7 Basics of Louisiana's Security Deposit Law

What Louisiana Landlords and Tenants Need to Know

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Louisiana's Security Deposit Law Basics. Keith Feltz/EyeEm/Getty Images

Louisiana’s landlord tenant law includes a section that is specifically devoted to security deposits. It is known as the “Lessee’s Deposit Act.” This Act is helpful to both landlords and tenants so that they understand their rights. Here are seven basics of Louisiana’s security deposit law. 

7 Basics of Louisiana's Security Deposit Law

Collecting a security deposit in addition to first month’s rent can help financially protect a landlord in case a tenant does not pay rent or otherwise breaches the lease agreement.

Here are the seven rules that every Louisiana landlord and tenant should educate themselves on. 

  1. Security Deposit Limit: No Limit
  2. Storing Security Deposits: No Specific Rules
  3. Written Notice After Receipt: Not Required
  4. Keeping Security Deposit: Unpaid Rent, Damage, Utility Bills, Other Breaches
  5. Walk-Through Inspection: Not Required
  6. Returning Deposit: One Month After Move-Out
  7. Selling Property: Must Transfer Deposits to New Owner

1. Is There a Security Deposit Limit in Louisiana?

No. There is no set limit in Louisiana as to the maximum amount a landlord can charge a tenant as a security deposit. Although there is no limit, most landlords will charge between one month and two months’ rent. For example, if the rent is $1000 a month, requiring a one-time security deposit between $1000 and $2000 would be typical.

While you want the security deposit to be enough to protect you from tenant wrongdoing, you do not want it to be so high that prospective tenants do not want to rent from you.

In addition, you should always check with your local city or town because they may have different laws that may apply.

2. How Must You Store the Security Deposit in Louisiana?

There are no specific rules in the state of Louisiana for how a landlord must store a tenant’s security deposit. The deposit does not have to be placed in a separate bank account and the deposit does not have to earn interest.

3. Is Written Notice Required After Receipt of the Security Deposit in Louisiana?

No. In Louisiana, landlords do not have to provide written notice to the tenant after receiving the tenant’s security deposit.

4. What Are Some Reasons You Can Keep a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Louisiana?

In the state of Louisiana, landlords can make deductions from the tenant’s security deposit for the following reasons:

  • Unpaid Rent
  • Damage in Excess of Normal Wear and Tear
  • To Remedy Any Defaults of the Tenant- Such as Unpaid Utility Bills
  • Other Breaches to the Lease Agreement

5. Is a Walk Through Inspection Required in Louisiana?

No. When a tenant moves-out of a unit, a landlord is not required to perform a move-out inspection with them.

6. When Must You Return a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Louisiana?

When:

In Louisiana, a landlord has one month after a tenant moves out to return the tenant’s security deposit.

How:

The tenant must provide the landlord with a forwarding address where he or she can be reached after move-out. The landlord is responsible for sending the security deposit, less any allowable deductions, to the tenant at this address.

Itemized Statement:

If any deductions have been made from the security deposit, the landlord is responsible for sending a written itemized list to the tenant at the forwarding address provided.

This list should state what deductions have been taken from the deposit and the amount that has been deducted.

Wrongful Withholding:

If a landlord fails to return a tenant’s security deposit within the time specified or wrongfully withholds a portion of the security deposit, he or she could be liable to pay $200 or actual damages, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

Exceptions:

The landlord has no further obligations to return a tenant’s security deposit if the tenant has abandoned the premises.

7. What Happens to the Security Deposit If You Sell Your Property?

If you sell your property, or the property otherwise changes hands, you are responsible for transferring all tenants’ security deposits to the new owner. Once this transfer is complete, you have no further liability for the security deposits.

The new owner will be responsible for returning the tenants’ security deposits.

What Is Louisiana's Security Deposit Law?

If you want to view the original text of the security deposit law in Louisiana, please consult Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §§ 9:3251 to 9:3253.