BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Imagine seeing the things you’ve worked hard for thrown to the curb. That’s now Helen Patterson’s reality after her landlord cleared out her apartment.
“It really makes me feel angry because I don’t have nothing else. When I woke up and seen this, I was really angry, you know, because this something that he didn’t have to do,” said Patterson.
Patterson says she decided to withhold her rent because she felt the owner was not doing his part with maintenance. She says things were so bad, she had to stay somewhere else. She also says she was unaware a notice of eviction was waiting for her, turning her life upside down in just one day.
“My kids have nothing to put on. I have nothing to put on... this is all I have,” said Patterson.
WAFB visited Attorney Bryan Jeansonne, owner of Lakeland Title. He has practiced eviction law for nearly ten years. He says the 30-day rule landlords are supposed to follow before removing a tenant is partially a myth, especially for breached contracts.
"The landlord really only has to give five days’ notice before they go to eviction court. If the eviction is granted, then they would have 24 hours from the time that eviction is granted to vacate the property,” said Jeansonne.
Jeansonne says tenants who face immediate eviction are still protected by the law.
“The constable or the sheriff is the only person that can actually physically remove you, so that landlord can’t change the locks, they can’t put your stuff out on the street. They have to do that within the supervision of the constable or the sheriff,” said Jeansonne.
Jeansonne also says the eviction is void if the landlord accepts any amount of rent from the tenant during the eviction process.