Mississippi Security Deposit Returns and Deductions

Mississippi Security Deposit Returns and Deductions

Last Updated: January 25, 2024 by Phil Ahn

Quick Facts Answer
Acceptable Deductions Unpaid rent and late fees

Costs of damage

Costs due to tenant’s default

Cleaning costs

Return Deadline 45 Days
Itemized Deductions Required
Penalty for Late Return $200 + Actual Damages

For laws on security deposit collections and holdings in Mississippi, click here.

Security Deposit Deductions in Mississippi

In Mississippi, the following can be deducted from security deposits:

  • Unpaid rent and late fees
  • Costs of damage excluding normal wear and tear
  • Costs due to the tenant’s default
  • Cleaning costs

Most states, such as Mississippi, do not have a legal limit on how much a landlord can charge for damages except that the charges must be reasonable.

If the cost of the damages exceeds the amount of the security deposit, landlords are entitled to seek additional damages from the former tenant.

What is Considered Normal Wear and Tear in Mississippi?

“Normal wear and tear” is deterioration that occurs naturally as a result of the tenant using the property as it was designed to be used.

Examples include:

  • Gently worn carpets
  • Lightly scratched glass
  • Faded paint and flooring
  • Lightly dirtied grout
  • Loose door handles
  • Stained bath fixtures

Damage” means destruction to the rental unit that occurs because of abuse or negligence by a tenant during the course of the tenancy.

Examples include:

  • Heavily stained, burned, or torn carpets
  • Broken tiles or windows
  • Holes in the wall
  • Missing fixtures

Can the Landlord Charge for Replacing the Carpet in Mississippi?

Landlords can charge for replacing the carpet if it is damaged beyond normal wear and tear.


A carpet that is slightly discolored or gently worn will be considered normal wear and tear. A carpet with visible stains, major discoloration and rips will be considered excessively damaged.

Can the Landlord Charge for Nail Holes in Mississippi?

Landlords can charge a tenant for nail holes if they damage the walls in a way that is not a result of ordinary enjoyment of the rental unit.

Tenants have the right to use the walls within their unit in a reasonable way. This includes inserting small nails or thumbtacks to hang posters or pictures.

However, large holes from drilling, multiple nail holes, large nail holes, and holes made for hanging heavier things may be considered damage and thus, chargeable to the tenant.

Can the Landlord Charge a Cleaning Fee in Mississippi?

Mississippi law allows landlords to charge reasonable cleaning fees. This means the cost is consistent with normal rates for cleaning services and the cleaning is limited to bringing the unit back to its original condition at the start of the lease.

Can the Landlord Charge for Painting in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, landlords can charge for painting, except for normal wear and tear. For example, if the tenant:

  • Causes damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • Repaints the wall but is not permitted to do so under the lease agreement
  • Repaints the wall in an unprofessional way

Normal wear includes:

  • Minor scrapes from daily use
  • Fading due to sunlight
  • Minor cracks in the original paint

Landlords can charge for repainting if the damage is not the result of normal use. This includes stains, large or deep scratches, and water damage.

Can a Security Deposit Be Used for Last Month’s Rent in Mississippi?

Mississippi law does not forbid the security deposit from being used for any outstanding rent.

Landlords can include a provision in the lease agreement that the security deposit cannot be used for the last month’s rent until the tenant vacates the rental unit.

Security Deposit Returns in Mississippi

Landlords must return a security deposit with an itemized statement of deductions, if any, to the tenant’s last known address no later than 45 days after the required conditions have been met.

How Long Do Landlords Have to Return Security Deposits in Mississippi?

Mississippi landlords have 45 days to return any unused portion of the security deposit. The period begins once all three of these events have occurred:

  • The lease terminates
  • Tenant delivers possession of the property to the landlord
  • Tenant demands the return of the security deposit

Do Landlords Owe Interest on Security Deposits in Mississippi?

Unlike in some states, such as New Jersey, landlords in Mississippi do not owe interest on security deposits.

How Do Landlords Give Notice in Mississippi?

Written notice must be delivered to the tenant and must include the security deposit due, if any, to the tenant, plus an itemized statement of deductions.

Security Deposit Disputes in Mississippi

If landlords do not return the security deposit within the 45-day period, tenants can file for damages in court up to $200 plus actual damages.

Tenants can also take legal action against a landlord for:

  • Failure to provide an itemized statement when deductions are made
  • Unreasonable deductions

How Can Tenants File a Dispute for a Security Deposit in Mississippi?

If a landlord fails to return the security deposit, the tenant can file a dispute in Small Claims Court if the amount of damages is less than $3,500. If the amount is greater, the tenant must file a civil case in Circuit or County Court.

A small claims case for the breach of a lease agreement must be filed within 3 years. An attorney is not required but permitted. Cases are filed in the Small Claims Court for the county where the defendant lives or where the rental property is located. The filing fees vary by court.