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There’s no doubt that Mississippi tenant screening is something that landlords across the state ought to know about. Because each state has all kinds of different rules and regulations, it’s very important for landlords to figure out what laws exist so they can follow them. From Jackson and Biloxi to Hattiesburg and Gulfport, landlords that pay attention to Mississippi tenant screening get the best tenants.
Some of the topics in this post include:
- Mississippi tenant screening laws
- All kinds of free resources
- Tenant screening process overview
- Locating the best tenant screening services
Mississippi Tenant Screening Laws
In the great state of Mississippi, landlords need to know that tenant screening laws have been established to regulate the process. There are a few specifics that they need to know, including:
- There is no limit to how much landlords can charge for an application fee. Some states set a maximum, but Mississippi does not.
- Mississippi landlords are not limited in how much they can collect for security deposits, either.
- Application fees in Mississippi are due when the paperwork is turned in and they are non-refundable, even if the application is ultimately denied.
Any landlord in Mississippi can learn all about the state’s tenant screening laws by clicking here.
Common Screening Mistakes
Most landlords across the country get their rental applications from elsewhere, either a website, an attorney or a professional group that supports landlords and real estate investing. However, there are way too many applications that force landlords into one of the most common screening mistakes. No landlord can run a background check on any applicant unless they get signed consent form. If a landlord doesn’t have signed consent, they won’t be able to see what kind of a tenant they might have been.
Since many landlords need to update their application form, they can see what ours looks like here at RentPrep.
First of all, look at the top red arrow. It shares important information about the application fee.
Furthermore, look at the bottom red arrow. It shows the place where the applicant should sign so that landlords can run a background check.
Resources for Tenant Screening in Mississippi
Every landlord can use these free forms and resources to better their business. In addition, we know what it takes to find the best possible tenant to sign your lease agreement.
- Rental Application PDF – Have every prospective tenant fill out this rental application.*
- Move-In Move-Out checklist – This is helpful for after the tenant screening process to make sure you document the condition of the rental
- Rental Lease Agreement – Once you’ve decided on a tenant you’ll want to draw up a lease. (make sure this editable doc is compliant with your state laws)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA – Our screeners here at RentPrep are FCRA certified to ensure compliance on your screening report
- Mississippi Landlord Tenant Handbook – Prepared for Mississippi landlords
- Mississippi Legislature Statues and Codes for Landlords and Tenants – Mississippi’s laws that regulate landlords and tenants
*Have you heard of the “no blank space” policy that many landlords are adopting? This simply means that you won’t accept applications with blank spaces as answers to questions. However, if an applicant has something to hide, they often leave blank spaces in hopes that landlords won’t look very deep. Due to its effectiveness, landlords can avoid applicants with bad rental histories.
Mississippi Tenant Screening Process
Mississippi landlords really need to come up with their own list of tenant screening criteria. It outlines the kind of person they want to rent their property to.
Common screening criteria may look something like this:
- Smoking or not
- Pets or not
- Income to rent ratio
- Criminal history
- Eviction history
Of course, landlords should avoid discriminating against a protected class. It goes without saying that there’s a lot of information on protected classes here: hud.gov.
Landlords with a tenant screening criteria list should use it to sort out applications. Staying consistent is the key to avoiding discrimination lawsuits. There’s no reason for landlords to feel like learning about tenant screening is a big hurdle. We’ve broken it down for landlords in simple terms to help them make the most of the process.
Mississippi tenant screening laws state:
- There’s no limit on how much Mississippi landlords can charge for an application fee
- Landlords also have no limits on security deposits, which are separate from application fees
- Application fees are not refundable
Take the time to read the Mississippi Landlord/Tenant Handbook here.
Tenant Screening Guide
Here at RentPrep, we work hard to create content to guide you through your tenant screening process.
This guide will walk you through the entire tenant screening process and show you exactly what to do when screening tenants.
Find Your Perfect Renter
Finding the right tenant can be a headache if you don’t know what you’re doing.
That is why we’ve created a tenant screening guide for you to find the perfect renter.
Check out our free tenant screening guide and learn how to find the perfect renter.
Finding the Best Screening Service
At this point, landlords should have identified the top applications who wish to live in the rental property. The final step is doing a full background check. Finding the best professional screening service is invaluable to making a decision on who to rent to.
The best screening services should provide:
- Eviction history
- Bankruptcy history
- Judgments and liens
- All previous addresses
Landlords should get a comprehensive report on each application. Then, they can decide who will likely make the best tenant. Therefore, choosing someone without a background check is asking for trouble because its based all on guesswork.
Many landlords turn to RentPrep for their tenant screening needs. We’ve worked with over 21,000 landlords over the past 10 years. Check out our tenant screening packages to see the services we offer.
Our FCRA certified screeners do the best work of providing the best tenant screening report available.