With their daunting complexities, eviction proceedings intimidate landlords as well as tenants.
Last year, two restaurants in New Orleans’s Armstrong Airport faced court-ordered eviction by the airport’s concessions company for allegedly breaking the terms of their subleases. In a lawsuit filed in a New Orleans district court, Armstrong Airport Concessions claimed that a Popeye’s and a Subway franchise entered into a sublease that required the restaurants to be open a minimum of 12 consecutive hours every day of the year. The plaintiff maintains that the Popeye’s restaurant was closed from Dec. 1 through Dec. 9, 2013 without obtaining prior written consent, thereby incurring a contractual default.
In addition to demanding eviction, the plaintiff sued for all past due rent under the lease, as well as a daily fine for the remainder of the lease.
The Basics Behind Eviction Procedures
Given the complexity of commercial leasing, evicting a business tends to be a difficult process. It often involves a multitude of parties and conditions and is complicated by numerous legal restrictions enacted to protect both landlord and tenant.
The majority of evictions in Louisiana involve breach of lease and failure to pay rent. According to state law, the landlord does not have the right to forcibly evict the tenant without first obtaining a court order.
Before going to court the landlord must first terminate the lease by notifying the tenant of the termination and its reason. If the reason for the notice is non-payment of rent or a lease violation, the tenant is allowed at least five days before vacating the premises. In the case of a month-to-month lease, the tenant has at least ten days before the next monthly due date of rent.
If the landlord accepts any part of the rent within the 5 or 10-day grace period, they have forfeited their right to evict. Once the case goes to court, the landlord must prove they have cause to evict. Circumstances such as a landlord failing to make repairs that are stipulated in the lease can nullify the eviction.
Engage the services of a legal pro to ensure a fair eviction ruling
Whether you’re a tenant facing eviction or a landlord trying to evict an unwilling tenant, knowing your legal rights and responsibilities is critical to your case. If you’re facing eviction proceedings, you can turn to the commercial law professionals at Smiley Law to avoid being left out in the cold.