada en esta publicación no representa, y no pretende, un asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es información general. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe comunicarse con un abogado. Puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales gratuitos y puede solicitarlo llamando a nuestra línea directa de asistencia legal por desastre al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra aplicación electrónica.

Hoy es el Primero de Septiembre. ¿Todavía debo renta si estoy desplazado de mi hogar debido al huracán? ¿Tengo derecho a una reducción de mi renta si mi hogar ácido dañada o no se puede vivir a causa del huracán?

Desafortunadamente, sí, es probable que aún debe pagar su renta. Cuando no puede usar su casa debido a un "Acto de Dios" u otro evento fuera de su control, como un huracán, es posible que pueda salir de su contrato de arrendamiento (consulte a continuación), pero no puede obtener una reducción del alquiler. El artículo 2715 del Código Civil de Luisiana provee, "Si las deficiencias de su hogar fue causado por circunstancias externas a la cosa arrendada, el arrendatario tiene derecho a una disolución del contrato de arrendamiento, pero no tiene derecho a la disminución de la renta".

¿Puede el dueño de mi hogar desalojarme sin ir a la corte debido a los danos causados por el huracán?

No. El dueño de su hogar debe ir a la corte para desalojarlo, y no puede obligarlo a irse por ningún motivo sin una sentencia de desalojo del juez. Si es evacuado, debe informar el dueño de su hogar que está temporalmente fuera de la ciudad debido a la tormenta y que no ha abandonado las instalaciones ni se ha mudado permanentemente. La mejor manera de hacerlo es por escrito a través de un mensaje de texto o correo electrónico para que pueda demostrar que usted le notificó. Si el dueño de su hogar intenta llamarlo, debe levantar el teléfono y hacerle saber dónde se encuentra usted. La ley solo permite que un propietario tome posesión de la propiedad sin ir a la corte si la propiedad fue abandonada. Por lo general, esto significa que la propiedad está vacía de muebles, nadie parece estar viviendo allí durante un período prolongado de tiempo y las llaves se dejan o se devuelven. Mire articulo 4731(B) del Código Civil de Luisiana. Sin embargo, después del huracán Katrina, algunos propietarios aprovecharon esta disposición para afirmar que su inquilino había "abandonado" las instalaciones cuando acababan de ser evacuados y retirados ilegalmente. Por lo tanto, es importante protegerse y dar un aviso por escrito de que no se ha mudado y planea regresar.

El dueño de su hogar puede ser responsable de los daños si lo desalojan sin pasar por el proceso judicial.

¿Qué pasa si el dueño de mi hogar no hace las reparaciones necesarias para reparar los daños causados por el huracán?

Debe notificar a el dueño de su hogar inmediatamente por escrito (el texto o el correo electrónico están bien) de cualquier daño relacionado con la tormenta que se debe reparar. También debe tomar y enviar fotos si puede. El dueño de su hogar tiene la obligación legal de hacer las reparaciones necesarias para mantener su casa habitable bajo el artículo 2691 del Código Civil de Luisiana, a menos que su contrato de arrendamiento diga que usted es responsable. Algunos retrasos en la reparación pueden estar fuera del control del dueño de su hogar porque los contratistas pueden estar reservados y no disponibles por un período de tiempo. Si el dueño de su hogar se niega a hacer reparaciones que están en su poder para mantener el hogar habitable, usted tiene tres opciones posibles:

  1. Salga de su contrato de arrendamiento antes de tiempo (Mire el articulo 2013 o 2015 del Código Civil de Luisiana)
  2. Reparación y deducción (Mire el artículo 2694 del Código Civil de Luisiana)
  3. Haga una demanda por los daños y perjuicios que ha experimentado (es probable que necesite un abogado privado con este tipo de situación)

Para "reparar y deducir", debe notificar por escrito al dueño de su hogar de la necesidad de hacer las reparaciones necesarias. Si el dueño de su hogar no hace las reparaciones necesarias en un período de tiempo razonable, usted puede hacer las reparaciones usted mismo o contratar a alguien para que lo haga. Luego, guarde el recibo y haga la deducción en su pago de renta para el próximo mes. Asegúrese de pagar a tiempo con un giro postal y adjunte una copia del recibo. Si el dueño de su hogar se niega a aceptar el pago, guarde el giro postal para mostrarle al juez si el dueño de su hogar intenta desalojarlo. Si hace esto correctamente, el dueño de su hogar no debería poder desalojarlo por falta de pago del alquiler.

