Mississippi Eviction Laws: A Guide For Landlords (2023)
If you’re a landlord or property manager in Mississippi, you may already have had some experience navigating the eviction process. Mississippi has historically had some of the highest eviction rates in the country, with evictions in capital city Jackson topping 8.8% in 2018. And that was before the pandemic.
Since 2020, eviction rates across the country have skyrocketed in lockstep with rising rents and increased costs-of-living.
For landlords and tenants alike, evictions can be stressful and challenging. But with a firm understanding of the legal process, you can make the process more manageable.
Here’s what you need to know about the Mississippi eviction laws.
What Not To Do: Illegal Evictions In Mississippi
Eviction laws protect both landlords and tenants, so it's crucial to follow the appropriate legal procedures. The following actions are illegal under Mississippi law, and could land property owners on the wrong side of a lawsuit:
- Self-help Evictions: Landlords cannot take matters into their own hands. This means they can't physically remove the tenant or the tenant's possessions from the rental property. This is known as a "self-help" eviction and it's illegal in Mississippi.
- Lockouts: A landlord cannot change the locks on the rental property to prevent the tenant from entering.
- Utility Shutoffs: A landlord cannot turn off a tenant's utilities, like water, heat, electricity, etc., in an attempt to force them out.
- Threats or Harassment: A landlord cannot use threats, intimidation, or harassment to force a tenant to leave. This can include things like entering the rental property without notice or at inappropriate times, or intentionally making the rental unit unlivable.
- Seizing Tenants’ Property: Prior to 2021, landlords could seize tenants’ property in the event of an eviction. However, that law was ruled unconstitutional. If you evict a tenant, they are
If a landlord violates any of these prohibitions, the tenant may have the right to sue the landlord for damages. If you're a landlord and unsure about the process, always be sure to consult with qualified experts.
Mississippi Eviction Laws Quick Reference Table
|Problem||Mississippi Eviction Law Says...||Which Eviction Notice Templates To Use|
|Tenant has not paid rent.||You can start the eviction process after serving them three days’ written notice.
MS Code § 89-7-27 (2020)
|Provide the tenant 3-Day Notice to Quit. If you have not received rent and late fees after the notice period, you may proceed with eviction.|
|Tenant has violated terms of the lease.||You may begin the eviction process after providing 14 days’ written notice that specifies the terms that were violated.
MS Code § 89-8-13 (2020)
|Provide the tenant 14-Day Notice to Remedy or Quit. If they do not become compliant, you may file an eviction suit.|
|Landlord wants to regain control of the property at the end of the lease, or there is no lease.||Week-to-week tenants must be given 7 days’ written notice to vacate. Month-to-month tenants must be given 30 days’ notice, and year-to-year tenants 60 days.
MS Code § 89-8-19 (2020)
|Provide the tenant 7-Day Notice To Vacate or 30-Day Notice to Vacate. If they do not vacate, you may proceed with eviction.|
How To Evict Someone In Mississippi: A Step-by-Step Guide
The Mississippi eviction process establishes a clear process and timeline for regaining possession of your property, and can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. The length of the process may depend on the reason for the eviction, the tenants’ response to the eviction, and delays within the courts.
Step 1: Establish grounds for eviction.
In Mississippi, a landlord may evict a tenant for a number of reasons, including:
- Non-payment of rent: Failure to pay rent on time is one of the most common reasons for eviction. Landlords have the right to evict tenants who consistently fail to pay their rent.
- Lease violations: If tenants breach the terms of their lease agreement, such as subletting without permission, having unauthorized pets, or engaging in illegal activities on the property, the landlord may initiate eviction proceedings.
- Expired lease: When a lease agreement expires, the landlord may choose not to renew it and ask the tenant to vacate the property.
- Property damage: If tenants cause significant damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord may seek eviction to regain possession and make necessary repairs.
- Illegal activities: Engaging in criminal activities on the rental property can be grounds for eviction.
To ensure you are able to substantiate your case in court, be sure to keep documentation of contracts, communications with your tenant, damages to the property, or other relevant documentation.
Step 2: Send the tenant a written notice.
Before filing a case with the court, the landlord must serve the tenant written notice. The type of notice will depend on the reason for eviction. For example:
- 3-Day Notice To Quit: Use a 3-day notice for evictions stemming from non-payment of rent.
- 14-Day Notice to Remedy or Quit: This notice is used for lease violations that could result in eviction.
- 30-Day Notice To Quit: Use this notice to terminate yearly leases.
Step 3: File an eviction lawsuit with court.
If the tenant doesn't comply with the notice, you can file a complaint in the court where your property is located. That complaint should detail the reasons for eviction. After you have filed suit, a sheriff or a process server will serve the tenant with the complaint and court summons.
Step 4: Attend the court eviction hearing and judgment.
At the eviction hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to present their cases. If the judge sides with the landlord, the court will issue a judgment of possession and an eviction order.
Step 5: Tenant vacates the property within 7 days.
If the tenant doesn't leave the property voluntarily, the landlord can ask the court for a Writ of Execution. This legal document gives the sheriff the authority to remove the tenant from the rental property. If the tenant still doesn't vacate, the sheriff will enforce the eviction order and remove the tenant.
How Long Does An Eviction Stay On Your Record?
While an eviction doesn’t appear on your credit report, late rent and fees can appear on your credit report for up to seven years.
Overdue Rent? Eviction Services Are Available
It can be frustrating when tenants who consistently fail to pay rent on time. However, you don't have to face rent collection and eviction alone. Hemlane can assist you in navigating the process and ensuring that you receive the rent you are owed while minimizing costly court fees. Explore our eviction services and on-demand delinquency management today.