Eviction Notices and Timelines – What Every Jackson Landlord Should Know

Securing the right tenant and leasing your Jackson property is a promising way to generate passive income. However, as a landlord, it’s crucial to be well-versed in the intricacies of eviction notices and timelines in Jackson, MS given the potential need for legal eviction. 

While most landlords may encounter the challenge of dealing with problematic tenants at some point, it’s essential to understand that, in situations where tenants violate the lease terms, landlords have legal rights to pursue eviction. 

As experienced property managers in Jackson, we present a comprehensive eviction guide to help you navigate the tenant eviction process, ensuring it is carried out following justifiable reasons and in compliance with the law.

 

What Is Eviction?

Eviction takes place when a landlord removes a tenant from a rental property. Landlords typically initiate this action when tenants violate the terms of the lease agreement, fail to pay rent, or engage in other behaviors justifying their removal from the property. The process involves following a formal legal procedure in accordance with state and local laws to protect the rights of both the landlord and tenant. 

It typically includes the landlord serving the tenant with an eviction notice, followed by the landlord filing a lawsuit in court if the tenant does not comply. Landlords must adhere to their jurisdiction’s specific legal procedures governing eviction to avoid potential legal complications.

 

Legal Grounds for an Eviction in Jackson, Mississippi

In Jackson, landlords or property owners cannot evict tenants legally without a cause. Acceptable grounds for eviction include:

 

Nonpayment of Rent

In Mississippi, missing the rent due date by just one day is generally considered late. Nevertheless, if the lease or rental agreement outlines a grace period, you must extend this additional time to the tenant.

Before a landlord can kick-start the eviction process, they must hand over a formal written notice known as the “3-Day Notice to Pay.” This notice needs to be delivered correctly.

The eviction process stops if the tenant pays the overdue rent within those three days. But, if the tenant can’t pay up, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.

 

Breach of the Lease Agreement

Both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for upholding the lease terms throughout the tenant’s stay. These agreements can vary from tenant to tenant.

If a tenant fails to meet any of the lease agreement terms, the landlord is required to issue a “14-Day Notice to Quit” form. However, if the tenant rectifies these issues within the stipulated time frame, the eviction process should not proceed.

Lease violations may include:

  • Property damage
  • Smoking in non-smoking areas
  • Keeping pets in properties designated as pet-free
  • Engaging in illegal activities on or near the property

If the lease violations remain unresolved or the tenant continues these behaviors on the property within the given time frame, the landlord must proceed with the eviction process.

 

End of Lease

Landlords can’t initiate eviction proceedings against a tenant or compel them to vacate the property without valid grounds and prior notice. As long as the tenant abides by the lease terms and regulations, they can occupy the premises for the duration specified in their rental agreement.

However, if a tenant remains on the property even one day after the expiration of their lease, the landlord may serve them with a written notice to vacate.

The notice required varies according to the type of tenancy and includes a “7-Day Notice to Quit” and a “30-Day Notice to Quit.”

 

Material Health & Safety Violations

The Mississippi law considers health, building, safety, and housing codes crucial. If a tenant breaches any of these codes, the landlord is not obliged by law to grant the tenant an opportunity to rectify the issue, nor must they provide written notice.

Violations falling under this category may include,

  • Neglecting to dispose of trash for extended periods, which can attract bugs and rodents.
  • Causing damage to the electrical wiring within a unit.
  • Impairing the plumbing fixtures within a unit.

For such violations, the notice steps are not mandatory.

 

Step-by-Step Eviction Process

If you intend to initiate the eviction of a tenant for any cause, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the eviction procedure. Here’s an overview of how it works.

Understand the Local Eviction Law

Eviction laws vary from state to state and may even differ at the city level. Therefore, it’s crucial to acquaint yourself with local regulations before acting. Always ensure you possess a legally valid reason for eviction before issuing notice.

In Jackson, Mississippi, landlords typically must provide tenants with a three-day written notice for nonpayment of rent. For other lease violations, a 14-day notice is generally required. 

In both instances, tenants can prevent eviction by addressing the issue within the specified notice period. It’s worth noting that some Jackson landlords may be authorized to pursue eviction without court involvement if the lease permits self-help eviction.

Serve Notice to Tenants

If you’ve attempted to communicate with your tenants and they persist in breaching the lease agreement, it’s time to issue a formal eviction notice. This notice is a definitive warning outlining the violation and specifying the actions required to halt the eviction process.

