New Protections Against Illegal Evictions Go into Effect August 1st

Attention Louisiana renters: you have new rights and protections starting August 1st. This past legislative session, LaFHAC worked with our partners and supporters to help pass legislation that protects Louisiana renters from illegal evictions, including after hurricanes and other disasters.

There are three key protections in this new law:

  • First, renters whose landlords change their locks, throw their things out, or otherwise try to illegally evict them – without going through a court process – will be able to recover a penalty from their landlord. This penalty includes two months’ rent, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
  • The second change is that after a federally declared disaster (like a hurricane), renters are now allowed thirty days to return after evacuating before a landlord can use their absence as evidence that they have “abandoned” a property.
  • The last change is that after a federally declared disaster, expensive court costs for renters trying to fight illegal evictions will be waived. Renters fighting illegal evictions in court will not have to pay expensive security bonds.

While the new protections in place include some hurricane-specific protections, such as the thirty-day evacuation protection, these changes hold landlords accountable for any illegal eviction, whether storm-related or not. 

There are a few things that will not change on August 1st. The state eviction law will remain the same. Another thing that won’t change is that only judges can decide whether a tenant will be forced to leave their home or not, through the eviction court process. Lastly, landlords can continue to enter damaged properties to assess damages or make urgent repairs.  

If you are fighting an illegal eviction or know someone who is, don’t hesitate to contact the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center at (504)-596-2100 or toll-free at (877)-445-2100 for more information or assistance.

Posted by Malcolm Phillipson 08/01/2022and categorized as Blog, Press Releases, Uncategorized