Mississippi Security Deposit Laws

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Mississippi law doesn’t have a limit on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit, but one to two months’ worth of rent is a common amount. After your lease is up, they’ll have 45 days to return your deposit.
Security deposits can be a big upfront cost when you’re trying to secure a new place to live—and sometimes, getting it back after your lease is over can be tedious. Plus, security deposit laws vary from state to state, so it can be hard to understand what your landlord can legally do, and what rights you have as a tenant where you live.
That makes it important to understand landlord and tenant laws in your state before you sign your lease or give up that security deposit. To help you get started, the car and renters insurance app Jerry is here to give you the rundown on security deposit laws for rental homes in Mississippi.
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What is Mississippi law on security deposits?

When you move into a rental property, you’ll almost always have to pay a security deposit. A security deposit establishes a tenant’s intent to move into a property, and it can also cover damages to the property or missed rent payments.
How much security deposits cost can vary, but they commonly equate to one or two months’ worth of rent. If you keep up with your rent payments and move out of your rental leaving it in good shape, you should expect to get your deposit back after your lease wraps up.
Mississippi requirements regarding security deposits are outlined in section 89.8 of the state code.

What is the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge in Mississippi? 

While Mississippi law doesn’t specify a limit on how much a landlord can require for a security deposit, it’s common for landlords to require a deposit equal to one or two months’ worth of rent payments.

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit in Mississippi? 

Whether or not your landlord made a reasonable claim of any of your security deposit, any remaining amount must be returned to the tenant within 45 days of the end of their tenancy. 

What can a landlord withhold a security deposit for in Mississippi?

Mississippi law does state that landlords may only claim a “reasonably necessary” amount of your security deposit. A landlord could withhold a portion of your security deposit to cover issues like: 
  • Repairs of damages caused by the tenant
  • Missed rent payments
  • Cleaning up after a tenant has moved out
  • Other reasonable expenses required by a tenant’s default
If a landlord does keep any amount of a security deposit, they have to provide written notice to the tenant informing them of the amount that will be withheld, and the expenses claimed need to be itemized.
One thing a landlord can’t make claims on your security deposit for is ordinary wear and tear. “Wear and tear” can be somewhat of a gray area, but generally, it would apply to damage that isn’t the tenant’s fault, like a living room carpet wearing out over time. 
It wouldn’t apply to water damage, however, if it was caused by a leak you could have been reasonably aware of but didn’t inform your landlord about it.
Key Takeaway A landlord has to give you a written notice with itemized expenses if they’re going to withhold any of your security deposit, and they can’t do so for ordinary wear and tear.

How to get your security deposit back in Mississippi

If you’re approaching the 45-day mark since your lease has ended and you haven’t received your security deposit back, or a written notice regarding it, you can check with your landlord, in writing, about the status of your security deposit.
If your landlord doesn’t cooperate, or if you believe they’re improperly holding some or all of your security deposit, you have the option of taking your landlord to small claims court. If the ruling’s in your favor, Mississippi law says you may receive up to an additional $200 in damages for improperly withholding your security deposit.
Pro Tip It’s a good idea to take before and after pictures and videos when moving into and out of rented space, as these may help your case if your landlord falsely accuses you of causing damage to the property. 

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Mississippi

Putting money toward a security deposit can be a big expense, so if you’re looking for more areas to save, the Jerry app can help you find them with your renters and car insurance policies. 
If you’ve never used Jerry before, here’s how the app works. Once you’ve downloaded it, it takes less than a minute to enter your information, and then, you can start comparing quotes from top insurance providers, all in one spot. 
Jerry helps its users save an average of $887 per year on car insurance alone! That can make a big difference when you’re trying to save up for a security deposit—or waiting to get one back.
 “Jerry got me insured through Allstate with $100 of savings each month compared to my previous insurance. The customer service was excellent, and they even detected an error my previous insurer didn’t!” —Warren H.
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FAQs

No, you should submit your last rent payment as usual and plan to collect your security deposit separately.
It depends. Mississippi law allows for landlords to keep some of a tenant’s security deposit for cleaning a space after a lease has ended, but not for ordinary wear and tear. If your carpet became excessively dirty or damaged during your lease, they might be able to charge you for carpet cleaning, but the expense would have to be itemized in their written notice.

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