Hurricane Ida FAQ: Hotel Evictions and Assistance

Posted on: September 8, 2021
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 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

Read Full Article