REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 008 RESIDENTIAL
LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
"Residential Landlord and Tenant Act." Title 89,
Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-1.
Application of chapter.
(1). This chapter shall apply to, regulate and determine rights,
obligations and remedies under any rental agreement entered into
after July 1, 1991, wherever made, for a dwelling unit located
within this state. The rights, obligations and remedies of this
chapter shall be in addition to all other rights, obligations and
remedies provided by law and shall not alter or abridge the rights,
obligations and remedies available to residential landlords and
tenants pursuant to Sections 89-7-1 through 89-7-125.
(2) The following arrangements are not governed by this
(a) Residence at an institution, public or private, if
incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric,
educational, counseling, religious or similar service;
(b) Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or
the property of which it is a part, if the occupant is the purchaser
or a person who succeeds to his interest;
(c) Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social
organization in the portion of a structure operated for the benefit
of the organization;
(d) Transient occupancy in a hotel, motel or lodgings;
(e) Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a holder
of a proprietary lease in a cooperative; or
(f) Occupancy under a rental agreement covering premises used
by the occupant primarily for agricultural purposes or when the
occupant is performing agricultural labor for the owner and such
premises are rented for less than fair rental value.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-3.
Waiver of rights prohibited; provisions prohibited in
In any agreement, oral or written, for the rental of real
property as a dwelling place, a landlord or tenant may not agree to
waive or otherwise forego any of the rights, duties or remedies
under this chapter, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. No
rental agreement may provide that the tenant or the landlord:
(a) Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim
arising out of the rental agreement; or
(b) Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability
of the landlord arising as a result of the landlord's willful
misconduct or the costs connected therewith.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-5.
Definitions; agent of landlord.
(1) Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
sections of this chapter which apply to specific sections or parts
thereof, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this chapter:
(a) "Building and housing codes" includes any law,
ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning fitness for
habitation, construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy or use
of any premises or dwelling unit;
(b) "Dwelling unit" means a structure or the part
of a structure that is used as a home, residence or sleeping place
by one (1) person who maintains a household or by two (2) or more
persons who maintain a common household;
(c) "Good faith" means honesty in fact in the
conduct of the transaction concerned and observation of reasonable
community standards of fair dealing;
(d) "Landlord" means the owner, lessor or sublessor
of the dwelling unit or the building of which it is a part, or the
agent representing such owner, lessor or sublessor;
(e) "Organization" includes a corporation,
government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust,
estate, trust, partnership or association, two (2) or more persons
having a joint or common interest, and any other legal or commercial
(f) "Owner" means one or more persons, jointly or
severally, in whom is vested (i) all or part of the legal title to
(ii) all or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to
present use and enjoyment of the premises, and the term includes a
mortgagee in possession;
(g) "Premises" means a dwelling unit and the
structure of which it is a part, facilities and appurtenances
therein, and grounds, areas and facilities held out for the use of
tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant;
(h) "Rent" means all payments to be made to the
landlord under the rental agreement;
(i) "Rental agreement" means all agreements,
written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under
Section 89-8-11 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the
use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises;
(j) "Tenant" means a person entitled under a rental
agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others;
(k) "Qualified tenant management organizations"
means any organization incorporated under the Mississippi Nonprofit
Corporation Act, a majority of the directors of which are tenants of
the housing project to be managed under a contract authorized by
this section and which is able to conform to standards set by the
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as capable
of satisfactorily performing the operational and management
functions delegated to it by the contract.
(2) For purposes of giving any notice required under this
chapter, notice given to the agent of the landlord is equivalent to
giving notice to the landlord. The landlord may contract with an
agent to assume all the rights and duties of the landlord under this
chapter; provided, however, that such a contract does not relieve
the landlord of ultimate liability in regard to such rights and
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-7.
Obligation to act in good faith.
Every duty under this chapter and every act which must be
performed as a condition precedent to the exercise of a right or
remedy under this chapter, including the landlord's termination of a
tenancy or nonrenewal of a lease, imposes an obligation of good
faith in its performance or enforcement.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-9.
Rules and regulations of landlord concerning tenant's use
and occupancy of premises.
