Mississippi Rental Laws

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This article summarizes some key Mississippi landlord-tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county. You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by the state bar association. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Official Rules and Regulations

Official Code:

Unofficial Code:

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute
  • Pet Deposits: No statute
  • Non-Refundable Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, delivery of possession and demand by the tenant. (§ 89-8-21(3))
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit:
    • Unpaid rent;
    • Repair of damages caused by the tenant, beyond ordinary wear and tear;
    • Cleaning of premises upon termination of the tenancy
    • Other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as the result of the tenant’s default. (§ 89-8-21(3))
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Written and itemized notice required. (§ 89-8-21(3))
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No statute
  • Failure to Comply: If the landlord violates the provisions of § 89-8-21, and retains all or a portion of the deposit, with absence of good faith, landlord may be subject to damages not to exceed $200, in addition to any actual damages. (§ 89-8-21(4))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Is Due: As stated in the lease.
  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute
  • Late Fees: No statute. Must be stated in the lease.
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute
  • Returned Check Fees: $30 (§ 97-19-75(5))
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No statute
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Allowed. If the landlord does not repair the defect specified in a 30-day written notice, the tenant may do the repair and then be entitled to reimbursement, which can be offset against future rent, as long as the amount is no more than the “usual and customary charge for such repairs.” See statute for additional provisions and restrictions. (§ 89-8-15)
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: No statute
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No statute
  • Abandonment/Early Termination Fee: No statute

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice required, as lease simply ends. (§ 89-7-23)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: Two-month written notice required. (§ 89-7-23)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: 30-day written notice required. (§ 89-8-19(3))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: One-week written notice required. (§ 89-8-19(2))
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Notice of Termination of Week-to-Week Leases for Nonpayment: Three-day written notice required. (§ 89-7-27)
  • Notice of Termination of All Other Leases for Nonpayment: Three-day written notice required. (§ 89-7-27)
  • Termination for Lease Violation: If either the tenant or landlord violates the terms of the lease, or fails to comply with their duties as defined in § 89-8-23 and § 89-8-25, 30-day written notice may be given specifying the breach and the date that the lease will terminate. If the other party remedies the violation within a reasonable amount of time no more than 30 days from receipt of the notice, the lease will not terminate. If the same violation for which a 30-day notice was given happens again without six months, 14-day written notice may be given to terminate the lease. (§ 89-8-13(3))
  • Immediate Termination for Serious Lease Violation: Notice to terminate a tenancy shall not be required to be given when the landlord or tenant has committed a substantial violation of the rental agreement that materially affects health and safety. (§ 89-8-19)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute. Right of entry must be stated in the lease.
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute. Right of entry for maintenance and repairs must be stated in the lease.
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute. Landlord right of entry must be stated in the lease.
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute. Entry during extended absence must be stated in the lease.
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Lockouts and Utility Shut-offs Allowed: Self-help evictions are allowed in Mississippi. Landlord may, after the expiration of the lease, recover possession of the unit, cause the tenant to quit the dwelling unit involuntarily, demand an increase in rent or decrease services to the tenant. However, such actions must not be made be primarily in retaliation against the tenant for exercising their rights under the state rental law. (§ 89-8-17)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Name and Addresses: No statute
  • Copy of the Lease: No statute
  • Domestic Violence Situations: No statute. An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection (AARDVARC) provides contact information for Mississippi domestic violence advocates and support resources by county.
  • Landlord’s Duties: (§ 89-8-23)
    • Compliance: Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
    • Maintenance: Maintain the dwelling unit, its plumbing, heating and/or cooling system, in substantially the same condition as at the inception of the lease, reasonable wear and tear excluded, unless the dwelling unit, its plumbing, heating and/or cooling system is damaged or impaired as a result of the deliberate or negligent actions of the tenant.
  • Tenant’s Duties: (§ 89-8-25)
    • Cleanliness: Keep the premises that tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;
    • Trash: Dispose of all garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
    • Plumbing: Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
    • Appliances: Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises;
    • Refrain from Damage: Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so; and
    • Quiet Enjoyment: Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with tenant consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises;
    • Notify of Potential Damage: Inform the landlord of any condition that they know of that may cause damage to the premises;
    • Maintenance: Maintain the unit in the same condition, except for reasonable wear and tear, and comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
    • Lawful Activity: Not engage in any illegal activity upon the leased premises as documented by a law enforcement agency.
  • Retaliation: Landlord must not try to evict the tenant in retaliation for the tenant exercising their rights under the rental law, or for giving proper notice of conditions that require remedy by the landlord. Read § 89-8-17 for more information.
  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.

Court Related:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License Required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.

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