The Landlord-Tenant Relationship

/ / News & Insights

Title Stream is a certified vendor under the LREC, and we continue to offer a variety of complimentary classes throughout the year to help further real estate agents in their profession.  One such offered course is on the Landlord Tenant Relationship.  Below you will find a few takeaways from this two hour CE.

  • A lease is a personal and legally binding agreement between a landlord and tenant for a term (not to exceed 99 years) that grants possession of a thing in exchange for rent.   A lease is a personal right, and therefore does not follow the property itself.  Therefore, it will not (absent a separate agreement) bind a third party to that lease agreement unless it is recorded!  A tenant can protect himself from eviction by recording their lease.  Agents to Seller/Landlords beware:  a tenant will have a cause of action against your seller/landlord for breach if their possession of the property is disrupted by a sale!
  • If a landlord allows their tenant to remain in possession of the property one week past the termination of the lease, the lease automatically becomes a month to month lease while all other terms of the lease remain.  As with all month to month leases, the lease will continue into the next month without 10 days written notice.
  • In a lease agreement, a landlord is obligated to (1) deliver the premise to the tenant (2) in good condition fit for its leased purpose; and to (3) provide maintenance and repair to maintain the condition of the property.  The landlord must further (4) guarantee the tenant’s peaceful possession, and (5) refrain from making alterations to the property unless they simply cannot be postponed.  It is also presumed to be the responsibility of the landlord to (6) pay taxes and other necessary charges.  Of these 6 enumerated obligations of the landlord,  all can be waived in the lease agreement except those related to the tenant’s possession.  The landlord absolutely must deliver the premise to the tenant and further maintain their tenant’s peaceful possession.
  • What if a tenant does not fulfill their obligation to pay rent?   The landlord can sue to either cancel or enforce the lease.  They can also file a separate suit to collect past due rent and as part of that judicial process may seize personal items found in the property.  Proper procedure must be strictly followed!  Louisiana does not permit “self help” tactics!  Failure to follow the proper procedure could result in a lawsuit against the landlord for wrongful eviction!
  • Security Deposits:  A tenant cannot waive their right to the return and/or accounting for a Security Deposits in their lease agreement.  If a landlord does not account for the deposit within thirty days of a tenant’s written request for a refund, the tenant can recover damages.  However, money held by the landlord as a fee or charge is to be distinguished from a deposit.  It may or may not be recoverable depending on the terms of the lease (i.e. a pet fee).

If a class on the Landlord Tenant Relationship peaks your interest, please reach out to me at rmckenzie@titlestream.com, and let’s work towards setting one up at your office.