En algunas circunstancias, puede tener derecho a una reducción de su renta si el uso de su hogar fue "sustancialmente afectado" por el hecho de que el dueño de su hogar no realiza las reparaciones necesarias. Mire el artículo 2715 del Código Civil de Luisiana. Al menos un tribunal ha dicho que debe llegar a un acuerdo con el dueño de su hogar sobre la cantidad de reducción o usted puede demandar una reducción por la corte.

¿Se le permite al dueño de mi hogar pedirme que me vaya para que puedan hacer reparaciones?

Sí, el dueño de su hogar puede desplazarlo de su hogar si las reparaciones no pueden esperar hasta el final de su contrato de arrendamiento. El Código Civil de Luisiana 2693 dice:

Si durante el arrendamiento la cosa requiere una reparación que no se puede posponer hasta el final del contrato de arrendamiento, el arrendador (o dueño del hogar) tiene derecho a hacer esa reparación incluso si esto hace que el arrendatario sufra inconvenientes o pérdida de uso de la cosa.

En tal caso, el arrendatario (o inquilino) puede obtener una reducción o reducción del alquiler, o una disolución del contrato de arrendamiento, dependiendo de todas las circunstancias, incluida la culpa o responsabilidad de cada parte por la reparación, la duración del período de reparación y el alcance de la pérdida de uso.

El propietario no está obligado a colocarlo en un hotel o pagar por alojamiento alternativo si es desplazado temporalmente debido a reparaciones necesarias. Puede argumentar bajo este artículo del código que no debe alquilar por el período de tiempo que está desplazado, o al menos que se le debe un alquiler reducido.*

* Verifique su contrato de arrendamiento, porque si su contrato de arrendamiento dice algo diferente a la ley, su contrato de arrendamiento controlará aquí.

¿Qué pasa si mi contrato de arrendamiento ha expirado o si mi contrato es basado por mes a mes?

Si su contrato de arrendamiento expira, se renueva automáticamente como un contrato de arrendamiento de mes a mes bajo la ley de Luisiana, excepto si su contrato de arrendamiento dice algo diferente. A menos que viva en ciertos tipos de viviendas financiadas por el gobierno, como viviendas de Crédito Tributario para Viviendas de Bajos Ingresos o viviendas públicas, el dueño de su hogar no necesita una razón para desalojarlo al final de su contrato de arrendamiento. Pueden desalojarlo con un aviso por escrito de 10 días al final de un contrato de arrendamiento de mes a mes, o un aviso por escrito de 30 días al final de un año de arrendamiento (a menos que su contrato de arrendamiento diga que se requiere más aviso). Esto no significa que el dueño de su hogar pueda simplemente sacarlo.  El dueño de su hogar aún tiene que presentar un desalojo en la corte si usted no se muda. También el dueño no puede sacarlo físicamente sin una sentencia de desalojo y una "orden de posesión" hecho por un tribunal. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre el proceso de desalojo de Luisiana.

¿El dueño de mi hogar puede desalojarme debido a los daños del huracán?

