Louisiana Security Deposit Laws

In Louisiana, there is no limit to the size of the security deposit that a landlord can charge you.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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In
Louisiana
, civil code allows landlords to charge a security deposit of any amount they deem appropriate—just as long as that amount is clearly stated in the lease agreement. This deposit must be refundable, and they are required to return the money to the renter within one month of the end of the lease. 
No one likes having to pay a security deposit. Being charged an extra month's rent or more on top of all the other costs of moving is irritating, to say the least. What’s even more aggravating is how difficult it can be to get your deposit back once the lease is over. Since security deposit laws vary from state to state, many renters aren’t sure what their rights actually are. 
It’s important to know the security deposit laws in your state so that you don’t get swindled by a crooked landlord. To make this simpler for you,
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What is Louisiana’s law on security deposits?

In Louisiana, landlords can charge you a security deposit to demonstrate your committed intent to move in, secure the property so someone else doesn’t rent it, and provide a reserved fund that the landlord can use to pay for certain types of damage.  
Deposits are required by law to be refundable, meaning you’ll get the money back after the lease ends unless you break the lease, violate its terms, or cause serious damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. 
These laws are established by the Louisiana
Revised Statute 9:3251 Part IV
.  

What is the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge in Louisiana? 

There is no maximum security deposit amount in Louisiana. Landlords can charge any security deposit they want as it is specified in the lease agreement.  
Landlords usually charge one or two months' rent as a security deposit. They will also often include an additional deposit if you have a pet (typically another full month’s rent). Keep in mind, they are only legally allowed to charge a pet deposit if the pet is not a service animal.  

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit in Louisiana? 

A landlord is required to return the full amount of your deposit (minus any withholdings) within one month of the end of the lease. 

What can a landlord withhold a security deposit for in Louisiana?

Ideally, you’ll get your entire security deposit back. However, landlords are allowed to make charges against the deposit for certain specific reasons. The landlord can withhold some or all of your deposit to recoup financial losses resulting from: 
  • Early termination of the lease
  • Ending the lease with unpaid rent or charges
  • Significant damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear
  • Violation of the lease terms
In Louisiana, “normal wear and tear“ refers to the decline in value and condition of the property that can reasonably be expected to result from normal intended use
Damages that result from abuse/misuse, negligence, or accidents are not considered normal wear and tear. Your landlord can charge against your deposit for these types of damages. 
Key Takeaway Louisana security deposits are required to be refundable. Your landlord is only allowed to withhold some/all of your deposit for unpaid rent or excessive damages. 
MORE: How to find the best renters insurance

How to get your security deposit back in Louisiana

If your landlord has not returned your deposit within one month of the end of your lease, the first thing you should do is try contacting them. They may have simply forgotten—in which case reminding them should be enough to resolve the situation. 
If it turns out that the landlord is unwilling or unable to repay the deposit, things get messier. Assuming they did not properly notify you of their intention to withhold your deposit, they could be in real trouble. 
You should send a written or digital communication, officially demanding that they return the wrongfully withheld funds as soon as possible. If you can prove that they did not return wrongfully withheld funds within one month of your demand, you can take them to small claims court. This is also true if you received notice of withholding and have reached a standstill. 
MORE: Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold?

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Louisiana

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FAQs

No, not typically. In Louisiana, security deposits are not to be used in place of rent unless otherwise stated in your lease agreement.
No. Security deposits are not to be used for standard cleaning and upkeep. If, however, you caused serious damages outside of normal wear and tear, then the landlord could justify using your deposit to have them cleaned.
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