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Get your security deposit back: New law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019

Posted on 31. Dec, 2018 by

Has your landlord unlawfully kept your security deposit?

In 2018, the Louisiana Legislature passed a new law that raises the penalty for landlords who keep security deposits without good reason. The law increases the amount a tenant can receive if they win their case to three times the amount of the stolen deposit.

How does it work?

If a landlord refuses to return $800 of a security deposit, even though the tenant left the unit in good condition, the tenant can file a suit in small claims court. The tenant can win back the original $800 that was wrongfully withheld, plus twice that amount (or $1,600), for a total of $2,400.

Are you eligible to recover your security deposit?

Tenants must have moved out after January 1st, 2019, as well as:

  • Requested their security deposit back in writing
  • Provided a forwarding address
  • Believe that the deposit is not being withheld for good reason, like damage to the property.

If the landlord does not return the deposit within 30 days of being notified, the tenant may be able to recover three times the amount of the deposit.

If you have any questions about this law or believe that your landlord has wrongfully retained any portion of your security deposit, please call the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center at 504-596-2100 or Southeast Louisiana Legal Services at 504-529-1000.

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