(Information current as of April 6, 2020)
On March 13, 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order suspending evictions. The order has been extended through April 30, 2020. Several courts that hear these cases have also suspended evictions due to changes in operations made in response to COVID-19.
On March 27, 2020, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law. The law includes important, immediate protections for tenants and homeowners. Several local housing authorities suspending Section 8 and other public housing evictions and terminations during the COVID19 pandemic.
Tenants who are facing evictions, lockouts and threats of termination of leases – related to COVID-19 or for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, should seek legal help. Ryan White eligible clients can contact CrescentCare Legal Services for free legal help at 504-323-2642 or 225-302-5968.
Am I protected from eviction during COVID-19?
Evictions are suspended statewide in Louisiana through April 30, 2020. This is a part of Governor John Bel Edwards Executive Order. The date may be extended in the future.
Am I still required to pay rent?
My income changed due to COVID-19 pandemic and I can’t afford to pay my rent. What should I do?
Talk to your landlord, explain your situation and ask about payment options. It’s important to get this in writing. If you reach an agreement with your landlord, ask for it in writing or send an email confirming your conversation to your landlord.
Can my landlord charge me late fees if I don’t pay rent on the due date?
Check your lease for the last day you can pay without a late fee. If you still can’t make the payment by that date, you should ask your landlord to waive the late fees. Get it in writing or send your landlord an email confirming waiver of late fees.
Can my landlord give me an eviction notice (Notice to Vacate) even though I can’t be evicted?
Your landlord may still give you a Notice to Vacate. However, if you don’t move out, your landlord can’t make you leave because most courts are closed and petitions can’t be filed to evict renters at this time. Seek legal help if you are served with a notice.
Do I have any rights under the federal government CARES Act enacted on March 27, 2020?
Yes. The CARES Act includes an evictions moratorium through July 25, 2020 (120-days) for renters who
- Have Section 8 vouchers,
- USDA Rural Development vouchers,
- Live in HUD-subsidized housing properties
- Live in properties participating in the Low-Income Housing Credit (LITHC),
- Live in properties owned by landlords with a mortgage backed by the federal government.
Can the housing authority terminate section 8 or public housing assistance?
Most housing authorities have issued notices of intent to comply with federal and state orders suspending evictions and terminations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check the website of your local housing authorities. If you don’t know the name of the authority, visit www.affordablehousingonline.com/housing-authorities/Louisiana for a list of Louisiana housing authorities and contact information. Housing Authorities in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, St. Charles Parish, Jefferson Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Lafayette, St. Charles Parish have suspended evictions.
My rent is based on my income. Should I report changes in my income to my landlord or the housing authority?
Yes. If you are on Section 8, public housing or subsidized housing and your income has changed, you should report it immediately to your caseworker or landlord. Call, text, email or mail a letter and keep a record of when and how you did it. There may be a delay in changing your rent because of COVID-19 office closures or staffing shortages. Keep a record and follow up with an attorney if your rent isn’t reduced within a month after you send in your information. Ryan White eligible clients can contact CrescentCare Legal Services for free legal help at 504-323-2642 or 225-302-5968.
My landlord changed the locks, shut off my utilities, removed my stuff from the property, or called the authorities to have me removed from the property.
Louisiana law prohibits a landlord from locking you out, throwing out your property, shutting off your utilities or otherwise doing things to evict you without going through the court process. A court order is required to evict you. If your landlord does any of these things in an attempt to evict you, you can contact the police or seek help from an attorney. Ryan White eligible clients can contact CrescentCare Legal Services for free legal help at 504- 323-2642 or 225-302-5968.
Have you been served with an eviction notice?
If you are served with an eviction notice from a court or Justice of the Peace while evictions are suspended, seek legal help immediately. Ryan White eligible clients can contact CrescentCare Legal Services for free legal help at 504-323-2642 or 225-302-5968.
Other legal resources:
• Southeast Louisiana Legal Services COVID-19 hotline: 1-844-244-7871
• Acadiana Legal Services Corporation: 1-800-256-1175
• Visit la.FreeLegalAnswers.org to get answers to many legal area questions.
• Get detailed information and forms about most legal problems at www.LouisianaLaw.help.
• For questions about COVID-19 and resources, call 211 or text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211.
DISCLAIMER: This document is written for general informational purposes and is not intended to offer legal advice for any individual situation. Note that the laws, rules and guidance change regularly. Information in this document is current as of April 6, 2020. Check back for updates.