Last Modified: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 7:16 PM
Does a landlord have to tell me if my apartment is going to be entered while I’m away? For example, if I am at work and they let the termite inspector in, do they have to tell me in advance?
Does the owner have the right to come and go as he pleases inside his rented apartments?
No statute obligates landlords to provide tenants with any advanced notice, said Amanda Larkins, a spokeswoman for the state Attorney General’s Office.
But, she said, landlords can’t come and go as they please unless they have “a lawful purpose to enter the property, such as to make a repair on the property that is necessary to maintain the property in a condition suitable for its leased purpose.”
Larkins said a tenant’s written request for 24 hours’ notice is customarily observed by landlords, and she recommended tenants carefully read their lease agreements, which may contain language on landlords’ access to the property.
The obligations of landlords and tenants, as listed in an Attorney General’s Office pamphlet on lease laws:
To deliver the property to the tenant at the agreed time and in good condition for its leased purpose.
To maintain the property in a suitable condition for the purpose for which it was leased.
To protect the tenant’s right of peaceful possession for the duration of the lease.
To refrain from making any alterations to the property.
To pay taxes, assessments and other charges to the property.
If the landlord sells the property during the term of the lease, then the new owner may change the lease terms or evict the tenant. In order to prevent this, the lease must be recorded in the parish where the property is located. The tenant may have an action against the landlord for loss sustained as a result of the sale.
To pay the rent in accordance with the lease terms.
To return the property in the same condition, except for normal “wear and tear,” as it was leased.
To refrain from altering the premises without first obtaining written consent from the landlord.
To allow the landlord to make all necessary repairs that cannot be postponed until the end of the lease.
To use the property for the purpose for which was leased. Any misuse by the tenant may cause the lease to be dissolved.
To inform the landlord promptly when the property has been damaged or needs repair.
The tenant is liable for damages to the property that exceed the normal “wear and tear” caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests.
Complaints can be filed with the Attorney General’s Office by calling 800-351-4889.
Several readers have called The Informer to complain about various retirement homes’ practices since the column first addressed the subject of assisted living centers and medication aid a week ago.
The callers said that home workers, despite state regulations, were administering medicine to residents who weren’t properly cognizant of what the medication was and why they needed it.
For those readers — and for the ones yet to call — the column offers the following contact information for registering an official complaint: Department of Health and Hospitals, Health Standards Section, P.O. Box 3767, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
The phone numbers are 800-660-0488 and 225-342-0138. The email address is email@example.com.
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org