Mississippi Code Title 89. Real and Personal Property § 89-8-21. Security deposit

(1) Any payment or deposit of money, the primary function of which is to secure the performance of a rental agreement or any part of such an agreement, other than a payment or deposit, including an advance payment of rent, made to secure the execution of a rental agreement shall be governed by the provisions of this section.

(2) Any such payment or deposit of money shall be held by the landlord for the tenant who is a party to such agreement.  The claim of a tenant to such payment or deposit shall be governed by the provisions of this section.  The claim of a tenant to such payment or deposit shall be prior to the claim of any creditor of the landlord.

(3) The landlord, by written notice delivered to the tenant, may claim of such payment or deposit only such amounts as are reasonably necessary to remedy the tenant's defaults in the payment of rent, to repair damages to the premises caused by the tenant, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, to clean such premises upon termination of the tenancy, or for other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as the result of the tenant's default, if the payment or deposit is made for any or all of those specific purposes.  The written notice by which the landlord claims all or any portion of such payment or deposit shall itemize the amounts claimed by such landlord.  Any remaining portion of such payment or deposit shall be returned to the tenant no later than forty-five (45) days after the termination of his tenancy, the delivery of possession and demand by the tenant.

(4) The retention by a landlord or transferee of a payment or deposit or any portion thereof, in violation of this section and with absence of good faith, may subject the landlord or his transferee to damages not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) in addition to any actual damages.


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