Si su casa está totalmente destruida, es posible que el dueño de su hogar pueda llevarlo a la corte para desalojarlo una vez que los tribunales vuelvan a abrir. Según el artículo 2714 del Código Civil de Luisiana: "Si la cosa arrendada se pierde o se destruye totalmente, sin culpa de ninguna de las partes, o si es expropiada, el contrato de arrendamiento termina y ninguna de las partes debe daños al otro". *

Si su casa solo está parcialmente destruida, por ejemplo, hay una fuga o una ventana rota pero aún es habitable, o si solo es temporalmente inhabitable debido a la falta de electricidad, el dueño de su hogar no tiene el derecho legal de desalojarlo. Según el artículo 2715 del Código Civil de Luisiana: "Si el deterioro del uso de la cosa arrendada fue causada por circunstancias externas a la cosa arrendada, el arrendatario (el inquilino) tiene derecho a una disolución del contrato de arrendamiento". En otras palabras, USTED tiene derecho a considerar su contrato de arrendamiento disuelto o terminado, pero la ley no le da el dueño de su hogar esa opción.*

* Verifique su contrato de arrendamiento, porque si su contrato de arrendamiento dice algo diferente a la ley, su contrato de arrendamiento controlará aquí. Algunos contratos de arrendamiento tienen una cláusula de "fuerza mayor" que explica lo que sucede cuando hay un huracán u otro desastre natural.

¿Qué debo hacer si el dueño de mi hogar intenta desalojarme injustamente?

Un desalojo injusto es cuando el dueño de su hogar cambia las cerraduras, corta sus servicios públicos o elimina sus posesiones de la propiedad sin pasar por el proceso de desalojo legal (judicial).

Si el dueño de su hogar está en su casa amenazando con hacerlo, o está en el proceso de desalojarlo injustamente y usted se siente cómodo haciéndolo, usted puede llamar a la policía. La policía debe detener a al dueño de su hogar. Usted conoce a su policía local mejor que nosotros, y sabe si esta es una opción segura y sabia para usted.

Si se encuentra en Nueva Orleans, es posible que pueda obtener asistencia de la línea directa de emergencia de la Asamblea de Derechos del Inquilino de Nueva Orleans al (504) 539-4504. (Tenga en cuenta que la mayoría de los grupos tienen una capacidad limitada en este momento debido a la falta de energía y las evacuaciones).

Dependiendo de sus ingresos, es posible que pueda acceder a asistencia legal gratuita.

  • Para el Sureste de Luisiana (Southeast Louisiana Legal Services) - (504) 529-1000 x. 223 o visite la página de web: www.slls.org (presione 1 antes de la extensión si nadie le contesta, los mensajes se pueden dejar en cualquier idioma).
  • Para el Norte y Oeste de Luisiana (Acadiana Legal Services Corporation) - (800)-256-1175 o visite la página de web: www.la-law.org.

 ¿Se me permite romper mi contrato de arrendamiento si mi hogar no se puede revivir debido al huracán?

Si su hogar no es habitable debido al huracán, es posible que tenga derecho a salir de su contrato de arrendamiento antes de tiempo.

Bajo el Código Civil de Luisiana 2715: "Si el deterioro del uso de la cosa arrendada fue causado por circunstancias externas a la cosa arrendada, el arrendatario tiene derecho a una disolución del contrato de arrendamiento..." El impedimento debe ser "sustancial".

Si planea terminar su contrato de arrendamiento antes de tiempo, debe notificar al dueño de su hogar por escrito. Asegúrese de entregar la llave o notificar el dueño de su hogar por escrito dónde la dejó. Tome buenas fotos del hogar y documente por escrito por qué no se pudo vivir. Si el dueño de su hogar lo demanda más tarde por romper su contrato de arrendamiento, o informa una deuda en su crédito, comuníquese con un abogado.

¿Cómo recupero mi depósito de seguridad si me mudo?

