If you’re a landlord in St. Tammany Parish, eventually you’re going to find yourself looking for information on how to evict a tenant. The eviction process required will depend on where exactly the property is located.
St. Tammany Parish has 10 Wards with a different Justice of the Peace and Constable. You can find a map of the Wards and contact information for each on the Parish Government website. In Wards 8 and 9 (East St. Tammany Parish) that are outside the city limits of Slidell, the City Court of Slidell will resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.
Here is a very rough process needed to evict a tenant in St. Tammany Parish. It is best to confirm for your specific situation or work with a professional who does this regularly.
Post a 5-Day Notice to Vacate
Unless waived in the rental agreement, a landlord must first deliver a written Notice to Vacate to the tenant. The Notice to Vacate should specify the reason for termination of the lease. If the notice to vacate is due to non-payment of rent, make sure to include the period of time that rent was not paid and the amount due. If it is due to a violation of the lease, make sure to include a description of the specific violation.
The best way to deliver the notice is through certified mail with return receipt or by Constable. The landlord can also personally deliver the notice at the home. If the tenant is not home, the notice may be attached on the door of the property. You must then give the tenant 5 days to vacate not counting the day of service, weekends or holidays.
File a Petition of Eviction
The next step is to file a petition of eviction or rule for possession with the court. The petition should include a copy of the Notice to Vacate with green return receipt card if mailed, a copy of the written lease, and filing fees.
A court date will be set 3 days after the filing. The constable will serve notice to the tenant. The tenant can file an answer to the eviction suit which reserves their right to an appeal.
On the date of your court hearing, you must appear before the Judge and testify about your agreement with the tenant. You’ll need to explain why you want the tenant evicted. If you delivered or posted the Notice to Vacate personally, it is also recommended to bring a witness who can swear that he or she saw you hand deliver the letter or post it on the door.
If the tenant fails to answer or appear at the hearing and the Judge decides that you are entitled to the eviction, he will immediately sign a Judgment of Eviction.
If ruled in the landlord’s favor, the tenant will be served notice and usually has 24 hours to move out. If the tenant has not moved out by that time, you must notify the marshal or constable and request a warrant of eviction. The Clerk will issue a warrant to the Marshal who will supervise removal of the tenant’s personal property. You will need to provide the labor required for this.
After An Eviction
In Louisiana, the entire eviction process will typically take 2 – 3 weeks and should cost less than $200 if you are doing it yourself. However, the overall cost can be significant when you consider lost rental income, property damage, and hiring outside resources.
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the eviction process as there has been a federal eviction moratorium put in place. This was originally put in place on March 27, 2020 and was extended several times through as late as October 3, 2021. It was finally ended on August 26, 2021 after the Supreme Court halted the eviction moratorium. The pandemic and moratorium has been a burden on both St. Tammany tenants and landlords since some tenants are not able to pay rent and the landlords are not able to collect rent or evict.
As of April 2021, there is relief available through the St Tammany Rental Assistance Program (STRAP). This funding was made available by the CARES Act. In order to qualify, the tenant(s) must meet the following criteria:
- Income must be below ~$56,300 (80% of the 2020 median family income in St. Tammany Parish of $70,400)
- The financial hardship must be due to COVID-19
- The household must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability
Another option would be to sell your house to a cash home buyer like Fairview Home Buyers. They can typically make a cash offer to buy your house even with a bad tenant in place and worry about the eviction after closing. None of these are ideal solutions but much better than owning a property with bad tenants who aren’t paying rent.