The Louisiana Security Deposit
is money you give to your landlord when you move in. Your landlord can use
it to cover any unpaid rent or damages. You may not use your security
deposit to cover your last month's rent unless your landlord agrees.
All agreements should be in writing.
There may be limits on security deposits for subsidized tenants. There are
no limits for unsubsidized tenants. However, if your landlord has
asked you for a security deposit that is unusually large, he may be
unlawfully discriminating against you because of your race or for other
reasons. If you think this is the case call the Greater New Orleans Fair
Housing Action Center or other local regional Legal Services Center.
Interest: Unless agreed to, a Louisiana Landlord does not have to
pay interest on the deposit. Different rules may apply
for subsidized housing.
Your landlord cannot keep your security deposit for "normal wear
and tear." Examples of "normal wear and tear" could be:
This means that your landlord cannot charge you for routine upkeep,
such as periodic cleaning and painting.
The Louisiana landlord can deduct the cost of fixing damages which are
beyond "normal wear and
tear." Examples of these damages could
If your apartment is damaged by a storm, a fire, or a vandal, tell your
landlord right away. He cannot charge you for the repairs if you or your
guests did not cause the damage. It is also a good idea to make a police
RETURN OF SECURITY DEPOSIT: The
landlord has one month after you move out to either (1)
return your deposit or (2) send you a letter telling you why he is not
giving back all or part of your deposit.
If the landlord sends a statement, this
letter has to be "itemized." That means the landlord has to
list the specific things covered by the money the landlord is
To help protect your right to get your
deposit back, when you terminate (end) your lease you must give your
landlord the right kind of notice that you are moving out.
You must also give your landlord a
forwarding address where the landlord can send you your
deposit or an itemized statement.
If you are a tenant at will (no
written lease), your landlord must give back the deposit or send you the
letter within 21 days after you move out and return the key. If
you have a lease, check to see what it says. If there is nothing in
the lease about this, or if the lease gives more than 30 days, then your
landlord has 30 days to return the deposit.