Mississippi Rental Laws

Written on October 16, 2015 by , updated on November 1, 2017

mississippi-sealThis 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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33 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Lucas

    Wow, this is awesome. Thank you for putting this together Joe!

    • James

      I have a wife and 6 kids from ages 6 -15 lives with me we love our family and it’s not easy trying to stay on top of everything with a family with needs like ours you sometimes get behind ……I have lost my job last week and this week I was suppose to be in the office to pay our rent but I got called on an out of town call (I am a mobile mechanic) and I wasn’t able to get my check until tomorrow Monday July 18 2016 and Friday while the wife and kids went to her sisters while I was gone left Friday night and returned Sunday afternoon after everybody left Friday the manager went and knocked on our door and didn’t get an answer and turned power off said the landlord and 400$ in food runt and he said we wasn’t home didnt need lights.legal

  • Eugenia

    I need to talk to a lawyer in Mississippi about a apartment complex that’s infested with scabies

  • Joy

    Landlord has an offer on the rental property. I am still under a lease until March 2016. I recently bought another house so I am fine with the termination of the lease. My question is…. does the landlord have to give me a thirty day notice? I just do not want to move and then find out that the sale fell through and that I am still liable to pay the rent.

  • Robin Dorsey

    I am a single mother of an 8 yr.old on sec.8 assistance renting from my Moma fiance, is that legal? Also I’m pretty positive he has audio and video recorders outside, but I think inside also just not sure where? Is that legal? one more thing him and my mother gain entry all the time without notice when we are here and gone without purpose. is that legal?

  • Stephanie L Vincent

    My apartment complex changed owner’s last fall. I just received a renewal notice. They are saying they will be charging me an extra $10.00 a month for trash and an additional monthly fee of $8.00 a month, after 2 years of living there, i have never heard of such. is this legal?

    • Susan Bills

      Yes, this is legal. It is standard in the apartment industry. As long as your current lease has expired, they can implement any new terms. Any new terms must sent in written form, within thirty days of the lease expiration. The apartment community is only offering you these terms. You are not required to sign a new lease with them.

  • Paul

    Quick question we have a home and rent it out the previous renters, left over night owing money for utilities as well as myself. The city is dunning me for the unpaid garbage service that was in the renters name. They have said they will put a lien on the property if not paid is this legal. Please advise thank you

  • Ryan Pitre

    I recently rented an apartment in Gulfport MS for a job that we were doing. Paid all rent on time everytime never put as much as one hole in the wall. Basically used the place for storage of a few things while working on the coast. I probable slept in the place 4 times in 6 months of rental. When I moved out the landloard looked at the place and was extreamely happy with the condition and wished he had more renters like me. That being said when it came time to collect the $400.00 rent deposit he said I’ll have the check in the mail this week and as time went on text after text 6 months later still no payment. It really agitates me when you take care of someones rental to that extent and the appreciation is give in this way. ANY SUGGESTIONS

  • Kim Boudreaux

    I live in a private owned section 8 funded apartment complex in Jackson, Ms. What I want to know is can I be evicted if I record a conversation between myself (one -party consent) and the manager

    • Mike

      Have a lease in my ex wife’s maiden name the lease is written for a FEMA camper on a piece of property in Vancleave Mississippi we were renting a couple of months later I bought a double wide mobile home and put on the same piece of property but we never signed a new lease this was 2006 now he’s trying to evict me because he keeps saying I’m late on the rent but he keeps taking the the late fees out of the rent I sent him so it makes me late every time I pay rent is this legal is the lease even legal

    • John

      Pretty sure that falls under wiretapping laws and is illegal – I wouldn’t recommend it.

  • Savannah West

    Me and my father are renting one room in a house and the woman won’t let us see the utility bills. We agreed to pay half but we don’t know the total she just estimated. Do I have the right to see the bill.

  • Sonie Stevens

    If you are renting a house & it is going up for sale can
    landlord enter anytime without notice to paint,repairs,etc. in order to sale house ?

