Are Renters in Louisiana Responsible for Cockroach Control?

Dead cockroach on floor

Facing cockroach troubles in your Louisiana rental? You’re not alone. Cockroaches can harm your health, spreading diseases and triggering allergies.

In Louisiana, your lease should guarantee a safe and clean living space, thanks to the Warranty of Habitability.

But who tackles the pest issue,  you or your landlord? Well, this depends on your lease and local laws. Know your rights and duties: tidy your place and report pests ASAP.

Keep reading to learn how handle cockroach problems in your rental by reading on. Your health and peace of mind are worth it!

Key Takeaways

  • In Louisiana, landlords and tenants share responsibilities to keep rental properties habitable, including addressing pest infestations like cockroaches.
  • Lease agreements may include clauses on pest control, outlining specific responsibilities for tenants and landlords to prevent and address infestations.
  • If you encounter a cockroach infestation, immediately document the issue, notify your landlord in writing, and follow the lease terms for addressing pest problems.
  • Legal remedies for unaddressed cockroach infestations include filing a complaint with local authorities or seeking legal advice, primarily if the problem affects your habitability.


Louisiana’s rental laws create a framework for tenant and landlord relationships, detailing each party’s responsibilities.

Tenants vs. Landlords: Who’s Responsible?

In Louisiana, tenants and landlords have distinct responsibilities for maintaining a rental property. These laws ensure your rights are upheld and properties remain livable.

Pest control, especially concerning cockroaches, is of significant concern.

Landlord Responsibilities Tenant Responsibilities
  • Ensure the rental property is habitable upon the tenant’s move-in.
  • Address pest infestations, like cockroaches, in a reasonable time after receiving written notice from the tenant.
  • Perform necessary pest control treatments as part of property maintenance.
  • Keep the dwelling clean and sanitary to help prevent pest infestations.
  • Notify the landlord promptly and in writing if a pest problem, such as cockroaches, arises.
  • Comply with any reasonable measures to facilitate the landlord’s pest control efforts.

Lease Agreements and Terms

Louisiana lease agreements may contain specific clauses and disclaimers related to pest control. These terms determine how responsibilities are divided between the tenant and the landlord.

Here are some things to keep in mind when checking the lease for pest control clauses:

  • Carefully review their lease agreements for any mentions of pest control responsibilities.
  • Take note of specific terms that dictate the tenant’s role in keeping the property free from pests, such as cockroaches, bed bugs, termites, or fleas.
  • Understand and abide by these terms to maintain a good landlord-tenant relationship and ensure tenancy is in line with state laws.
  • Cooperate with the landlord to prevent major pest issues and maintain the quality of living spaces.


When living in Louisiana, maintaining a pest-free home requires vigilance, especially concerning cockroach control.

Effective management hinges on prompt identification and reporting.

Identifying a Cockroach Infestation

If you suspect a cockroach in your air conditioning unit or common areas, it’s crucial to recognize the signs. Here’s what to look out for:

Visual EvidenceCockroaches are nocturnal, but if spotted during the day, it could indicate an overcrowding issue in their hiding spots.
DroppingsRoach droppings resemble black pepper or coffee grounds and are often found in kitchen areas or where food is present.
Egg CapsulesOval-shaped egg cases, known as oothecae, indicate breeding roaches.
Shed SkinsCockroaches shed their exoskeletons multiple times through their life cycle, leaving behind these tell-tale signs.
OdorA musty smell can develop in an area heavily infested with roaches.
DamageChew marks on food packaging can signify a cockroach infestation.

Steps to Report an Infestation

When a pest problem arises, you should know the proper protocol to inform your landlord or property manager. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Immediate Documentation: Take photos and make notes detailing the severity and location of the infestation.
  2. Contact Landlord: Reach out to the landlord immediately via a method that provides a record, such as email or certified mail.
  3. Describe Details: Include the date when the problem was first noticed, specific areas affected, and any attempts made to address the issue.
  4. Refer to Lease: For information about pest control responsibilities and the implied warranty of habitability, refer to the lease or rental agreement.
  5. Professional Assessment: Request professional pest control services to evaluate and address the roach infestation, as DIY pest control methods are often ineffective against infestations.
  6. Follow Up: If the landlord does not respond, follow up regularly, adding that the presence of cockroaches can pose a health hazard and affect the habitable condition.


