Mississippi Landlord Tenant Law: FAQs
Let’s understand Mississippi landlord tenant law and regulations through the following –
What is the maximum amount I can collect as a security deposit?
There is no limit on the security deposit charged to the tenant so long as it is reasonable.
Do I have the right to enforce no smoking in my rental property?
A landlord may establish a “No Smoking” policy by providing so in the lease.
Can I require my tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?
Landlords in the state of Mississippi may require tenants to obtain rental insurance.
May I charge a fee for late rent or a returned payment?
Late fees should remain reasonable and related to the landlord’s actual expenses incurred. Landlords may not assess a service charge or returned payment fee that exceeds $40. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-19-5.
What is a common problem where security deposits are concerned?
At times landlords may try claiming deductions for items that are often characterized by the court as normal wear and tear. This situation may be prevented by realistically evaluating each deduction, providing proof of damage, as well as including repair receipts and pictures.
How can I end a Mississippi lease agreement?
The landlord or the tenant may terminate a Week to Week Tenancy by written notice given to the other at least 7 days prior to the termination date. A Month to Month Tenancy may be terminated by written notice given to the other at least 30 days prior to the rental termination date, and a Fixed Term Lease has a specific ending date, and automatically terminates without notice unless otherwise specified in the lease.
My tenant has not paid rent, what shall I do?
The landlord must give the tenant a 3 day notice, in writing, to evict for non payment of rent. The notice must state that the tenant must pay rent or vacate. If the tenant does not pay in 3 days, the landlord may file an eviction action in court and obtain an order of eviction.
My tenant has moved out, what shall I do with their security deposit?
The written notice by which the landlord claims all or any portion of the security deposit shall itemize the amounts claimed. Any remaining portion of the security deposit shall be returned to the tenant at their request no later than 45 days after ending the tenancy and leaving the premises.
Are there circumstances where I am required to release a tenant from a lease agreement?
A landlord may be forced to release a tenant from a contractual agreement when the dwelling unit or premise is damaged and/or destroyed by fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, deeming the rental property unlivable. Additionally, a tenant may seek release from a rental agreement with the court when a landlord does not abide by the state’s landlord obligations.
How long does the eviction process take?
As with any legal matter, exact timing is almost impossible as it depends on many factors. Overall, with no complications, the eviction process usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks.
How do I tell if my tenant has “skipped” out of the apartment?
Often times it’s best to look for the obvious, such as removal of personal goods, whether or not the tenant has come back to the premises at any time during a one week period, and simply no food in the refrigerator. It’s extremely important to document all of the “proof” gathered in order to determine abandonment. When in doubt, if payment of rent has not been made, the landlord may always file for eviction.
Do I have to give the tenant notice before I enter the rental property?
A landlord has no right to enter the leased premises unless that right is reserved in the lease.
Aside from the lease agreement, are there any additional documents necessary?
If the leased premises was constructed prior to 1978, the landlord must provide all tenants with the Lead-Based Paint EPA Disclosure and the Lead-Based Paint EPA Pamphlet.
What Are Renter’s Rights in Mississippi?
According to the Mississippi Attorney General, tenants in the state of Mississippi have several rights that landlords must respect. These include the right to:
- Receive a written lease or rental agreement
- Quiet enjoyment of the property without unreasonable disturbance from the landlord or other tenants
- Expect repairs to be made in a timely manner by the landlord
- Withhold rent if repairs are not made
- Appropriate notice before entering the property for any reason
- File a lawsuit if any of these rights are violated.
How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in Mississippi?
Landlords in Mississippi are required to give tenants at least 30 days’ notice before the tenant is expected to move out. However, landlords are allowed to give tenants a longer notice period if they choose to do so.
Can a tenant sue a landlord in Mississippi?
Yes, a tenant can sue a landlord in Mississippi for violating the landlord-tenant law.
The most common types of lawsuits that tenants file against landlords are for failing to provide essential services (heat, water, etc.), retaliating against tenants who complain about the condition of their unit or the landlord’s behavior, and evicting tenants without following the proper legal procedures.
Is Mississippi a landlord-friendly state?
Mississippi is regarded as one of the states that are most friendly to landlords since there are no rent control regulations, landlords have the authority to manage evictions, and landlords can establish the conditions of the lease.
What a landlord cannot do in Mississippi?
Landlords in Mississippi cannot willfully and knowingly evict a tenant without following the legal eviction process. This includes changing the locks on the property or removing the tenant’s belongings from the premises.
Landlords also cannot withhold services like water, heat, or electricity in an attempt to force a tenant to vacate the property. In addition, landlords are not allowed to harass tenants in any way, including by calling them excessively or entering their units without proper notice.
Can a tenant withhold rent in Mississippi?
No, rent cannot be withheld in Mississippi. Unless the rental agreement specifies a different procedure, rent must be paid in full and on time. If the tenant does not pay rent, the landlord may file for eviction.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.
Further Mississippi rental resources are available, and questions about MS landlord-tenant laws can be asked in our Rental Laws Forum.