  • Mike

    I just moved down here from GA for a job purpose and I signed up for 12 months lease one of apartment complex which is located next to Southern University of MS. But the apartment complex manager didn’t explain me how it work 12 months lease ,after I signed up I seen on the leasing paper said if I breaking this lease before 12 months ,I have to pay $2000 fine for a breaking lease(rent is $500/a month) ..😰 …I have only one question total of this article ,is it right in rental laws for Ms….??? I’ve been living 5 different sates in last couple years ,,,I know two months rent you have to pay if you are break the lease ….can you help me out from here any one,please ..👏

    • Whitney

      Yes. They can charge you anything they want. They can make you pay the entire balance of the lease, if they choose. I highly suggest that you read everything you sign prior to signing anything. It isn’t mandatory for any landlord to allow you to break a lease, for any reason, other than death. Think of it like buying a car. You cannot simply drive back to the dealership and say, “Nevermind. I don’t want this anymore”, and stop making your car payments.

  • P Godwin

    landlord gave 1 week notice of eviction because lessee had been arrested for misdemeanor dui charges. nothing in the lease states anything about eviction unless 2 months late with rent. rent and utilities paid timely so that is not the case. just holier than thou types that don;t want a pot user in their house (even they pot was used in the car and not the leased house). Is this eviction legal in MS?

  • Mississippigal

    recently my complex came under new ownership
    My lease expired in 2016, however we are month to month
    we have not signed a new lease with new ownership nor has one been offered by ownership
    the new landlord lives in Texas, rental units are in Mississippi, we paid last month by money order because I like paying that way recently with holidays and rent being due on the first we put the money order in the mail today and probably will not be mailed out til tomorrow 1/03/2018 she stated that money order can not be post dated however it has the date when the money order is printed out she stated that if its not there on by the 5th she can not accept money order, I did not think this is legal especially in Mississippi

    • Mississippi Landlord

      Your landlord has the right to specify acceptable forms of payments and due dates. If an acceptable form of payment is not received by the due date, the landlord does have the right to charge you late fees as specified in the contract. Forms of payment must be received by your landlord and not postmarked by the due date. Since you are in a month to month contract your landlord has the right to make changes to your lease agreement at any time by providing a 30 day notice. You do not have to accept the new terms, but if you don’t you will be required to move out. Since your landlord is in Texas, I would recommend requesting the ability to make online payments through Cozy so you don’t have to worry about mail being received timely.

  • Ashley

    I have been without heat or air conditioning in my apartment for a little over a week. It’s been 61 degrees in here and no one seems to care enough to fix it in a timely manner. I’ve called to check on the maintenance request but I get nowhere. No sense of urgency and no timeframe or explanation. What should I do? What are my rights in this situation. I have 2 children and one is very small.

    • Mississippi Landlord

      You need to submit a request in writing. That will start the clock for your landlord. If the issue isn’t fixed within 30-days, you may hire someone to do it and deduct the amount charged from your rent. (You must wait the 30-days and keep all receipts). There are some limitations to the amount you can demand from your landlord if a 3rd party fixes the issue, so look at Mississippi’s Landlord Tenant Act to make sure you are covered. There are different things you can do in extreme temperatures, but 61 degrees will not qualify. Just write it down and keep a copy. As soon as you hand it to them in writing, it will become a top priority. I promise.

  • Julie

    We are relocating to the MS area in June and came to the area to secure a rental last week (4/18/18). Found one but not in the town we desired. We signed a lease to begin June 1st and left a deposit anyway. A rental just came available in the town we wanted. We’ve been approved for it and we’ve asked the other landlord to release us from our lease he said yes but will not return our deposit saying he lost renters over this last week. We do not have keys to this property, have not paid any rent yet, have not turned on utilities in our names. Can he just keep our deposit monies???

    • Whitney

      Yes. That is exactly the purpose of a security deposit. The deposit keeps the landlord from renting it to someone else. But if you don’t show up, your deposit pays for the amount of time they were holding the unit for you. Consider yourself lucky. If you signed a lease, they could hold you to the terms of it. Little known fact, once you sign a lease, you are stuck with it, legally. Most complexes will allow you to break a lease with a penalty, but they are not required to by law. If they are only taking your deposit, you should send them a thank you card.

  • Patrick

    We’re getting ready to move out of a house we are renting. The edge of the carpet in the master bedroom where it meets the tile at is torn from the vacuum picking it up when we went over it while cleaning. The landlord said the carpet was installed in 2009, but has not told me what the life of the carpet is supposed to be; so we don’t know if/how much we are responsible for yet. Is there a legal limit for how old carpet can be in a rental and the tenant still be charged for replacing or repairing it?

