1

Mississippi Landlord Tenant Laws

This article will contain an overview of the relevant laws and regulations pertinent to the landlord/tenant relationship in the state of Mississippi. The information is taken from both official state sources and official municipal sources, and it represents the most current available data at the time of this preparation.

It should be borne in mind however, that state and municipal regulations change frequently, so the possibility always exists for any given statute to be superseded. For any specific questions you may have about information within, links are provided at the end of the article for you to contact the appropriate legal authority.

Security Deposit Rules

(as set forth in Chapter 8 of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)

There are currently no Mississippi existing statutes regarding the following: maximum security deposits, pet deposits, non-refundable fees, receipts of deposit, deposit record-keeping, separate security deposit bank accounts, and security deposit interest.

  • Returning a security deposit – the security deposit must be returned to a tenant within 45 days after the tenant has vacated the premises
  • Allowable security deposit usage – it can be applied against unpaid rent, any damages beyond normal wear and tear, cleaning of the premises, and any other necessary expenses which were the direct result of tenant usage
  • Written itemization of charges – all charges which reduce the amount of the security deposit must be itemized and provided in writing to the former tenant
  • Compliance failure – if the landlord fails to comply with the requirement to return the security deposit, landlord may be subject to damages up to $200, in addition to the original amount of the security deposit

Lease, Rent, and Fee Rules

(as set forth in Chapter 8 of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)

There are currently no Mississippi statutes regarding the following: abandonment or early termination fee, landlord recovery of attorney or court fees, tenant withholding of rent for failure to provide essential services of habitation, pre-paid rent, grace period for rent, notice of rent increase, and any requirement upon the landlord to reduce damages to lessee, e.g. attempting to re-rent the premises.

  • Rent due date – this is left to the agreement between landlord and tenant, as stated in the lease
  • Late fees – left to the agreement between landlord and tenant, as stated in the lease
  • Tenant rights to repair premises and deduct rent – this is allowable under the following conditions: the landlord must be provided written notice of necessary repairs, and must be given 30 days to effect those repairs. If, after the appropriate notification, landlord fails to initiate repairs, the tenant is allowed to withhold rent and apply toward necessary repairs in the amount of what is considered to be prevailing value for any work done, and any materials purchased

Notice and Entry Rules

(as set forth in Chapter 7  and Chapter 8 of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)

There are currently no Mississippi statutes for the following: date for move-out inspection, allowable entry for maintenance and repairs, emergency entry without notice, and pesticide usage notice.

  • Notice of tenancy termination (with fixed end date) – none required, since it is stated in the lease
  • Notice of tenancy termination (yearly lease) – two months’ written notice required
  • Notice of tenancy termination (month-to-month) – 30 days’ written notice required
  • Notice of tenancy termination (week to week) – one weeks’ written notice required
  • Notice of tenancy termination for non-payment – three days’ written notice required
  • Notice of tenancy termination for lease violation – if the lease is violated by either landlord or tenant, 30 days’ written notice must be supplied, and must specify the nature of the violation, as well as the date of the violation. If the violation is remedied by the offending party within 30 days, the lease will be considered to be still in effect. If a similar violation occurs within six months of the first one, a 14-day written notice is sufficient to terminate the lease
  • Immediate termination – in cases considered to be serious violations of the lease which materialistically affect health and/or safety, no notification of termination is necessary
  • Notice of entry – must be stated within the terms of the lease
  • Lockouts and utility shutoffs – self-help evictions are allowable. After expiration of the lease, landlord may re-possess rental unit and either evict the tenant, increase the rent, or decrease tenant services, provided none of these actions are in direct retaliation for tenant exercise of his/her rights under state law

Required Disclosures and Notes

(as set forth in Chapter 8 of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)

  • Landlord compliance duty – landlord must comply with all existing codes regarding health and safety, as they apply to residential and rental units
  • Landlord maintenance duty – landlord is required to maintain all systems necessary for habitation, including heating, cooling, plumbing, and must ensure they remain in good condition other than reasonable usage. This requirement does not include intentional damages done by tenant or damage resulting from tenant neglect
  • Tenant cleanliness – must keep the premises as safe and as clean as the original condition of the premises allows for
  • Tenant trash disposal – all garbage must be regularly disposed of in a safe and sanitary manner
  • Plumbing – tenant must keep all components of plumbing system in a clean and operable condition
  • Appliance usage – all appliances must be used in a reasonable and sanitary manner, including all habitation systems
  • Damage avoidance – no part of the premises may be defaced or damaged willfully, and no part of the premises can be improved without explicit landlord approval
  • Noise constraints – tenant’s enjoyment of the premises must not infringe upon other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises
  • Damage notice – if tenant becomes aware of any condition potentially causing damage to the premises, landlord must be informed
  • Maintenance – other than reasonable wear and tear during tenancy, all aspects of the premises must be maintained in as close to original condition as possible
  • Illegal activity – no illegal activity may be engaged in during tenant occupation of the premises
  • Retaliation actions – landlord is not permitted to attempt to evict tenant because of tenant exercise of rights
  • Lead disclosure – landlords are obliged to inform tenants of any hazards attributable to lead paint, and must provide tenants with information on those hazards, as part of the lease agreement

Small Claims Court Limit

Eviction cases are allowed in small claims courts in the state of Mississippi, although some cases are also heard in Justice Court. The monetary limit on small claims actions is $3500, and the statute of limitations on lease contracts is four years, while the statute of limitations on oral contracts is three years.

Mississippi Courts

The Mississippi Attorney General can provide overall information about the court system, and can direct inquiries to the appropriate legal level, as can the State of Mississippi Judiciary. For specific information on small claims, the Mississippi Small Claims Court can be consulted, and for higher level inquiries, Mississippi Justice Court will be able to satisfy information needs. State attorneys are listed in the Mississippi Lawyer Directory and services they provide can be researched in Mississippi Legal Services.

Mississippi Realtor Associations

There are several real estate groups which operate either state-wide or in certain sections of the state, including the Mississippi Real Estate Commission, the Mississippi Realtors, the Central Mississippi Realtors, the Hattiesburg Association of Realtors, and the Gulf Coast Association of Realtors. Landlord associations also exist in the state, such as the Greater Gulf Coast Apartment Association and the Jackson Real Estate Investment Group.

rentapplication
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Martha Baughman - August 25, 2016

Elderly owner (91 yrs old) of mobile home park makes a verbal agreement to rent the park to his son for a fixed amount per month, until such time the owner will need the income from the park lot rentals to support his health care in old age. The son does not want to give up the income from the mobile home park and allow his father to start receiving the income from the park again. The son says that the verbal agreement is legal in MS, and he will continue to receive the income from the park. What does the property owner do to retrieve his
property?

Reply

Leave a Reply: