Tenant Law in Mississippi

Relationships between landlords and tenants in Columbia, Mississippi can get contentious. It's difficult to be a tenant or a landlord. If one or both parties are not aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, conflicts can arise.

Landlords and tenants have many rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.

Landlord's Rights in Columbia, MS

The most important and most apparent right that a landlord has is the right to timely payment of rent from the tenant. This, of course, means that the tenant has a duty to pay rent.

Landlords also have a right to be compensated for damage to the building that a tenant causes, either intentionally or negligently. Any damage caused by a tenant, besides reasonable wear and tear, can be billed, and the landlord can deduct from the tenant's security deposit to pay for repairs.

Tenant's Rights in Columbia, MS

The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to provide. Landlords in Columbia, Mississippi are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are many factors that are considered in determining if an unit is habitable or not, but, generally, an unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).

Tenants also have a right to ensure that the common areas of their apartment building are reasonably safe. Landlords are required to make sure that the common areas of their buildings meet Columbia, Mississippi's building codes, and that there are no conditions that create unnecessary safety hazards. They are required to make, at their own expense, the required repairs.

In the United States, and most likely under the rules of Mississippi, it is unlawful for renters or sellers of real estate to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, or religion. Doing so can subject a landlord to harsh civil penalties. Furthermore, they cannot discriminate based on physical disabilities, either. Tenants with physical disabilities, who are otherwise qualified to rent an apartment (they are able to pay, have good credit, etc.) are entitled to make reasonable modifications to the apartment to make it more accessible to them, and the landlord generally can't bar a tenant from doing this, as long as the modifications are not too extensive, and are reversible. The landlord can, however, require the tenant to remove the modifications, at the tenant's expense, when they move out.

And finally, most state laws prevent landlords from arbitrarily evicting tenants. If the lease agreement is for a set period of time, the landlord typically can't evict the tenant until the lease expires, without a good reason. Valid causes for eviction include unpaid rent, illegal activities on the property, damage to the building caused by the tenant, and excessive noise.

Can a Columbia, Mississippi Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants normally prefer to avoid getting into fights with one another, for apparent reasons. A harmonious relationship is profitable for everyone involved. To that end, the advice of a good Columbia, Mississippi landlord/tenant attorney can help defuse arguments before they become too serious.