Mississippi Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Mississippi Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Last Updated: May 13, 2023

In general, a landlord in Mississippi has to repair any issues at a rental property that could affect a tenant’s health or safety. The landlord must repair issues within 14 days of getting written notice from the tenant about the needed repairs.

Mississippi Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs

Mississippi landlords are responsible for keeping all of the following in the same condition it was in at the beginning of the lease:

  • The structure of the dwelling unit.
  • Plumbing.
  • Common areas.
  • Features that affect health, safety, or habitability.

If any of the above stops working properly, and the tenant isn’t at fault for the damage, the landlord is the one responsible for making the repairs necessary to fix it.

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What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Mississippi?

Mississippi tenants are responsible for repairing any damage they cause to the property through their deliberate or negligent actions.

This is only the default legal situation, however. The landlord and tenant can agree in writing for the tenant to handle any specific maintenance.

Requesting Repairs in Mississippi

Mississippi tenants must request repairs by providing the landlord written notice about the issue that needs repair. Email and text message are also options for notice, if the landlord has agreed to these options in writing.

How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Mississippi?

Mississippi landlords have 14 days to make repairs after getting proper written notice about an issue from the tenant.

Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Mississippi?

Mississippi landlords can refuse to make repairs, if they have good-faith reason to think that the issue was caused by the tenant’s failure to keep legal responsibilities.

Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Mississippi?

Mississippi landlords are not required to pay for alternative accommodation while they conduct repairs.

Tenant’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Mississippi

Mississippi tenants can cancel the rental agreement if the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs. They might also sue for an injunction to force repairs.

Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Mississippi?

Mississippi tenants are not allowed to unilaterally withhold rent. To receive a legal excuse from paying the rent, a tenant must have a court order.

Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Mississippi?

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

  • The tenant must be current on all responsibilities, including rent.
  • The tenant cannot have repaired and deducted in the past six months.
  • Repairs must be done at least 30 days after the landlord gets written notice of the issue.
  • Repairs that affect more than one unit must provide notice to all affected tenants, and avoid as much inconvenience as possible.
  • Rent deduction must occur at least 45 days after the landlord gets written notice of the issue.
  • The deduction must be the usual, customary cost of similar repairs (total of no more than one month’s rent), proven by giving the landlord receipts.

Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Mississippi?

Mississippi tenants can break their lease 14 days after written notice, for failure to repair issues that weren’t the tenant’s responsibility or other violations of the rental agreement.

Can the Tenant Sue in Mississippi?

Mississippi tenants can sue to force repairs or recover monetary damages, when the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs after proper notice.

Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Mississippi?

Mississippi tenants can report landlords for code violations that affect health or safety. Tenants should usually report to the local inspections or code enforcement department. If an inspecting officer finds a violation, the tenant could cancel the rental agreement, or sue to force repairs.

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Landlord Retaliation in Mississippi

It’s illegal for Mississippi landlords to retaliate with raised rent, or bad-faith actions (including eviction in bad faith), against a renter who has exercised his rights under the Mississippi Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

Tenants have the burden of proof to establish a landlord’s bad faith or intent to retaliate. If a court agrees, the judge will block the retaliatory actions. In severe cases, the tenant might also claim constructive eviction and move out, which ends the lease.

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