The Mississippi landlord and tenant laws require a landlord to follow the legal eviction process when removing a tenant from a residential property. Landlords may not use self-help measures, such as locking tenants out of the property or turning off utilities and services, to force the renter to vacate the property. The legal eviction process gives tenants an opportunity to correct a breach of the lease or pay back rent to avoid removal.
Reasons for Eviction
Landlords must have a reason to evict tenants from a residential property. The property owner has a right to pursue eviction for tenants who breach the terms of the lease agreement or fail to pay rent. The notice that the landlord must provide to the tenant depends on the reason for eviction in Mississippi.
Notice to Quit
The first step in the legal eviction process in Mississippi is a notice to quit. Before a landlord can file with the court in the state, he must first provide the tenant with a notice to correct a breach of the lease, pay back rent or vacate the property. In Mississippi, landlords must give a 30-day notice to quit for violations of the lease agreement. Tenants who fail to pay rent must receive a three-day notice to pay or vacate the property. If a tenant violates the lease agreement for the same reason within six months, the landlord must only provide the tenant with a 14-day notice before termination of the lease agreement.
Filing an Eviction
When the notice to quit passes without the tenant correcting the breach of the lease or paying back rent, the landlord may file with the court to remove the tenant from the property. The tenant receives a summons from the court that describes the reason for eviction and the court date. The court delivers the summons to the tenant in person or posts it in a location on the property if the tenant cannot be found.
The court hearing is an opportunity for the landlord to state his case for eviction before a court magistrate. The court also provides the tenant with an opportunity to state his case for remaining in the residence. The magistrate makes a decision regarding possession of the residential property after hearing arguments from both sides. When the court finds in favor of the landlord, the magistrate issues a warrant to law enforcement to remove the tenant from the residence.