If you are a landlord, you know that you will, unfortunately, at some time, be tasked with the unpleasant chore of evicting a tenant. In Louisiana, this means first terminating the rental agreement, then giving the tenant a five-day warning to vacate the premises.
Rental agreements, or leases, can be considered violated by either by chronically missing rental payments or by conducting illegal activity in the apartment, such as using drugs or disturbing the peace of other tenants. As a matter of fact, legal cause of lease termination is quite broad in this state, unless it is based on something unlawful, such as discrimination. Once this is established, a landlord must then give the tenant a five-day warning to vacate, and wait out the period before they can take the tenants to court for eviction. The five-day warning gives the tenants five days to pay their rent, if applicable, or change their offensive ways.
Because this notice is crucial to the process, it is pertinent that they are delivered timely and given to the correct recipients. After all, if the tenant intends on staying put, he or she must take action. This warning states when the time period in which he or she must perform begins and ends. Without knowledge of these parameters, an attorney for the tenant in an eviction hearing can claim that the latter didn’t know anything about the situation.
In Louisiana, though anyone can serve the five-day motion to vacate, because perfect delivery is so crucial, it is probably best to trust this moment to a professional process server. There are also many other reasons why you should hire an outside contractor to accomplish this task. Here are just a few of the justifications for this:
1. Professional Process Servers are Knowledgeable
Your local process server knows the state’s and parish’s laws and ordinances in depth, and will not make the same mistakes as a landlord outside of the legal profession or any other layperson. Having knowledge of the area’s legal nuances gives the process server an advantage when it comes to serving eviction notices. He or she will be sure to comply with the laws so the service will stand up and remain effective when it is presented to the court.
2. Process Servers can be Cost Effective
Since improper service can hinder your eviction matter, you should rely on someone that can surely get the job done efficiently. While process servers will charge you for their professional service, which you can, technically, perform for free yourself, hiring them can actually save you tons of money in the long run.
Just think, if service is determined to have been improper, your entire eviction can go south, even if you have every legal and moral right to remove the troublesome tenant. You may also be subject to a lawsuit from the estranged tenant for harassment since the eviction hearing turned in their collective favor. This means that you, as a landlord, may have to pay a judgment, including attorneys’ fees, if you lose. You may even have to forfeit your property in the process. It is better to pay a process server upfront to avoid these issues rather than risk such a massive loss in the future.
3. Process Servers can Prove Service
Because process servers provide a notarized Affidavit of Service, you can always be sure that there will be undeniable proof to present before the court that states that the intended person received his or her notice. This document also shows that the notice was presented in a proper manner, and will include the date and time served. As a matter of fact, all courts are obligated to accept an Affidavit of Service and they usually do.
In conclusion, if you are a landlord or property manager and are concerned about performing all the necessary steps of an eviction in order to please the court, just know that the service of your five-day notice will be in professional hands with Lafayette Process Servers. Scott Frank and his team will be sure that your wayward tenant receives his or her notice in accordance with the proper time frame prescribed by the law of the state of Louisiana. Send us an email or give us a call to discuss any arrangements right away.
Donna Lee Hellmann is a New Orleans-area copywriter. The foregoing article has simply been presented for informational purposes only. She, and those at Lafayette Process Servers, are not attorneys. If you seek further information about this topic, contact an attorney in your local area.