3-day Notice to Quit

When a tenant falls behind on rent, whether the total amount or partial payment, the landlord can provide them with a “Three-Day Notice to Quit.” This notice mandates that the tenant has three judicial days to settle the outstanding balance or vacate the property, excluding weekends and legal holidays.

30-day Notice to Vacate

When dealing with a tenant without a fixed-term lease or one with a month-to-month arrangement, the landlord can issue a “30-day Notice to Vacate” to terminate the tenancy. This notice gives the tenant a 30-day period, calculated in calendar days, to prepare for their departure.

However, it’s important to note that the notice period can vary depending on the frequency of rent payments. For tenants on a week-to-week rental basis, a 7-day notice is required. For those on a month-to-month arrangement, the notice period remains 30 days. Similarly, for tenants with a year-to-year lease, a 30-day notice is applicable. Understanding these nuances in notice periods is crucial for landlords and tenants alike.

14-Day Notice to Comply

If tenants breach their lease terms or legal obligations, the landlord can provide them with a “14-day Notice to Comply or Vacate.” This notice grants the tenant a 14-calendar day window to rectify the issue or vacate the premises.

14-Day Notice to Vacate

If a tenant commits a recurrent or similar lease violation within six months, the landlord can issue a “14-day Notice to Vacate.” This notice mandates that the tenant has 14 days to vacate the premises without the opportunity to address or remedy the issue.

File a Lawsuit with the Court

Filing the eviction notice with the court is a crucial step that must be completed quickly. After filing, the court schedules a hearing and informs the tenant through a summons. In Jackson, eviction cases within Hinds County Justice Court are for claims up to $3,500. However, if the amount in question, whether rent or damages, exceeds $3,500, the landlord can file in either Hinds County Court or District 5 Chancery Court.

Ask Court to Issue Writ of Execution

The writ of execution serves as the tenant’s final notice to vacate the rental unit, allowing them time to retrieve their belongings before law enforcement returns to enforce their removal.

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, they will request the court to issue the writ of execution. 

In most eviction cases, except for those related to nonpayment of rent, this is typically done five days after the court’s ruling, applicable to both the Justice Court and the County Court.

In nonpayment of rent evictions, the writ is usually issued promptly unless a 3-day stay is granted for valid reasons.

Prepare for the Hearing

It’s advisable to promptly secure an attorney to assist you in preparing for the hearing. Upon attending the hearing, ensure you have the following documents in your possession:

  • Lease agreements
  • Payment records
  • Records of bounced checks
  • Documentation of communication exchanged between you and the tenant
  • Eviction notice documentation
  • Evidence confirming the tenant’s receipt of the notice

Evict the Tenant 

Once you secure a favorable outcome at the hearing, your tenant will be granted a specific duration to vacate your property. This timeframe varies by state but generally spans 48 hours to one week. If the tenant refuses to leave, you can request law enforcement to take the necessary steps to remove them from the premises forcibly.

Jackson, Mississippi Eviction Process Timeline

The entire eviction process usually spans from around half a month to up to 2 months on average, from the moment the tenant receives the initial notice to the return of the rental property. However, the timeline may vary based on specific circumstances and local regulations.

Here’s a breakdown of the average eviction timeline, excluding exceptional cases like appeals or continuances:

Tenant Receives Notice

This step can take anywhere from 3 days to 1 month after the official notice is issued.

The rule for Possession Issued and Served

Typically, this occurs five days before the return date.

Court Hearing and Judgment

In county court, this usually takes 5-10 days.

Writ of Restitution Issued

This step can vary, taking from a few hours to up to 5 days.

Return of Rental Property

The timing of this step depends on the judicial officers involved in the process.

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Work with Experienced Property Managers in Jackson, Mississippi

Despite thorough tenant screening, unforeseen circumstances can arise, leading to the need for eviction. The average cost of evicting a tenant, ranging from $600 to $1,500, is a significant financial burden, not to mention the loss of rental income and the time and resources required to find a new tenant.

That’s where a reputable property management company like Lucroy Residential can truly shine. We offer eviction protection plans that provide landlords with a safety net if eviction becomes necessary. These plans offer financial protection and streamline the process, ensuring a quicker resolution.

Moreover, we bring their expertise and resources to the table, making the transition to a new tenant smoother and more efficient. 

So, connect with us today at Lucroy Residential to safeguard your investment and minimize the headaches associated with eviction management!

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