The Louisiana State law requires landlords to maintain the rental property so it is safe and liveable with adequate heat, water, and electricity.
Although there are no specific state laws in Louisiana regarding mold specifically, a rental property needs to be free of hazards. This includes lead, asbestos, and mold. If there are fundamental recurring mold issues, you are within your rights to request that your landlord foot the bill for remediation.
Under Louisiana Contractors Licensing Law property owners or tenants are allowed to perform mold remediation without a license on their own property.
The Louisiana Contractors Licensing Law defines mold remediation as “the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter that was not purposely grown at that location. The scope of the work for mold remediation “applies only to the regulation of mold-related activities that affect indoor air quality and does not apply to routine cleaning when not conducted for the purpose of mold remediation”
On the other hand, mold assessments do not require a license. If an assessment is performed the LA R.S. 37:2187 requires that the person performing the assessment must provide a written report to each person for whom he performs such services for compensation. The assessment can’t be performed by the same company that is performing the mold remediation for which the assessment is made.
Is a license required for mold remediation in Louisiana State?
Who shall not be required to obtain a license?
- A residential property owner who performs mold remediation on his own property;
- A non-residential property owner or the employ of such owner, who performs mold remediation on an apartment building owned by that person that has more than four dwelling units.
- An owner or tenant, or a managing agent or employee of an owner or tenant, who performs mold remediation on property owned or leased by the owner or a tenant. This does not apply if the managing agent or employee engages in the business of performing mold remediation for the public;
- An employee of a licensee who performs mold remediation while supervised by the licensee;
- A licensed residential building contractor who performs mold assessment or mold remediation services no more than twenty square feet when acting within the scope of his license.
Tenants' responsibilities in Louisiana
Regular rent payment in a timely manner is implied and should not be discussed. Aside from that tenants in Louisiana State must:
- Keep the facility cleaned and repaired;
- Keep the property clean and sanitary;
- Maintain dwelling fixtures;
- Make any repairs that were caused by his/her or his/her guests’ fault;
- Not disturb neighbors or other tenants.
Can rent be withheld due to mold in Louisiana State?
If the landlord refuses to make repairs, withholding rent can be risky. Technically, tenants don’t have the right to withhold rent and can be subject to repossession or even eviction.
However, tenants do have the right to make the needed repairs themselves and make up the mold clean-up costs from future rents.
To be able to do this without any legal consequences you must be sure that the repairs needed are the responsibility of the landlord.
How long does the landlord have to fix the mold problem in Louisiana?
Louisiana does not have laws specifying when mold-related repairs must be made, just that they must be made in a reasonable amount of time.
Louisiana’s state laws don’t address or specify many habitable issues, however, landlords must make the repairs for the dwelling unit to be habitable.
In general, the Louisiana State landlords must keep their properties in a habitable condition and provide requested repairs within 14 days or sooner for emergency repairs.
When is the early termination of the lease agreement legally justified in Louisiana?
When the landlord doesn’t provide decent living conditions under local and state housing codes, a court would probably conclude that the tenant has been “constructively evicted”.
To be constructively evicted means that the landlord, by supplying unlivable housing, has evicted the tenant for all practical purposes. After this, the tenant has no further responsibility to pay rent, and thus can not be held liable for not paying rent.
Are mold-related damages covered by an insurance policy in Louisiana?
Sudden and accidental damages such as storms caused damages, fires, or the sudden bursting of a water pipe are usually covered by the insurance policy.
On the other hand, damages caused by mold are usually not covered by the insurance policy. Also, the costs of mold testing and cleaning up the mold may not be covered.
These costs may not be covered even if the insurance company has paid for other damage that has caused the mold growth such as rainstorms that have caused the mold growth.