Una vez que su contrato de arrendamiento haya terminado y haya desocupado completamente la unidad, el dueño de su hogar tiene 30 días para devolver su depósito o proporcionarle algo por escrito que le explique por qué no se lo devuelto . Si su hogar fue destruido debido a un huracán u otro acto de Dios, puede recuperar su depósito. El dueño de su hogar aún puede deducir cantidades del depósito de seguridad por daños causados por usted o sus invitados o por tarifas o aumentos de renta que aún se deben. Cuando se mude, debe tomar fotos del hogar. También debe intentar documentar que devolvió las claves (se acepta un mensaje de texto o correo electrónico). Debe proporcionar al dueño de su hogar una dirección de reenvío (no tiene que ser su dirección real, solo un lugar donde pueda recibir correo). Después del período de 30 días, puede demandar al dueño de su hogar en un tribunal de reclamos menores por su depósito. También debe enviar al dueño de su hogar una carta de demanda por escrito tan pronto como se mude pidiendo que le devuelvan el depósito. Si el dueño de su hogar no responde a su demanda por escrito dentro de los 30 días posteriores a la recepción de la carta, es posible que tenga derecho a tres veces el monto de su depósito. Puede encontrar más información sobre el proceso de depósito de seguridad aquí.

¿Qué debo hacer si tenía una fecha preexistente en la corte de desalojo esta semana?

El Tribunal de la Primera y Segunda Ciudad en Nueva Orleans está cerrado debido a la falta de electricidad hasta al menos el 19 de septiembre de 2021. Ciertos tribunales de la parroquia de Jefferson están cerrados debido a la falta de electricidad hasta al menos el 6 de septiembre de 2021. Esto puede extenderse dependiendo de cuándo se restablezca la electricidad. Otras parroquias que no tienen poder probablemente no tienen tribunales abiertos. Puede consultar el sitio web de la Corte Suprema de Luisiana o el sitio web de su corte local para obtener actualizaciones. Debido a la falta de electricidad, es posible que algunos sitios de web no se actualicen de inmediato.

¿Puedo acceder a un abogado?

Dependiendo de sus ingresos, es posible que pueda acceder a asistencia legal gratuita.

  • Pare el Sureste de Luisiana (En Ingles: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services) - (504) 529-1000 x. 223 o puede visitar la página de web: www.slls.org (presione 1 antes de la extensión si nadie contesta su llamada, los mensajes se pueden dejar en cualquier idioma).
  • Para el Norte y Oeste de Luisiana (En Ingles: Acadiana Legal Services Corporation) - (800)-256-1175 o puede visitar la página de web: la-law.org.

Tenga en cuenta que a partir del 9/1/2021 todas las oficinas de Southeast Louisiana Legal Services están actualmente cerradas debido a la falta de electricidad.

¿Dónde puedo encontrar otros recursos sobre la ley de propietarios e inquilinos de Luisiana?

Puede obtener información sobre una variedad de temas legales en https://louisianalawhelp.org/es/issues/housing

* Nada en esta publicación debe interpretarse como asesoramiento legal. Otro abogado puede estar en desacuerdo con nuestro análisis.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Disaster Legal Assistance Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.
Updated on: September 7, 2021

Today is September 1. Do I owe rent if I am out of my home due to the hurricane? Am I entitled to pay less rent if my house was damaged or is unlivable because of the hurricane?

Unfortunately, yes, you likely still owe rent. The law treats a hurricane as an “Act of God.” When you cannot use your home because of an Act of God, you may be able to get out of your lease (see below). But you cannot pay less rent. See Louisiana Civil Code article 2715: “If the impairment of the use of the leased thing was caused by circumstances external to the leased thing, the lessee is entitled to a dissolution of the lease, but is not entitled to diminution of the rent.” However, there are some possible exceptions:

As will be explained further down, if you are displaced from your home temporarily so your landlord can make repairs, you may be entitled to a reduction of rent during your displacement under Louisiana Civil Code article 2693.

If your use of your home is "substantially impaired" based, in part, on your landlord's failure to make repairs or conduct maintenance- i.e. something in your landlord's control- you may be owed a reduction in rent under Louisiana Civil Code article 2715. At least one court has said that you can't decide this on your own, but instead you have to get court approval and/or come to an agreement with your landlord.