(1) A landlord may, from time to time, adopt rules or
regulations, however described, concerning the tenant's use and
occupancy of the premises. They are enforceable against the tenant
(a) Their purpose is to promote the convenience, safety or
welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord's
property from abuse, or make a fair distribution of services and
facilities provided for the tenants generally;
(b) They are reasonably related to the purpose for which they
(c) They apply to all tenants in the premises in a fair
(d) They are sufficiently explicit in their prohibition,
direction or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform him
of what he must or must not do to comply;
(e) They are not for the purpose of evading the obligations
of the landlord.
(2) A rule or regulation adopted or amended after the tenant
enters into the rental agreement is enforceable against the tenant
if reasonable notice of its adoption or amendment is given to the
tenant and it does not work a substantial modification of the rental
(3) If the dwelling unit is an apartment in a horizontal
property regime, the tenant shall comply with the bylaws of the
association of the apartment owners; and if the dwelling unit is an
apartment in a cooperative housing corporation, the tenant shall
comply with the bylaws of the corporation.
(4) Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant shall occupy his
dwelling unit only as a dwelling unit. Title 89, Chap. 008,
Right to terminate tenancy for breach; notice of breach;
return of prepaid rent and security.
(1). If there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the
rental agreement or the obligations imposed by Section 89-8-25, the
landlord may terminate the tenancy as set out in subsection (3) of
this section or resort to any other remedy at law or in equity
except as prohibited by this chapter.
(2) If there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with
the rental agreement or the obligations imposed by Section 89-8-23,
the tenant may terminate the tenancy as set out in subsection (3) of
this section or resort to any other remedy at law or in equity
except as prohibited by this chapter.
(3) The nonbreaching party may deliver a written notice to
the party in breach specifying the acts and omissions constituting
the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date
not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice if the
breach is not remedied within a reasonable time not in excess of
thirty (30) days; and the rental agreement shall terminate and the
tenant shall surrender possession as provided in the notice subject
to the following:
(a) If the breach is remediable by repairs, the payment of
damages, or otherwise, and the breaching party adequately remedies
the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental
agreement shall not terminate;
(b) In the absence of a showing of due care by the breaching
party, if substantially the same act or omission which constituted a
prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six (6)
months, the nonbreaching party may terminate the rental agreement
upon at least fourteen (14) days' written notice specifying the
breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement;
(c) Neither party may terminate for a condition caused by his
own deliberate or negligent act or omission or that of a member of
his family or other person on the premises with his consent.
(4) If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall
return all prepaid and unearned rent and security recoverable by the
tenant under Section 89-8-21.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any
other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, if the material
noncompliance by the tenant is the nonpayment of rent pursuant to
the rental agreement, the landlord shall not be required to deliver
thirty (30) days' written notice as provided by subsection (3) of
this section. In such event, the landlord may seek removal of the
tenant from the premises in the manner and with the notice
prescribed by Chapter 7, Title 89, Mississippi Code of 1972.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-13.
Repair of defects by tenant.
(1) If, within thirty (30) days after written notice to the
landlord of a specific and material defect which constitutes a
breach of the terms of the rental agreement or of the obligation of
the landlord under Section 89-8-23, the landlord fails to repair
such defect, the tenant:
(a) May repair such defect himself; and
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this
section, shall be entitled to reimbursement of the expenses of such
repairs within forty-five (45) days after submission to the landlord
of receipted bills for such work, provided that:
(i) The tenant has fulfilled his affirmative obligations
under Section 89-8-25;
(ii) The expenses incurred in making such repairs do not
exceed an amount equal to one (1) month's rent;
(iii) The tenant has not exercised the remedy provided by
this section in the six (6) months immediately preceding; and
(iv) The tenant is current in his rental payment.
(2) A tenant shall not be entitled to be reimbursed for
repairs made pursuant to this section in an amount greater than the
usual and customary charge for such repairs.
(3) Before correcting a condition affecting facilities shared
by more than one (1) dwelling unit, the tenant shall notify all
other tenants sharing such facilities of his plans and shall so
arrange the work as to create the least practicable inconvenience to
the other tenants.
(4) The cost of repairs made by a tenant pursuant to this
section may be offset against future rent.
(5) No provision of this section shall be construed to grant
a lien against the real property.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-15.