  • Savana

    Landlords (3) have rented me a house with plaster falling from ceiling, has spider/cricket/wasp infestations, and no real floors on the built-up areas (it is plywood with linoleum covering). There are two wall heaters with large gaps in “floor” (wood) with large slots in linoleum for bugs to enter (this is where crickets entered) and large gaps in sides of built up floor and lower level. They want $3k if we move now, as contract was signed with 1 year lease and this as terms to leave. However, can I cite this as terms of not having to pay? Also, no pets allowed in any yet landlady willingly allows neighbor complex to have pets. Also, no door to room with hot water heater; is that illegal? Broken window I wasn’t shown (blinds pulled low)too

  • Dorothy Perkins

    Me, my husband and our 4 year old live in Oxford MS. I have lived in the same apartment complex for 13+ years. Is there a law that states when properties have to be updated? This apartment has never been painted, carpet replaced, or any type of upkeep. Also I was having a conversation with my Landlord about the maintenance man and she had me on speaker phone with him in there. Doesnt that violate HIPPA Laws? I submitted a letter in person about updating my apartment and a lady from the complex business came with the landlord and took pictures. Never heard another word. Can you please give me some advice?

  • Missy

    I’m in a rental and been here 3 1/2 years. 6 months after moving in I started seeing roaches and found out the guy next door is infested with them. I went round and round with the landlord to exterminate. He finally did and said it was my responsibility. For 3 years I have been paying to exterminate. I mentioned landlord tenant laws and he threatened to kick me out. Now it’s rats! Again out of my pocket but not doing anything because he isn’t doing anything at all in the trailer park. I can’t afford to move anywhere because I barely make ends meet here. I have been calling around trying to get something done and no one seems to know who to call. Who do I call to get these properties inspected?

  • Brian

    My lease is up at the end of February 2018.
    The rental office has stated that I will be charged a carpet cleaning fee
    at the end of the lease, I would have lived there 3 years…
    They did clean the carpet a year ago when I re-signed my lease for one more year.
    Is the complex required to clean the carpet when a tenant moves out if the apartment was leased for a year or more?

    Thank you

  • Michelle

    My daughter was renting a trailer for $500 a month (in which a tree had fallen on one end and was not fixed which is neither here nor there) and in Dec. her significant other moved out, my daughter lost her job and to make things just a little bit worse she was shot twice in the leg/exit wound hip. My son and a few others went and moved her out on that Sunday Dec. 15. She had NEVER signed a lease agreement of any kind. In fact, these were friends of the family or so we thought. My daughter always paid cash for her half rent, her significant other paid a ck. Yesterday, my March 24, my daughter received a text saying Nov. and Dec. rent? She sent me a pic of the txt. We had txt msg proving she had paid nov. rent and had given them a treadmill

  • Michelle

    given them a treadmill for Dec. rent in which he tried to say oh I thought yall were just giving that away, in which I also have the txt msg saying they had taking the maxxsouth box as hostage til the significant other came and paid Dec. rent. He then told my daughter I meant to day Jan. rent because you still had some stuff in one of the unlivable rooms until Jan. 13. So you owe me $500 for Dec and $250 for Jan. Like I said there was no lease agreement and my daughter did not stay a night there after Dec. 13 and all her stuff was moved out as of Dec. 15 and they knew that. As far as I was concerned anything left they could have trashed as the landlord. Their problem is their present tenant is moving out and they need the money. Mst we pay?

  • Robert Stewart

    My company recently began discussions with a non-profit in the Stennis Space Center area, during our discussion we were provided a lease agreement and prior to signing it, I noticed a clause that was ‘auto renewal’ without mention of termination liability or ability to terminate. The lease had a initial period of one year followed by four option years (that auto renewed) – no mentioned of same price or terms just -‘Auto Renewal’ , my question is – is this a violation of MS landlord tenant policy? and being a non-profit (who is charged with renting a government facility) are they allowed to Deny someone a lease because we objected to this language?

  • Tina Fisher

    I have no renters insurance but a leak from the upstairs apt. I wrote a letter to the office but they never checked the leak. The 3rd day the ceiling busted and flooded my whole apt and water damaged every thing in my apt. Can I sue them for the damage to my property?

  • Haley

    I am 8 months into my 12 month lease in an apartment complex. I discovered black mold. I have had it tested by a home inspector and have a report stating the apartment is not livable. The apartment is ignoring letters regarding this matter. Can they legally bind me to the lease when I have proof of active toxic mold in my apartment? Once I told them about the mold the cleaned it with bleach and said it was okay. I have a small child and am currently pregnant. Thanks

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