Steps of the eviction process in Mississippi:
- Landlord serves tenant written notice.
- Landlord files complaint with court (if unresolved).
- Court holds hearing and issues judgment.
- Writ of execution is issued.
- Possession of property is returned to landlord.
Evicting a tenant in Mississippi can take around two to eight weeks, depending on the reason for the eviction and which court the eviction is held in.
Grounds for an Eviction in Mississippi
In Mississippi, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms, or violating material health and safety codes. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.
|Nonpayment of Rent||3 Days||Yes|
|End of / No Lease||30 Days||No|
|Lease Violation||14 Days||Maybe|
|Material Health/ Safety Violation||Not Required||No|
Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent
In Mississippi, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 3 days’ notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. If the tenant does neither after that time, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Mississippi the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days) or exceptions for weekends or court-observed holidays.
Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.
Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease
In Mississippi, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (30 days for tenants that pay month-to-month).
Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities
In Mississippi, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities. To do so, the landlord must give 14 days’ notice to fix the issue or move out. For all lease violations, a tenant has the opportunity to correct the issue to avoid eviction.
Tenant responsibilities include:
- Keeping the premises clean and safe.
- Disposing all rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner.
- Keeping all plumbing fixtures clean.
- Using all facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner.
- Not deliberately or negligently destroying, damaging, or removing any part of the premises.
- Not disturbing the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
- Informing the landlord promptly about any damage to the property.
- Complying with all building and housing codes that materially affect health and safety.
- Not engaging in illegal activity.
Examples of lease violations include:
- Having an unauthorized pet or guest.
- Parking in an unauthorized area.
- Not maintaining a certain level of cleanliness.
- Illegal activity.
If the tenant fixes or “cures” the violation but commits the same violation within a six-month timeframe, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a 14 days’ notice to vacate. The tenant does not have the opportunity to correct the issue to avoid eviction.
Eviction for Material Health/Safety Violation
In Mississippi, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating a material health and safety code or for committing a substantial violation. The landlord may immediately proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit with the court and no prior notice is necessary. A tenant does not have the opportunity to correct the issue to avoid eviction.
Examples material health and safety violations:
- Allowing garbage to pile up.
- Tampering with the electrical wiring.
- Harboring pests.
Examples of substantial violations:
- Threatening or causing harm to the landlord.
- Causing significant damage to the rental unit.
- Drug-related activity.
Illegal Evictions in Mississippi
In Mississippi, certain actions by landlords can make an eviction illegal.
Unlike most states, Mississippi landlords can take certain self-help actions to forcibly evict a tenant upon the expiration of their lease. However, the lease must include a provision granting the landlord the right to remove the tenant and take possession of the premises. Self-help procedures include:
- Shutting off utilities.
- Decreasing services.
- Demanding an increase in rent.
- Removing tenant belongings.
Additionally, these actions cannot be in retaliation against the tenant for exercising their rights under state law. If a lease does not contain a provision granting the landlord the right to a self-help eviction, the self-help eviction is illegal and the tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through a formal eviction process.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. While Mississippi law doesn’t outline specific legally protected rights, most states recognize the following as retaliatory actions:
- Complaining about habitability issues to the landlord or any authority tasked to enforce the law.
- Filing a complaint to a government authority.
- Joining a tenant’s union or organization.
Step 1: Landlord Serves Notice to Tenant
A landlord can begin the eviction process in Mississippi by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:
- Delivery in person.
- Delivery via email text message (if agreed to in writing).
It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice.
3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial) in Mississippi, the landlord can serve them a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. This notice gives the tenant 3 calendar days to pay the entire remaining balance or vacate the premises.
30-Day Notice to Quit
For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Mississippi, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out.
However, for tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Amount|
14-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate
In Mississippi, if a tenant commits a violation of the terms of their lease or legal responsibilities as a tenant, the landlord can serve them a 14-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate. This eviction notice gives the tenant 14 calendar days to fix the issue or move out.
14-Day Notice to Quit
In Mississippi, if a tenant commits the same lease violation within a six-month timeframe, the landlord can serve them a 14-Day Notice to Quit. This eviction notice gives the tenant 14 calendar days to move out.
Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court
As the next step in the eviction process, Mississippi landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate county or justice court. Filing fees may vary in the state, for example, in the Hinds County Justice Court, this costs $75.
The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant by the sheriff or anyone over the age of 18 who isn’t part of the case, at least five days prior to the summons return date for county court cases, through one of the following methods:
- Giving a copy to the tenant in person.
- Leaving a copy with a family member over the age of 16 AND mailing a copy via first class mail.
- Publishing a copy in a local paper (only if all other methods fail). The publication shall be made once a week for three consecutive weeks. Or if there is no newspaper, the notice shall be posted at the courthouse door.
- Posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the rental property (nonpayment of rent evictions).
A summons and complaint may only be posted on the rental property if a copy cannot be given to the tenant in person.
The deadline to serve the summons for eviction cases heard in the Justice Courts isn’t specified in Mississippi statutes.
5 days. For evictions heard in the county court, the summons must be served at least 5 days prior to the return date.
Step 3: Court Holds Hearing & Issues Judgment
County court eviction cases will be heard 5-10 days after the date the summons was issued by the court. Mississippi state law doesn’t specify how quickly evictions heard in the Justice Courts must be held after the complaint is filed or the summons is issued.
If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judicial officer may issue a default ruling in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will need to move out.
For nonpayment of rent evictions, the court may grant a 10-day continuance, giving the tenant an extra 10 days to prepare for the hearing.
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, either through a default judgment or at the eviction hearing, a writ of execution will be issued, and the eviction process will continue.
5-10 days after the summons was issued for cases heard in the county courts; state law doesn’t specify how quickly cases must be heard in Justice Courts.
Step 4: Writ of Execution Is Issued
The writ of execution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit, and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff, constable of the county or the marshal of the municipality returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant and the tenant’s personal belongings.
If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the landlord will ask the court to issue a writ of execution. For all evictions except those due to nonpayment of rent, this will be done five days after the ruling in favor of the landlord for both Justice Court and County Court.
For nonpayment of rent evictions, the writ will be issued immediately, unless a 3-day stay is granted for good cause.
A few hours to 5 days, depending on the reason for the eviction and whether a 3-day stay is granted for nonpayment of rent evictions.
Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned
Mississippi state law doesn’t specify whether tenants have additional time after the writ of execution is issued by the court to move out of the rental unit. Tenants should be prepared to move out immediately.
The judicial officer will announce in their ruling how much additional time (if any) the tenant has to move out of the rental unit before law enforcement officers return to forcibly remove the tenant from the rental unit.
The judge shall determine if the landlord is granted exclusive possession of the rental unit. If the judge grants the possession and the tenant does not remove their personal property from the premises before the date and time granted by the court, the landlord may dispose of the personal property without further notice or legal action.
A few hours to a few days, depending on whether the judicial officer allows tenants to have additional time to move out after the writ of execution is issued.
Mississippi Eviction Process Timeline
In Mississippi, an eviction can be completed in 2 to 8 weeks but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.
Below are the parts of the Mississippi eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.
|Initial Notice Period||3-30 Calendar Days|
|Court Issuing/Serving Summons||5 Business Days|
|Court Ruling||5-10 Business Days|
|Court Serving Writ of Execution||1-5 Business Days|
|Final Notice Period||24 Hours|
Flowchart of Mississippi Eviction Process
For additional questions about the eviction process in Mississippi, please refer to the official legislation, Mississippi Code §89-7-1 to 89-7-125, §89-8-1 to 89-8-29, §11-25-1 to 11-25-119, and the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4, for more information.
- 1 MS Code §89-7-27 (2019)
- 2 MS Code §89-8-19 (2019)
- 3 MS Code §89-8-13 (2019)
- 4 MS Code § 89-8-19 (2020)
- 5 Bender v. North Meridian Mobile Home Park
- 6 MS Code § 89-8-17 (2020)
- 7 MS Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4 (2019)
- 8 MS Code §11-25-109 (2019)
- 9 MS Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4 (2019)
- 10 MS Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4 (2019)
- 11 MS Code §89-7-33 (2019)
- 12 MS Code §89-7-39 (2019)
- 13 MS Code §11-25-23 (2019)
- 14 MS Code §11-25-113 (2019)
- 15 MS Code §89-7-45 (2019)