Evicting a tenant in Mississippi requires that the landlord send a formal notice to quit to the tenant. This procedure is referred to as “Ejectment.” The notice provides the specific reason for the landlord’s intent to evict. Depending on the transgression, the notice can either give the tenant an opportunity to fix the breach, or automatically require the tenant to move out. If the tenant does not cure the issue or move out, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings by filing a Cover Sheet and Complaint for Non-Payment of Rent or a Complaint for Breach of Lease with the Local Justice Court. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the judge will issue a Writ of Possession to require the tenant to move out.
Laws – Title 11, Chapter 19 (Ejectment)
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
- Step 5 – Appear in Court
- Step 6 – Obtain Writ of Possession
- Step 7 – Repossess the Property
Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
The landlord first serves the appropriate notice to quit on the tenant. They can hand-deliver the notice or send it by certified mail. In either case, it is wise to maintain evidence of the delivery of the notice.
- Non-Payment of Rent (3-Day Notice): This notice legally informs the tenant that they are late paying rent and have three (3) days to pay back all overdue rent. If the tenant pays within the time frame, the landlord cannot evict.1
- Non-Compliance (14-Day Notice): This informs the tenant they have fourteen (14) days to rectify a breach of the lease agreement or move out of the rental unit. This applies to any breaches other than nonpayment of rent. If the breach is a second offense of the same nature, the landlord can provide a fourteen (14) day notice to vacate without an opportunity to cure the breach.2,3,4
- Month to Month (30-Day Notice): Both the landlord and the tenant can serve this notice on the other. It informs the other party that the server does not intend to renew the current lease agreement.5
Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
The landlord waits the number of days on the notice for the tenant to respond, cure the breach, or pay overdue rent. It is preferable to come to a compromise outside of court if possible.
Step 3 – File in Court
- AVERAGE PROCESSING TIME: 2-8 weeks6
- FILING FEE: Varies by County
- WHERE TO FILE: Local Justice Court
If the tenant does not respond to the notice, the landlord needs to file for an “Unlawful Entry and Detainer” with the local Justice Court. The court will issue a Summons, schedule the hearing, and complete a warrant to be served on the tenant. The following documents must be filed with the court:
- Civil Case Cover Sheet: This form must be filed with the complaint.
- Complaint for Non-Payment of Rent (Rankin County version): File this complaint when the tenant has not paid rent by the notice deadline.
- Complaint for Breach of Lease (Rankin County version): File this complaint when the reason for eviction is a lease violation.
Step 4 – Serve the Tenant
The Warrant and Summons with the hearing date must be served on the tenant between five (5) and twenty (20) days after the complaint is filed with the court. The paperwork must be served on the tenant by a Sheriff or any person over the age of eighteen (18) that is not involved in the case. The tenant can file an Answer Form to contest the eviction action in court.6
Step 5 – Appear in Court
Both the landlord and tenant appear in court on the hearing date. It is important to bring copies of all documents that have been filed with the court to the hearing, including a copy of the original eviction notice.
Tenants can win in court based on several, common tenant defenses. In Mississippi, tenants may claim that the landlord is out of compliance with any of the following responsibilities:
- Eviction due to nonpayment of rent cannot proceed if the tenant pays both the overdue rent and the landlord’s court expenses prior to the established hearing date.
- The landlord must keep the rental unit maintained to a habitable standard.6
- The landlord cannot evict in retaliation for the tenant’s request of necessary repairs or updates to the rental unit.6
Step 6 – Obtain Writ of Possession
In the case of a lease breach, if the court ruling is in favor of the landlord it will issue a Writ of Possession no sooner than five (5) days after the judgment. In the case of nonpayment of rent, the court will issue the Writ immediately.7
Step 7 – Repossess the Property
The landlord can use the Writ of Possession to utilize the Sheriff’s office to forcibly remove the tenant and their possessions from the property.