Louisiana Eviction Law Firm
Our firm handles evictions for our clients throughout Louisiana for landlords as well as mortgage lenders. Residential and commercial landlords with a high volume of rental units face the unavoidable task of having to evict tenants, and many times choose to pursue a lawsuit for past-due rent. Likewise, mortgage lenders often find the properties they acquire in foreclosure are still occupied. In either case, the property owner has rights to evict occupants. Our creditors’ rights team is experienced at handling eviction cases and is ready to help you exercise your rights.
In Louisiana, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict may include failure to pay rent, paying late, remaining after the expiration of the lease, damage to the property, illegal activity at the property, failure to uphold other responsibilities under Louisiana’s lease laws, and violating lease terms, among others.
The first step is to terminate the lease by providing a “5-day notice” to vacate. The 5-day notice may be delivered in person by handing it to the tenant, posting it on the entry door, or by certified mail with a return receipt. The landlord is not required to give the tenant any time to correct the lease violation or catch up on the rent. As soon as rent is late or a violation has occurred, the landlord can deliver the notice and the tenant is expected to vacate the property within five days.
If the tenant moves out, the landlord may take possession without further judicial process. However, if the tenant does not move out within the five days permitted, then the landlord must file an eviction lawsuit. Unfortunately, the requirement that a lawsuit be filed adds to the cost and also slows things down as the landlord must wait for their day in court to prove the lease violation. Once the judge orders the eviction, the tenant generally has 24 hours to vacate the property, and the sheriff may enforce this order.
Following the physical eviction, many landlords choose to sue for past-due rent. This is especially true for commercial leases in which the rent is much higher than residential leases, and where landlords may have given the tenant several months to try to catch up which often only leads to more past-due rent. In any event, our firm is prepared to enforce your rights as a landlord.
After a foreclosure, it is not uncommon to find the property is still occupied. The purchaser of the foreclosed property must find out who is occupying the property before initiating an eviction. If it is the former owner, the purchaser can move for a writ of possession as soon as the sheriff’s sale deed is recorded in the conveyance records. The sheriff will then post notice of the writ on the door notifying the former owner that they must vacate the premises generally within 24 hours, after which time the sheriff will remove them.
If the occupants were tenants of the former owner then the process is more time consuming. A bona fide tenant is a person who has entered into a lease with the foreclosed property owner at least 30 days prior to the foreclosure. The Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act (PTFA) was passed in 2009 in response to the mortgage crisis. It ensures that tenants facing eviction as a result of a foreclosure of the home they are renting have sufficient time to find new housing.
The PTFA establishes a minimum time period a tenant can remain in a foreclosed property before eviction. Typically, the new owner after a foreclosure must deliver a 60-day notice to bona fide tenants. Only after the 60 days have elapsed can a formal eviction begin if the tenants have not yet moved out. To avoid this long notice period, purchasers of foreclosed property will often offer “cash for keys.” If accepted the parties will agree to a set move out date in exchange for a sum of money.
New Orleans Eviction Attorneys
Bowes, Petkovich & Palmer, LLC is a Gretna law firm that has served the New Orleans area since 1980. Our experienced creditors’ rights lawyers are well versed at handling evictions throughout Louisiana for landlords and for mortgage lenders. We take pride in offering an effective and efficient experience. Call us today for a free consultation and find out why so many of our clients come back to us.