In Louisiana, the landlord is usually responsible for keeping rental properties free of pest infestations, which are considered a threat to the warranty of habitability. This includes swift and effective treatment for cockroaches.

The landlord-tenant laws demand that properties must be maintained in a condition fit for occupancy:

Warranty of HabitabilityLandlords are legally bound to ensure their rental properties are habitable and promptly address issues like cockroach infestations.
Landlord’s DutyThey must arrange and cover the costs of pest control services to eradicate such infestations.
Tenant’s RoleYou should report pest problems as soon as they occur. You may be responsible for necessary repairs if your negligence contributed to property damage.

“Repair and Deduct” Procedures

If a landlord or property owner neglects the necessity to repair pest infestations, you may have the option to follow the “repair and deduct” procedure.

Keep in mind to stick to the legal steps to ensure the process is handled correctly:

  • Notify the landlord in writing about the cockroach problem and allow them a reasonable amount of time to address the issue.
  • If the landlord fails to act, obtain estimates from professional pest control services.
  • Send the estimates to the landlord and give them another opportunity to make the repairs.
  • If it still needs to be addressed, hire a professional service and keep all receipts and documentation.
  • Deduct the repair cost from your next rent payment or security deposit, providing all evidence to the landlord to justify the deduction.
  • Do not exceed one month’s rent, and ensure the repairs are necessary and not due to tenant negligence.


When cockroach infestations go unaddressed in Louisiana rental properties, you also have some legal options.

These can range from filing a formal complaint to seeking professional legal counsel for legal action or restoring and maintaining proper living conditions.

Filing a Complaint

  1. Identify the Authority: Determine your local health department or housing authority.
  2. Documentation: Gather evidence of the infestation, such as photographs or videos.
  3. Written Notice: Give your landlord written notice of the infestation and allow a reasonable time for a response.
  4. Formal Complaint: If the landlord fails to act, file a formal complaint with the identified local authority.
  5. Follow-up: Keep records of all communications and responses from the landlord and the authorities.

Seeking Legal Advice

In cases where a landlord’s neglect continues or if you’re facing eviction, seeking legal advice might be necessary.

StatePest Control ResponsibilityTenants Withholding Rent
LouisianaLandlords are generally responsible.Allowed if the landlord fails to address issues after official notice.
CaliforniaLandlords must ensure habitability, including pest control.Rent withholding is permitted as a remedy for uninhabitable conditions.
FloridaLandlords are obligated to handle pest control unless tenant negligence is evident.Tenants may withhold rent but must notify the landlord and follow strict legal procedures.
WashingtonLandlords must maintain premises, including pest management.Allowed, but tenants must provide notice and may need to deposit rent into an escrow account.

While avoiding an eviction, you might want to consult with attorneys specializing in tenant rights or housing issues to explore your legal options, including:

  • Pursuing a rent abatement
  • Making repairs
  • Breaking the lease under certain conditions


If you’re facing a cockroach infestation in your rental unit, you might wonder when it’s time to contact professional pest control companies.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Size and Scope: Is the problem a single sighting or a full-blown infestation? When cockroaches are pervasive, professional intervention may be necessary.
  • Efforts Taken: Assess if your efforts—like cleaning and using store-bought sprays—have been unsuccessful.
  • Health Risks: Cockroaches can pose health risks. If the issue affects your well-being, it’s time to call in the exterminators.

Wherever you are in Louisiana, seeking expert help should be easy. For immediate intervention for a severe infestation, let LaJaunie’s pest control specialists tailor a solution that’s right for your home.

For more information about the areas we service, visit our location page