The eviction process, an unfortunate part of the rental business
The following court info is for Metairie, LA 70003
The following legal info was gathered over time mostly from the 5th District Justice of the Peace when now retired Judge Mortalaro was still in office and located on Conlin St. off W. Esplanade and of course lessons learned the hard way from the school of hard knocks.
As advised by those in the court system and just like credit card debt, once you get behind on your payments it is very difficult to catch up. Therefore, as hard as it may be and regardless of how you may care for your tenant, you must insist that they pay on time and keep their account current. Once your tenant falls behind on their rent they are destined to relocate. The landlord is simply the one who decides when. Prolonging the process adds stress to both the tenant and the landlord and of course loss of revenue and the deposit. If you and your tenant agree that the business relationship is over and moves on, you are indeed lucky.
The justice of the peace has moved to the Yenni Building in Elmwood on the 6th floor- Phone 504-736-8714. The honorable judge Charles V. Cusimano, II presides. You must file for eviction in person and it now costs $120 to file. The court will set a date usually in about a week for an eviction hearing and will post a notice of eviction proceedings on your tenant’s door. You must attend this hearing or the eviction is null and void. If your tenant feels they should not be evicted and challenges you then they will also be there and present their case to the judge.
Presuming your tenant does not show up for the hearing or looses their case, you will be granted legal access to your property within a few days. HOWEVER, if your tenant does not leave or has left valuables behind, you must file for a “Writ of Physical Eviction”. Again, this must be filed in person at the court and costs an additional $40 which covers the cost of the Constable meeting with you at your property to physically evict the tenant and his possessions.
You must legally follow this process and respect your tenant. It is unfortunate but the eviction process will cost you the months rent, legal expenses, uncompensated “make ready” repairs, remarketing time, advertising cost and / or real estate rental commissions not to mention a whole lot of your personal time.
Apartments rent between the last week of the month and the first week of the following month. If you delay your filling of eviction you will loose an additional months rent as it will take a week or so to do the make ready cleaning and repairs. If done promptly, the cost of an eviction averages around $2,000.00 or more if new carpet is required, things have been damaged or the unit does not rent right away.
A quality landlord provides a public service for very little actual net compensation. It can, however, be a gratifying experience to provide decent housing for those who appreciate your efforts.