Louisiana Revised Statute 9:3260 states that your landlord must mitigate your damages (i.e. try to reduce the financial harm you experience) when you are constructively evicted or the unit becomes uninhabitable through no fault of the tenant. Constructive eviction is when you are forced to move from your home without being ordered to by a judge. The law does not define what the landlord must do to mitigate your damages, and courts have not said.

Can my landlord evict me without going to court due to hurricane damage?

No. Your landlord must go to court to evict you. He or she should not force you to leave without an eviction order from the judge.

If you are evacuated you should let your landlord know that you are temporarily out of town due to the storm and have not abandoned the premises or moved out permanently. The best way to do this is in writing via text message or email so you can prove you notified them. If your landlord tries to call you, you should pick up the phone and let them know where you are. The law only allows a landlord to take possession of a unit without going to court if the property is abandoned. Typically this means that the property is empty of furnishings, no one appears to be living there for an extended period of time, and the keys are left or returned. See La. Code Civ. P. art. 4731(B). However after Katrina some landlords took advantage of this provision to claim that their tenant had "abandoned" the premises when they were just evacuated and illegally removed their belongings. So it is important to protect yourself by putting your landlord on written notice that you have not moved out and plan to return.

Your landlord may be liable for damages if they evict you without going through the court process.

What if my landlord will not repair hurricane damage?

 Tell your landlord in writing immediately of any storm damage that needs to be repaired. Text or email is fine to use for this. You should also take and send pictures if you can.

Your landlord is required to keep your home livable under Louisiana Civil Code art. 2691, unless your lease says you are the one who must make repairs. Contractors may be booked and unavailable for a while. This is not your landlord’s fault. But your landlord won’t make repairs that they can make to keep your home livable, you have three options:

  1. Get out of your lease early (See La Civ. Code 2013 or 2015)
  2. Repair and deduct (See La. Civ. Code art. 2694)
  3. Sue for damages (you will likely need a private attorney as legal aid cannot assist with this)

To “repair and deduct" you must write your landlord as to what repairs are needed. If your landlord does not make needed repairs in a reasonable time, you can make repairs yourself or hire someone to make them. Then, save the receipt and deduct it from your next month’s rent. Be sure to pay rent on time with a money order and attach a copy of the receipt. If your landlord won’t accept what you pay, keep the money order to show the judge in case your landlord tries to evict you. If you do these steps right, the judge should not let your landlord evict you for nonpayment of rent.

If the damage to your home is caused by a pre-storm issue with the property rather than an Act of God, you may be entitled to a reduced rent if use of your home is “substantially impaired.” See La. Civ. Code art. 2715. At least one court has said you cannot decide the amount to reduce the rent on your own. Instead you must either reach an agreement with your landlord about the amount or sue in court for a reduction.

Can my landlord ask me to leave so they can make repairs?

 Yes, your landlord can make you move if repairs cannot wait until the end of your lease. Louisiana Civil Code 2693 says:

If during the lease the thing requires a repair that cannot be postponed until the end of the lease, the lessor has the right to make that repair even if this causes the lessee to suffer inconvenience or loss of use of the thing.

When this happens, you might be entitled to pay less rent, or to end your lease, depending on all of the facts, including each party's fault or responsibility for the repair, how long the repair takes, and how much less the home can be used.

The landlord does not have to put you up in a hotel or pay for you to live somewhere else if you are out for a while for needed repairs. You can argue that you should not owe rent for the time you are out, or at least that you should owe less rent.*

*But if your lease says something different, your lease controls.

What if my lease is expired or I am month-to-month?

 If your lease is expired it becomes a month-to-month lease under Louisiana law, unless your lease says something different. Unless you live in certain government-funded housing, like Low Income Housing Tax Credit housing or public housing, your landlord does not need a reason to evict you at the end of your lease. They can evict you after written notice 10 days’ before the end of a month-to-month lease. They can eviction  after written notice 30 days before the end of a year lease (unless the lease requires more notice). This does not mean your landlord can just put you out. Your landlord still has to file an eviction in court if you do not move. He or she cannot put you out without an eviction judgment and a “warrant for possession” from a court. Click here for more information about the Louisiana eviction process.

