- When can my landlord evict me?
Your landlord can evict you in the following cases:
- If you do not pay the rent when it is due;
- If you break any of the terms and conditions of the lease agreement;
- If you damage the rented property;
- If the lease comes to an end and you do not leave the rented property; or
- If the lease is an oral or written month-to-month lease, the landlord can evict you for no reason with 30 days notice.
- What does my landlord have to do to evict me?
Before your landlord can make you move, he or she must give you written notice. The notice cannot be oral, and it must be delivered properly. See Question 4 for more information about notices. Some written leases make you waive your right to written notice. This means that by signing the lease you agree that the landlord doesn't have to give you a notice. Mississippi allows landlords to evict tenants by self-help without a court order by a judge. However, the landlord can not breach the peace when conducting a self-help evicition.
- Are there some situations in which a landlord does not have the right to evict me?
Yes. Your landlord cannot evict you for any of these reasons:
- Because you complained to a building inspector about your house. That is called retaliatory eviction.
- If your landlord is discriminating against you. Federal law says you can't discriminate in housing based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion or familial status. Some local laws provide these protections too.
- Do I have to move if I just found a notice slipped under my door today?
No. A notice that is slipped under your door is not a good notice. Your landlord must give you a notice in one of three ways:
- Your landlord can mail the eviction notice to you by certified mail with a return receipt;
- Your landlord can give the eviction notice to you personally; or
- The landlord can give the eviction notice to someone over the age of 13 living in your house.
Even though a notice slipped under your door is not a good notice, you still need to go to court if you get a summons. You can tell the judge how you got the notice. If the judge believes you, the case should be dismissed. You should be aware that if you refuse to accept the notice when your landlord tries to give it to you, the landlord can tell you what the notice is and leave it on the ground in front of your door. Also, if no one is living in the unit, your landlord can post the notice on the door of the apartment or house.
- How much time do I have before I have to move after my landlord gives me notice?
The amount of time that you have before you have to move depends on the type of eviction notice that the landlord gives you.
Nonpayment of rent: The most common material breach of a lease is the nonpayment of rent. If you fail to pay the rent according to the terms of the rental agreement, the landlord, after giving 3 days written notice, may terminate the lease. If you pay the rent within the 3 day notice period, the lease is not terminated. If you do not pay the rent within the 3 day notice period, the lease is terminated.
Other material breach: If you make a material breach of the lease, the landlord must deliver a written notice specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate 30 days after receipt of the written notice if the breach is not remedied within a reasonable time not in excess of 30 days. After 30 days the landlord must take you to court to force you to leave.
- How do I know when the notice period is over?
- The length of the notice period can change depending on the situation: The notice period starts with the day after the notice is served; If the last day of the notice period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, then that day doesn't count; If you are served the notice by mail, the notice period starts from the day after you actually received the notice.
- Can I do something to stop the eviction?
- If you have received a notice for not paying rent, you can stop the eviction by paying the full amount of the rent due. If you do pay your full rent, take a witness with you to pay the landlord. If the landlord doesn't take the rent, hang on to it. You can have your witness tell the judge you offered the landlord the money. You should also show the judge the rent money. If you can pay only part of the rent, see if your landlord will take the rent and agree to let you stay. Make sure you get any agreement from your landlord in writing. Some landlords will say that you can stay if you pay part of the rent and then continue with the eviction action. They are allowed to do this under the law unless you get a written agreement that says you can stay in exchange for the partial rent you paid. It is very important to get any agreement between you and your landlord in writing. You should also have a witness sign it, if possible.
- What will the landlord do after serving notice to me?
- If you do not obey the notice or you do not move out after the notice period expires, your landlord can file a case to evict you in the district court where the apartment is located. A landlord cannot evict you without going to court and getting a court order. The landlord takes you to court by having you served with a summons and complaint. The landlord cannot serve the papers himself or herself. They will probably be served by the Sheriff's office. Read both papers carefully. The summons will tell you when and where you have to go to court. The complaint will tell you what the landlord is asking for. For example, the landlord may just ask the court to order you to leave the apartment, or he or she may also ask that the court order you to pay back rent.
- What will happen after I have been served with a summons?
- You must go to court on the date and time written on the summons. Find your courtroom and tell the clerk, who sits next to the judge, which case you are in court for. If you do not go to your court date, the hearing will be held and you will most likely be held in default. If this happens, the court may grant the eviction order, and you may be ordered to pay the landlord any money that he or she asked for in the complaint.
- What should I bring to court with me?
- Any notice that the landlord sent you;
- Any witnesses to support your case;
- Any letters, records, payment receipts, objects, or photographs that you want the judge to consider.