My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Louisiana
My husband and I have one rental property. We rented it to a couple in February and they signed a year long lease.
They called us in late April to say they were moving out of state and would like to break their lease. They said that since they understood they were breaking the lease, they were fine with us keeping the security deposit.
We were able to find a person to move in the day after they vacated so we didn't lose rent money, but we were still planning on keeping the security deposit due to the trouble of finding a new tenant so soon. Today they called to ask about getting their security deposit back.
Are we legally required to return it to them. I found that in the Louisiana Lessee's Deposit Law it states that landlord "may retain all or any portion of the advance or deposit which is reasonably necessary to remedy a default of the tenant or to remedy unreasonable wear to the premises." Is breaking the lease early a default of the tenant? It also states that the paragraph mentioning that the lease needs to be returned "shall not apply when the tenant abandons the premises, either without giving notice as required or prior to the termination of the lease."