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Mississippi Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Chances are, you’ve been a renter at some point in your life, and maybe someday you’ll also be a landlord. Either way, understanding rental agreements is an important part of everyday life. You should know your rights as a tenant or as a landlord. You should also be aware of your responsibilities and strive to meet them, or face the legal consequences.

Repairs

Sometimes the toughest part of being a tenant is getting your landlord to make repairs. If this happens to you, resist the urge to not pay your rent because that can get you evicted. Instead, take these simple steps to get repairs done legally or do them yourself.

  1. Give your landlord 30 days notice, in writing, about the repairs that need to be made. Date the letter and keep a copy for yourself, you may need it in court.
  2. If the repairs aren’t made, you can make the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from your rent, which means you can’t do this if the repairs are more than your monthly rent.
  3. Alternatively, you can cancel the lease without penalty because the landlord breached his or her duties to you, or you can sue the landlord in justice court.

For more information on residential lease and rental agreement laws in Mississippi, see the following chart.

Code Sections Mississippi Code Title 89, Chapter 8: Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and Section 43-33-723: Prohibition Against Discrimination
Terms of Leases A tenant who overstays the lease is called a “holdover” tenant. The tenancy converts into a month-to-month tenancy. If you’re a lodger who pays your rent weekly, then the tenancy coverts to week-to-week.

Your lease can provide for a grace period, often a few days after the rent is due before a late fee is applied. However, this is as set out in the rental contract, not something that must be provided by law.
Security Deposits Mississippi law doesn’t limit the amount of a security deposit nor does it require interest be paid on deposits. However, landlords must repay any rental-related security deposits within 45 days of terminating the tenancy.

As a tenant, you must request the return of the deposit and provide a forwarding address for the money to be sent to you or make other arrangements. A property owner can deduct the reasonable costs of repairs from the deposit, but must provide a written, itemized list of the items deducted.
Discrimination Like all states, Mississippi must follow federal fair housing laws (and all state laws) that prohibit discrimination on the basis of a number of traits, including:
  • Race or color
  • National origin or ancestry
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Age (except for housing specifically for older adults)
  • Disabilities
  • Families, because of children

If a landlord discriminates against you because of any of the above reasons, you can file a complaint with HUD (U.S. Housing & Urban Development).

Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act In 1991, Mississippi enacted the Residential Landlord & Tenant Act, which was created collaboratively by the Uniform Law Commission.

If you’re having problems with your landlord or a tenant, you can get help from an experienced Mississippi landlord-tenant lawyer. If you’re low-income, you can try contacting your local legal aid office for help.

Note: State laws are changing constantly, please contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these landlord-tenant laws.

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