LEGAL CORNER: If I co-own a home, can I evict a tenant without the consent of the other owners?

LEGAL CORNER: If I co-own a home, can I evict a tenant without the consent of the other owners?
Agnes and Curtis Guillory on the Wednesday Legal Corner

Submit your questions to news@kplctv.com. Civil matters only, please.

QUESTION: I am 25 percent co-owner of a rent house that is heir property. We allowed one of our cousins, who has no ownership, to stay there until he could get on his feet. It’s been months. He’s still not paying rent. I want him out. My siblings don’t want to get involved. Can I evict him myself without the participation of my siblings?

ANSWER: Yes, you may whether the co-owners consent or not. The Louisiana Appellate Court in Brown v. Brown, in its application of Louisiana Civil Code Article 805, held that partial owners may evict a tenant. Pursuant to C.C. Art. 805, it reads in part that “A co-owner may freely lease, alienate, or encumber his share of the thing held in indivision. The consent of all the co-owners is required for the lease, alienation, or encumbrance of the entire thing held in indivision.” Since the co-owner in this case no longer consents to the cousin remaining in the rent house, the cousin is not entitled to remain in the rent house and may be evicted. Also, you must provide the tenant notice to vacate pursuant to Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 4701.

See Brown v. Brown, 121 So.3d 1242 (La. App. 2nd Cir. 8/7/2013)

Louisiana Civil Code Article Art. 805.

A co-owner may freely lease, alienate, or encumber his share of the thing held in indivision. The consent of all the co-owners is required for the lease, alienation, or encumbrance of the entire thing held in indivision.

Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 4701. Termination of lease; notice to vacate; waiver of notice.

When a lessee's right of occupancy has ceased because of the termination of the lease by expiration of its term, action by the lessor, nonpayment of rent, or for any other reason, and the lessor wishes to obtain possession of the premises, the lessor or his agent shall cause written notice to vacate the premises to be delivered to the lessee. The notice shall allow the lessee not less than five days from the date of its delivery to vacate the leased premises.

If the lease has no definite term, the notice required by law for its termination shall be considered as a notice to vacate under this Article. If the lease has a definite term, notice to vacate may be given not more than thirty days before the expiration of the term.

A lessee may waive the notice requirements of this Article by written waiver contained in the lease, in which case, upon termination of the lessee’s right of occupancy for any reason, the lessor or his agent may immediately institute eviction proceedings in accordance with Chapter 2 of Title XI of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.

QUESTION: My friend allowed her adult son to move in with her. He has a hard time holding down a job. She wanted to help him out. Somehow, he convinced her to donate ownership of her home to him. I have just learned that he has a drug habit and is now threating to evict her if she does not give him money. What can she do?

ANSWER: Given the fact that she donated her home to him, and now he is harassing his own mother to support his drug habit and is threatening to evict her, she may have the donation revoked for “ingratitude.” Louisiana Civil Code Article 1556 and 1557 lay out numerous grounds for having a donation inter vivos revoked and one of the grounds is for cruel treatment by the donee against the donor. There are time delays for filing such an action provided in Louisiana Civil Code Art. 1558.

Louisiana Civil Code Art. 1556. Causes for revocation or dissolution

A donation inter vivos may be revoked because of ingratitude of the donee or dissolved for the nonfulfillment of a suspensive condition or the occurrence of a resolutory condition. A donation may also be dissolved for the nonperformance of other conditions or charges.

Louisiana Civil Code Art. 1557. Revocation for ingratitude

Revocation on account of ingratitude may take place only in the following cases:

(1) If the donee has attempted to take the life of the donor; or

(2) If he has been guilty towards him of cruel treatment, crimes, or grievous injuries.

Louisiana Civil Code Art. 1558. Revocation for ingratitude; prescription, parties

An action of revocation for ingratitude shall be brought within one year from the day the donor knew or should have known of the act of ingratitude.

If the donor dies before the expiration of that time, the action for revocation may be brought by the successors of the donor, but only within the time remaining, or if the donor died without knowing or having reason to know of the act, then within one year of the death of the donor.

If the action has already been brought by the donor, his successors may pursue it.

If the donee is deceased, the action for revocation may be brought against his successors.

QUESTION: My neighbor has been doing some construction work in the inside of his home. Late at night, I can hear hammering which makes it extremely difficult for me to sleep at night. What can I do to stop this late-night construction?

ANSWER: You can kindly ask your neighbor to stop, which would be the easy route if he listens. If not, then you can file a petition for an injunction in the Court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 3601, alleging that irreparable injury, loss, or harm may otherwise result to the applicant if an injunction is not ordered prohibiting the neighbor from conducting noisy constructions after a certain time.

Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 3601. Injunction, grounds for issuance; preliminary injunction; temporary restraining order

A. An injunction shall be issued in cases where irreparable injury, loss, or damage may otherwise result to the applicant, or in other cases specifically provided by law; provided, however, that no court shall have jurisdiction to issue, or cause to be issued, any temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction against any state department, board, or agency, or any officer, administrator, or head thereof, or any officer of the state of Louisiana in any suit involving the expenditure of public funds under any statute or law of this state to compel the expenditure of state funds when the director of such department, board, or agency or the governor shall certify that the expenditure of such funds would have the effect of creating a deficit in the funds of said agency or be in violation of the requirements placed upon the expenditure of such funds by the legislature.

B. No court shall issue a temporary restraining order in cases where the issuance shall stay or enjoin the enforcement of a child support order when the Department of Children and Family Services is providing services, except for good cause shown by written reasons made a part of the record.

C. During the pendency of an action for an injunction the court may issue a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or both, except in cases where prohibited, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

D. Except as otherwise provided by law, an application for injunctive relief shall be by petition.

E. The irreparable injury, loss, or damage enumerated in Paragraph A of this Article may result from the isolation of an individual over the age of eighteen years by any other individual, curator, or mandatary, including but not limited to violations of Civil Code Article 2995 or Code of Civil Procedure Article 4566(J).

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

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