Is my landlord allowed to evict me due to hurricane damage?

If your home is totally destroyed, your landlord can evict you in court after courts reopen. Under Louisiana Civil Code article 2714: “If the leased thing is lost or totally destroyed, without the fault of either party, or if it is expropriated, the lease terminates and neither party owes damages to the other.”*

Sometimes a home is only partially destroyed, like from a leak or broken window but it is still liveable. Sometimes a home is temporarily unlivable like for lack of electricity. For partial or temporary cases, your landlord cannot legally evict you. Under Louisiana Civil Code 2715: “If the impairment of the use of the leased thing was caused by circumstances external to the leased thing, the lessee is entitled to a dissolution of the lease.” In other words, YOU have a right to end your lease, but the landlord cannot end it.*

*Check your lease, because if your lease says something different than the law your lease will control here. Some leases have a “force majeure” clause that says what happens for a hurricane or other disaster.

What should I do if my landlord tries to wrongfully evict me?

A wrongful eviction is where your landlord changes the locks, cuts off your utilities, or removes your things from the property without going through court.

If your landlord is at your home threatening to, or is wrongfully evicting you and you feel comfortable doing so, you can call law enforcement and they should stop your landlord. You know your local law enforcement better than we do, and know whether this is safe and wise for you.

If you are in New Orleans you may be able to obtain assistance from the New Orleans Renter’s Rights Assembly’s emergency hotline at (504) 539-4504. (Please note that most groups have limited capacity now due to lack of power and evacuations).

If your income is low you may be able to access free legal assistance.

  • Southeast Louisiana (Southeast Louisiana Legal Services) - (504) 529-1000 x. 223 or slls.org (press 1 before the extension if you do not get through- messages can be left in any language).
  • Northern and western Louisiana (Acadiana Legal Services Corporation) -  (800)-256-1175 or la-law.org

Am I allowed to break my lease if my home is unlivable due to the hurricane?

If your home is not liveable due to the hurricane, you may be able to get out of your lease early.

Under Louisiana Civil Code 2715: “If the impairment of the use of the leased thing was caused by circumstances external to the leased thing, the lessee is entitled to a dissolution of the lease...” The impairment must be “substantial.”

If you plan to end your lease early, you should notify your landlord in writing why it is unliveable. Be sure to turn in the key or notify your landlord in writing where you left it. Take good pictures of the unit. If your landlord sues you later for breaking your lease, or reports a debt on your credit, contact a lawyer.

How do I get my security deposit back if I move out?

Once your lease has ended and you have completely vacated the unit your landlord has 30 days to either return your deposit or write to you why they are keeping it. If your unit was destroyed because of a hurricane or other Act of God you should get your deposit back. Your landlord can deduct from the security deposit for damage caused by you or your guests or for fees or rent you owe. When you move out you should take pictures of the unit. You should also try to have something to prove you returned the keys (text message or email works). You need to give your landlord a forwarding address (it does not have to be where you live, just a place you get mail). After the 30 days you can sue your landlord in small claims court for your deposit. You should also send your landlord a written letter as soon as you move out asking for the deposit back. If your landlord does not respond to your letter within 30 days of receiving it, you may be able to get three times your deposit back. You can find more information about the security deposit process here.

What should I do if I had an eviction scheduled in court for September?

The Governor has delayed all legal deadlines by 30 days in the parishes affected by Hurricane Ida. You do not have to respond to a suit for eviction or any other lawsuit until September 24.
It is safest to make sure any eviction court knows about this. You can view the order here.
If a constable or Sheriff tries to evict you anyway, or a court issues an eviction order, call Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to see if we can provide free legal help. (504) 529-1000 x. 223 or slls.org (press 1 before the extension if you do not get through- messages can be left in any language).

