It’s no secret that the New Orleans residential rental market is furiously competitive. From university students to working professionals of all ages, the New Orleans market is simply unlike most other rental markets. Though most renters are able to live out the term of their lease with little conflict with their landlord, there are occasions in which serious conflicts arise. With such a large percentage of renters (both sophisticated and perhaps unsophisticated) in New Orleans, it is important for renters to understand their basic lease rights in Louisiana.
Though the vast majority of landlords in New Orleans require a written lease, under Louisiana law, there is no requirement that a lease be in writing or have a specific term/length to be effective. The essential elements of a lease are an agreement between parties on the (1) rent and the (2) thing to be rented. Further, under Louisiana lease law, a lessor/landlord owes a variety of duties to the lessee/renter. These include the duty to make certain repairs to the leased premises, the duty to maintain the renter’s peaceful possession of the leased premises, and the duty to warrant against vices and defects in the leased premises. For instance, it is common knowledge that a landlord is obligated to keep a leased premises in a safe condition so as to not endanger the renter, i.e., fixing faulty wiring or dangerous, unstable flooring.
However, renters may sometimes find themselves in uncommon situations in which they have little ability to negotiate and/or control their rights as a lessee. For instance, the following situation is unfortunately occurring more frequently as the New Orleans real estate market continues to blossom: An owner of a residential property that is leased to a renter sells the property to a third party, thereby forcing the renter to move out on little notice. Though unfortunate, this circumstance is held permissible because the lease in question was not recorded. Under Louisiana’s public records doctrine, a recordation in this instance is required to bind a third party. Thus, renters may find it beneficial to protect themselves (and the term of their lease) by recording their lease, thereby putting potential third party real estate buyers on notice.
For more information on landlords and renters rights, learn about your legal rights from an experienced New Orleans attorney by filling out our free, no obligation case review form located on this website.