Rights of landlord after expiration of rental agreement.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 89-8-13, the landlord
may, at any time after the expiration of a rental agreement, recover
possession of the dwelling unit, cause the tenant to quit the
dwelling unit involuntarily, demand an increase in rent or decrease
the services to which the tenant has been entitled in accordance
with any other provisions of this chapter, if such actions by the
landlord did not have the dominant purpose of retaliation against
the tenant for his actions authorized under this chapter and the
landlord received written notice of each condition which was the
subject of such actions of the tenant. Title 89, Chap. 008,
Length of term of tenancy; notice to terminate tenancy;
exception to notice requirement.
(1) Unless the rental agreement fixes a definite term a tenancy
shall be week to week in case of a tenant who pays weekly rent, and
in all other cases month to month.
(2) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week
tenancy by written notice given to the other at least seven (7) days
prior to the termination date.
(3) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month
tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least thirty (30)
days prior to the termination date.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any
other provision of this chapter to the contrary, 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
or this chapter that materially affects health and safety.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-19.
Tenant's security deposit.
(1) Any payment or deposit of money, the primary function of
which is to secure the performance of a rental agreement or any part
of such an agreement, other than a payment or deposit, including an
advance payment of rent, made to secure the execution of a rental
agreement shall be governed by the provisions of this section.
(2) Any such payment or deposit of money shall be held by the
landlord for the tenant who is a party to such agreement. The claim
of a tenant to such payment or deposit shall be governed by the
provisions of this section. The claim of a tenant to such payment or
deposit shall be prior to the claim of any creditor of the landlord.
(3) The landlord, by written notice delivered to the tenant,
may claim of such payment or deposit only such amounts as are
reasonably necessary to remedy the tenant's defaults in the payment
of rent, to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant,
exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, to clean such premises upon
termination of the tenancy, or for other reasonable and necessary
expenses incurred as the result of the tenant's default, if the
payment or deposit is made for any or all of those specific
purposes. The written notice by which the landlord claims all or any
portion of such payment or deposit shall itemize the amounts claimed
by such landlord. Any remaining portion of such payment or deposit
shall be returned to the tenant no later than forty-five (45) days
after the termination of his tenancy, the delivery of possession and
demand by the tenant.
(4) The retention by a landlord or transferee of a payment or
deposit or any portion thereof, in violation of this section and
with absence of good faith, may subject the landlord or his
transferee to damages not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) in
addition to any actual damages. Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC.
Duties of landlord.
(1) 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, 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.
(2) No duty on the part of the landlord shall arise under
this section in connection with a defect which is caused by the
deliberate or negligent act of the tenant or persons on the premises
with the tenant's permission.
(3) Subject to the provisions of Section 89-8-5, the landlord
and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant perform some or all
of the landlord's duties under this section, but only if the
transaction is entered into in good faith.
(4) No duty on the part of the landlord shall arise under
this section in connection with a defect which is caused by the
tenant's affirmative act or failure to comply with his obligations
under Section 89-8-25.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-23.
Duties of tenant.
A tenant shall:
(a) Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as
clean and as safe as the condition of the premises permits;
(b) Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, rubbish,
garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner in compliance
with community standards;
(c) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit used by
the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
(d) Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing,
sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other
facilities and appliances, including elevators, in the premises;
(e) Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage,
impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any
other person to do so;
(f) Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises
with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not
disturb his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of their premises;
(g) Inform the landlord of any condition of which he has
actual knowledge which may cause damage to the premises;
(h) To the extent of his legal obligation, maintain the
dwelling unit in substantially the same condition, reasonable wear
and tear excepted, and comply with the requirements of applicable
building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
(i) Not engage in any illegal activity upon the leased
premises as documented by a law enforcement agency.
Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC. 89-8-25.
Housing authorities authorized to contract with tenant
management organizations; authority to sell public housing units to
tenant management organizations.
Any county, municipality, regional housing authority or local
housing authority in the state may make application to and contract
with qualified tenant management organizations for the operation and
management of housing projects of the authority as a means of
reducing vacancies, reducing administrative costs and creating jobs
from the establishment of maintenance teams. Such counties,
municipalities, regional housing authorities or local housing
authorities shall have the authority to sell public housing units to
such tenant management organizations, provided that such sale is in
compliance with any applicable federal laws and regulations and any
state laws and regulations. Title 89, Chap. 008, SEC.
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