If I am displaced or decide to terminate my lease because my home is damaged, will that affect my FEMA claim?

Please note: if you live in government subsidized housing where you pay rent based on your income, you should NOT terminate your lease without speaking to a lawyer. This might affect your right to return to the property once it is repaired.

If you can’t return home, you need to update FEMA with your post-disaster address. The main reason for doing so is so that FEMA can mail you correspondence. Another reason for doing so is that you may be eligible for rental assistance and other aid if you remain displaced from your pre-disaster address.

Be sure to take very good pictures of the damage in your home. If you have "before and after" pictures that's even better. If you can, download an app on your smart phone that time stamps your photos so FEMA can see clearly when they were taken.

FEMA may call you from an unknown or unfamiliar number to schedule an inspection. If you are displaced you should tell the inspector that you are displaced because the home is unlivable and that you have photos of the damage. If you plan to terminate your lease due to storm damage, ask the inspector if they will need to get into the home or if your pictures will suffice. If they need to get into the home to inspect, you may want to notify your landlord and hang onto a key until the inspection occurs. Remember that you can always request a reinspection if you are not satisfied with the original inspection.

Can I get a lawyer?

Depending on your income you may be able to get free legal assistance.

  • Southeast Louisiana (Southeast Louisiana Legal Services) - (504) 529-1000 x. 223 or slls.org (press 1 before the extension if you do not get through- messages can be left in any language).
  • Northern and western Louisiana (Acadiana Legal Services Corporation) -  (800)-256-1175 or la-law.org

Please note that as of 9/1/2021 all Southeast Louisiana Legal Services offices are closed due to lack of electricity. The New Orleans office will reopen for walk-in appointments for rental housing issues on Friday, 9/10/2021.

Where can I find other resources on Louisiana landlord-tenant law?

You can get information on a many legal issues at https://louisianalawhelp.org/issues/housing

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

The CDC eviction moratorium has been extended until October 3, 2021. You can learn more about your rights as a tenant while the moratorium is in place here. The ban on evictions for nonpayment of rent only applies to communities with "substantial" and "high" levels of community spread of COVID-19. Currently, all parishes in Louisiana fall into this category and so the CDC ban applies. You can check your parish's current status here. Under "7 day totals" you will see a figure that says "XXX per 100k". If the number is higher than 50.99 your parish is covered.

To qualify for protection under the moratorium, you must fill out a declaration form and provide it to your landlord. You can download a copy of the declaration form here.

If you have questions or need legal help with an eviction contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services at 844-244-7871. If you are in the New Orleans area you can call 504-529-1000 x.223.
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

The federal order banning evictions for nonpayment of rent expires July 31, 2021. We do not expect another extension and there are no local protections in Louisiana. We know this is stressful for tenants. Here are some things you can do if you are worried about eviction after the moratorium ends:

  1. Apply for rental assistance if you have not already. Emergency rental assistance programs are operating for all the state and may pay up to 12 months of back rent, plus 1-3 months forward. Find your local rental assistance program here (note: Orleans, Jefferson, EBR, Lafayette, St. Tammany, Caddo, and Calcasieu have their own programs).
  2. If you get an eviction notice, you may qualify for free legal assistance.
    1. If you receive an eviction notice and you are in the New Orleans area, contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services at (504) 529-1000 x.223 or come to our office during walk-in hours, Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 9 and 3. Our office is at 1340 Poydras St. Suite 600, and there is free 1 hour parking to the right of the building (but you need to sign in at the security desk). Masks are required and you will not be served if you are not properly wearing a mask.
    2. If you live outside the New Orleans area and have an eviction notice, you can contact the legal services office in your area. For Southeastern Louisiana find your local office here. For Western and North Louisiana find your local office here. If you live outside of Louisiana you can find your free legal aid office here.
  3. Try to negotiate a payment plan with your landlord, and put the payment plan in writing. If it is in writing, it may be enforceable in court.

