Mississippi landlord, by
written notice to the tenant, may use only the
amounts of a tenant's security deposit that are
reasonably necessary to:
tenant's defaults in rent payment
(above ordinary wear and tear) to the premises
caused by the tenant
premises upon termination of tenancy
notice by which the landlord claims all or any
portion of the security deposit shall itemize the
amounts claimed. Any remaining portion of the
security deposit shall be returned to the tenant
at his request no later than 45 days after the
ending the tenancy and leaving the premises.
A landlord's retention of a Mississippi tenant's security
deposit in bad faith and in violation of this
section may subject the landlord to damages up to
$200* in addition to any actual damages.
*subject to change
Won't Return the Security Deposit
If so you can write a demand
letter seeking return of the deposit. You should also be able to
sue the landlord in Small Claims Court.
Preventative Steps to Take to Ensure a Deposit Return
A tenant must meet all of the above conditions to ensure
a refund of the deposit, but meeting those conditions is not all
the tenant should do. The chances of receiving return of the
deposit will be increased if the following suggestions are also
Move-in Inventory Inspection. When you move in your home
or apartment, make a list and take photos of the apartment and
any damage. Typically, you should do a walk through with the
owner or manager prior to moving in. Get them to sign an
acknowledgement of the damage and note what (if anything) will
be done. This will help you when you move out.
Move-Out Notice. A lease may require that the tenant give
the landlord 30 days written notice prior to move-out in order
to get the security deposit back. Even if
the lease does not require it, notify the landlord prior
Move-out Inventory Inspection. When the tenant prepares
to move, the apartment or home should be cleaned and the
landlord asked to appear for a move out inspection. The tenant
should fill out another inventory form, similar to the move-in
inventory. Ideally, you should have a copy of the original move
in form - for both your use and the landlord.
Turn in the Keys. The keys should be turned in on the
exact day the tenant vacates the premises. If the keys are
turned in later, the landlord may be able to charge the tenant
additional rent or other charges under the lease. A tenant's
actual move out date is often considered to be when the keys are
What Can the Landlord Deduct from the Security Deposit?
A landlord cannot legally deduct for normal
wear and tear. This refers to deterioration which
occurs during regular, daily, intended use of the rental unit,
for example nail holes in the walls from pictures or paintings.
See our guide.
Deductions from the Security Deposit
If the landlord makes any deductions from the deposit, a
written, itemized accounting of how much is being charged for
each item must be sent to the tenant. If the landlord fails to
provide such an accounting within 30 days after the tenant moves
out, the landlord may forfeit the right to withhold any part of
the deposit. Furthermore, the deductions taken from the deposit
must be for actual damages suffered by the landlord.
How to Dispute Deposit Deductions
If a tenant receives a list of deductions, it is
possible to dispute items on that list. The deductions should be
addressed by the tenant in a letter sent to the landlord. The
demand letter should include a response to each of the
deductions, explaining which charges are being disputed and why.
The tenant should keep a copy of the letter and send the
original by certified mail, return receipt requested.
If the tenant receives a partial refund along with the list of
deductions and wants to dispute some or all of the deductions,
the tenant may want to refrain from cashing the check. If the
tenant must cash the check then the tenant should tell the
landlord in the letter that even though the check has been
cashed, it does not mean the tenant agrees with the amount of