Mississippi Landlord-Tenant Laws SummaryWhat 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.

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.

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