What if I do not feel safe coming to court for my eviction because of COVID-19?

We know that people have concerns about increases in Covid. You have a right to attend your court hearing by computer or smartphone, or other accommodations, if you are a person for whom Covid poses a special risk, such as people with diabetes, heart conditions, etc. If you are denied the right to a remote/virtual hearing, or other requested accommodations, please contact legal services immediately.

In addition, if you have COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, you should not go to court because you will risk infecting others. You can request a continuance (postponement) or to attend your hearing by computer or smartphone. You may be able to get free legal aid to assist you with this (see above).

Please note that if you do not show up to your court hearing and do not notify the court that you need an accommodation you will receive a default judgment of eviction, and you will have only 24 hours to move. So you must contact the court (or get your lawyer to contact the court) before the hearing if you are unable to attend for health reasons. You may be able to get free legal aid to assist you with this (see above).

What about when I apply for a new apartment?

If you have rent debt or an eviction on your record due to COVID-19, there is a new law that may help you. House Bill 374 was signed into law as Louisiana Revised Statute 9:3258.1 effective August 1. Under this new law:

  • Before a landlord can charge you an application fee, they have to notify you of whether they screen for credit scores, employment history, criminal history, or eviction records.
  • They also have to notify you that you have a right to submit a financial hardship statement if you have an eviction record or debt on your credit report because of COVID-19, or another declared disaster.

You also have a right to contest inaccurate information on your credit report. Here is information about your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can also contact your local legal aid agency for assistance. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services’ COVID-19 hotline is at 844-244-7871.

What if I get sued for the back rent I owe?

If you get sued for back rent, you may qualify for free legal assistance. You can contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services’ COVID-19 hotline at 844-244-7871, or find your local legal aid provider here.

Other resources

Read some background about the CDC order here, here, and here.

Check out the US Interagency Council on Homelessness’s guide for people facing eviction here.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.
If a debt collector is trying to evict you, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be able to help. Call our Covid-19 Helpline at 1-844-244-7871 to apply for free legal assistance or fill out our online application here. If you have been unable to pay your rent due to Covid-19, your landlord may decide to hire a debt-collection company or a lawyer to try to recover the money you owe. Your landlord will tell the debt collector how to get in touch with you and how to report the debt on your credit report. You have certain legal rights if your debt is turned over to a debt collector. Debt collectors must obey a law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Please note, the FDCPA does not apply to your landlord or to your landlord’s employees who may try to collect your past-due rent (like a building or property manager). Under this law, debt collectors cannot harass or deceive you. Here are some examples of behavior that would violate this federal law:
  • Calling you at unreasonable hours
  • Cursing at you or calling you vulgar names.
  • Calling over and over to annoy you
  • Lying to you about what the debt collector plans to do to you.
  • For example, a debt collector can’t threaten to sue you unless the debt collector plans to sue. A debt collector can’t threaten to garnish your wages unless the debt collector sued you over the debt and got the court to issue a judgment against you. .

Debt collectors (a collections company or attorney your landlord has hired) have more responsibilities toward you when taking action during the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ Eviction Moratorium. The “moratorium” is the period during which people with COVID-related hardships have more protections against eviction, foreclosure, and some debt collection practices.  

  • Through at least June 30, 2021, debt collectors cannot file an eviction against you for non-payment of rent without first providing clear, written notice about the protections under the eviction moratorium. You can still be evicted for some reasons other than nonpayment of rent.
  • This notice must be provided on the same date as the eviction notice. It also has to be in writing, on paper. Phone calls or electronic notice such as text messages or emails are not enough.
  • Debt collectors are also prohibited from misrepresenting that you are ineligible for protections under the eviction moratorium.
In order to qualify for protection under the moratorium you must fill out a declaration form and provide it to your landlord. You can download a copy of the declaration form in English here. More information on the eviction moratorium and rental assistance can be found here.
  *Please note, our services are only available for residents of the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana