Warranty of Habitability in Mississippi

Last Updated: May 13, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In Mississippi, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Mississippi Code §89-8-23. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities HVAC, Plumbing
Time Limit for Repairs 30 Days
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: No
  • Repair & Deduct: Yes

Applicable Dwelling Types in Mississippi

The implied warranty of habitability in Mississippi does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs No
RV parks Not specifically addressed
Mobile home parks Not specifically addressed
Condos Not specifically addressed
Hotels/Motels No

Landlord Responsibilities in Mississippi

The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Mississippi, as indicated below.

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Not addressed
Provide hot and cold running water. Not addressed
Provide working HVAC equipment. No
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Plumbing only
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Not addressed
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). No
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Not addressed
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Not addressed
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Not addressed
Provide working smoke detectors Not addressed
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Not addressed
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

Mississippi state law doesn’t set out many requirements for landlords regarding habitability; however, landlords are required to comply with all housing codes, which are regulated by local governments. Landlords must make repairs if they are stated in the rental agreement and all common areas should be kept in good condition. In some instances, a landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant may perform certain routine maintenance tasks or repairs.

Check with the municipality in which the rental property is located to determine what additional responsibilities, if any, landlords may have regarding habitability.

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Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in Mississippi

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Mississippi, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

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

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

Mississippi renters have the right to repairs for a variety of potential issues, including things that impact health and safety. To exercise their right, renters have to give the landlord written notice about the issue that needs fixing and wait 14 days for the landlord to do repairs.

If the issue isn’t fixed by the landlord in a timely way, the renter could end the rental agreement, get a court order for repairs or compensation, or self-help for the repairs and deduct from the rent by following a special procedure. However, the renter usually can’t withhold rent. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in Mississippi

It’s illegal for Mississippi landlords to retaliate with raised rent, or any bad-faith action (potentially including eviction), against a tenant who has properly exercised rights under the Mississippi Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

Tenants have the burden of proving the landlord’s bad faith or “dominant purpose of retaliation.” If the court agrees, the judge will cancel the landlord’s retaliatory actions. In severe cases, the tenant might also be able to claim constructive eviction and move out, ending the lease.