2002 Regular Session

To: Judiciary

By: Senator(s) Nunnelee

Senate Bill 2157



     SECTION 1.  Section 89-8-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     89-8-13.  (1)  If there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or the obligations imposed by Section 89-8-25, the landlord may terminate the tenancy as set out in subsection (3) of this section or resort to any other remedy at law or in equity except as prohibited by this chapter.

     (2)  If there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or the obligations imposed by Section 89-8-23, the tenant may terminate the tenancy as set out in subsection (3) of this section or resort to any other remedy at law or in equity except as prohibited by this chapter.

     (3)  The nonbreaching party may deliver a written notice to the party in breach specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied within a reasonable time not in excess of thirty (30) days; and the rental agreement shall terminate and the tenant shall surrender possession as provided in the notice subject to the following:

          (a)  If the breach is remediable by repairs, the payment of damages, or otherwise, and the breaching party adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate;

          (b)  In the absence of a showing of due care by the breaching party, if substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six (6) months, the nonbreaching party may terminate the rental agreement upon at least fourteen (14) days' written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement;

          (c)  Neither party may terminate for a condition caused by his own deliberate or negligent act or omission or that of a member of his family or other person on the premises with his consent.

     (4)  If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all prepaid and unearned rent and security recoverable by the tenant under Section 89-8-21.

     (5)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any other provisions of this chapter to the contrary, if the material noncompliance by the tenant is the nonpayment of rent pursuant to the rental agreement, the landlord shall not be required to deliver thirty (30) days' written notice as provided by subsection (3) of this section.  In such event, the landlord may seek removal of the tenant from the premises in the manner and with the notice prescribed by Chapter 7, Title 89, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     (6)  (a)  A rental agreement may be terminated where the premises are knowingly used or occupied in whole or in part to violate Section 41-29-139 or 41-29-313.

          (b)  The district attorney may serve personally upon the landlord of the premises so used or occupied, or upon the landlord's agent, a written notice requiring the landlord to inform such district attorney in writing of the landlord's intent to diligently and in good faith seek the eviction of the tenant or tenants so using or occupying the premises.  If the landlord or landlord's agent does not so inform such district attorney in writing within five (5) days of receiving written notice, or, having done so, does not in good faith diligently prosecute such eviction, the district attorney may bring a proceeding under this chapter for such eviction as though the district attorney was the owner or landlord of the premises, and such proceeding shall have precedence over any similar proceeding thereafter brought by such landlord or to a proceeding previously brought by such landlord but not prosecuted diligently and in good faith.  The person in possession of the property and the landlord shall be made parties to such a proceeding.

          (c)  A court granting relief pursuant to this subsection (6) may order, in addition to any other costs provided by law, the payment by the defendant or defendants of reasonable attorney's fees and the prepaid costs of the proceeding to the district attorney.  In such cases, multiple defendants are jointly and severally liable for any payment so ordered.  Any costs collected shall be remitted to the office of the district attorney, and any attorney's fees collected shall be remitted to the general fund of the county where the proceeding occurred.

          (d)  A proceeding brought under this section for repossession of the premises does not preclude the owner or landlord from recovering monetary damages from the tenants or occupants of such premises in a civil action.

     SECTION 2.  Section 89-8-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     89-8-25.  A tenant shall:

          (a)  Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and as safe as the condition of the premises permits;

          (b)  Dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner in compliance with community standards;

          (c)  Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;

          (d)  Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, in the premises;

          (e)  Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any other person to do so;

          (f)  Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of their premises;

          (g)  Inform the landlord of any condition of which he has actual knowledge which may cause damage to the premises;

          (h)  To the extent of his legal obligation, maintain the dwelling unit in substantially the same condition, reasonable wear and tear excepted, and comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

          (i)  Not engage in any illegal activity upon the leased premises as documented by a law enforcement agency.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.