The information on this page is provided as a free resource for renters in Mississippi. It is not legal advice.

Does Mississippi have “rent control?”

Rent is not regulated in Mississippi. This means that the only limit on how much a landlord in Mississippi can charge for rent is what people are willing to pay. This is sometimes called a “market rate.”

What does it mean to have a “safe, habitable” place to live in Mississippi?

A landlord shall at all times during the tenancy:

  • (a) Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
  • (b) 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. Miss. Code § 89-8-23″

Windows, Doors, Elevators, Peepholes, and Heating and Air Conditioning

We cannot find specific laws in Mississippi addressing this issue. However, landlords are required to provide safe, sanitary, and livable housing conditions.

Does my landlord have to provide smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in Mississippi?

Mississippi law requires landlords to comply with applicable building and housing codes. Those codes currently include the International Fire Code, which requires smoke alarms in all residential dwellings and carbon monoxide detection for any dwelling containing or adjacent to a source of carbon monoxide, such as a fireplace or enclosed garage. Miss. Code Ann. § § 89-8-23 (1); 45-11-103 (1).

How long does my landlord have to fix problems at my apartment in Mississippi?

Under Mississippi law, landlords must repair issues within 14 days of getting written notice from a tenant about the need for repairs. Miss. Code Ann. § 89-8-13 (3).

In Mississippi, there are specific rules for pest issues. There is no timeline for pest issues except to the extent pests constitute a habitability issue or is a violation of either building/housing codes or the terms of the lease.

What can I do if my landlord can’t or won’t fix problems at my apartment in Mississippi?

Repair and Deduct

Mississippi tenants can arrange for repairs and deduct from the rent by following a special procedure subject to all the following requirements:

  • (1) The tenant must be current on all responsibilities, including rent;
  • (2) The tenant cannot have repaired and deducted in the past six months;
  • (3) Repairs must be done at least 30 days after the landlord gets written notice of the issue;
  • (4) Repairs that affect more than one unit must provide notice to all affected tenants and avoid as much inconvenience as possible;
  • (5) Rent deduction must occur at least 45 days after the landlord gets written notice of the issue; and
  • (6) The deduction must be the usual, customary cost of similar repairs and a total of no more than one month’s rent.  Miss. Code Ann. 89-8-15 (1-3)

Vacate

Mississippi tenants can break their lease and vacate a rental property for failure to repair issues that weren’t the tenant’s responsibility or other violations of the rental agreement 14 days after providing written notice to the landlord. Miss. Code Ann. § 89-8-13(3)(a) & (3)(b)

Sue

Renters can sue based on common law causes of action, like breach of contract, breach of implied warranty of habitability, etc.

What are the rules for security deposits in Mississippi, and how do I get my security deposit refunded?

No limit is set for the amount of the security deposit. There is no requirement that landlords pay interest on the security deposit.

The landlord may claim from the deposit only amounts reasonably necessary:

  • (1) to remedy the tenant’s defaults in the payment of rent;
  • (2) to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear;
  • (3) to clean such premises upon termination of the tenancy; or
  • (4) for other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as the result of the tenant’s default. Landlords must make claims from a security deposit by written notice and must itemize the claimed amounts in the notice.  Miss. Code § 89-8-21″

Security deposits must be returned within fourty-five (45) days of the end of the tenancy, the return of the property to the landlord, and a demand by the tenant. Miss. Code § 89-8-21

What kinds of notice does my landlord need to give me in Mississippi?

Eviction

In Mississippi, a landlord can evict a tenant:

  • (1) for failure to pay rent,
  • (2) for violation of the lease,
  • (3) for repeated violations of the lease, or
  • (4) because the lease agreement has ended or there is no lease agreement.

The amount of leave landlords must provide tenants varies depending on the reason for the eviction: 3 days for failure to pay rent, 14 days for violation of the lease, 14 days for repeated violations of the lease, and 30 days when the lease agreement has ended, or there is no lease agreement.  Miss. Code § 89-8-13 (2019).

Rent Increases

Landlords in Mississippi cannot raise the rent during the term of a lease and must provide at least seven days’ notice before raising the rent on week-to-week tenants and thirty days’ notice before raising the rent on month-to-month tenants. MS Code § 89-8-19.

Renewal

A landlord or tenant must provide at least seven days’ notice that they will not be renewing a week-to-week lease and at least thirty days notice that they will not be renewing a month-to-month lease. MS Code § 89-8-19.

Entry

In Mississippi, the landlord can only enter a leased property for maintenance purposes and in emergencies unless the lease agreement states otherwise. Gulf Refining Co. v. Terry, 163 Miss. 869, 887-88 (Miss. 1932).

Can I end my lease early in Mississippi?

If something comes up in your life, you may find that you need to end your lease early. This can be stressful and very expensive, with most leases including steep penalties and fines for early termination. Here are some potential options.

Military

If you’re active military, you may be able to terminate your lease early under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA provides certain protections for active-duty military members, including the right to terminate a lease early if you receive orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) or deployment.

To terminate your lease early under the SCRA, you must provide your landlord with written notice and a copy of your orders. The notice must be provided at least 30 days before the date on which you intend to terminate the lease.

Subleasing

Because Mississippi law does not grant tenants the right to sublease, tenants must have permission from the landlord to enter into a sublease.

What should I know about eviction in Mississippi?

In most areas, including Mississippi, you cannot be evicted for owing fees.

For nonpayment of rent, a landlord must provide three days of notice before starting the eviction process.

What can I do if my landlord harasses me or discriminates against me in Mississippi?

The Federal Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination based on race, color, nationality, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Mississippi does not offer any extra protections for classes not outlined in the Federal Fair Housing Act.

Mississippi law prohibits landlords from raising the price of rent in retaliation for renters taking actions authorized under Mississippi law. Miss. Code Ann. § 89-8-17

SixFifty can help!

Now that you know your rights as a renter in Mississippi, what can you do? Take action! SixFifty built HelloLandlord with the University of Arizona and Brigham Young University as a free resource for people who can’t afford legal help. You can use HelloLandlord to:

Tens of thousands of Americans have used HelloLandlord to assert their rights. It only takes 5 minutes to generate a high-quality letter—the kind of letter a lawyer would write. And we offer discount codes so you can send your letter by mail, right from your computer.

SixFifty is building more tools to help renters all the time. For more information, email probono@sixfifty.com.

Sources

  • https://advance.lexis.com/documentpage/?pdmfid=1000516&crid=ca676330-14bb-4dc4-ac23-8b125fbb1dd9&nodeid=ABUAAHAAB&nodepath=%2FROOT%2FABU%2FABUAAH%2FABUAAHAAB&level=3&haschildren=&populated=false&title=%C2%A7+89-8-1.+Short+title.&config=00JABhZDIzMTViZS04NjcxLTQ1MDItOTllOS03MDg0ZTQxYzU4ZTQKAFBvZENhdGFsb2f8inKxYiqNVSihJeNKRlUp&pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A8P6B-8962-D6RV-H4CD-00008-00&ecomp=bgf5kkk&prid=e245ecb2-93b6-43cc-a721-442db31de967
  • https://ipropertymanagement.com/laws/mississippi-landlord-tenant-rights