State Rules and Regulations for Missouri Rental Properties and Landlords

Missouri law (MRS Tit. 29 Ch. 441) states that leases may be oral or written. Landlords and tenants are given certain rights and responsibilities under this law, even if these rights are not explicitly enumerated in the lease agreement. Renters have the right to a habitable dwelling and the right to report health and safety violations.

Missouri landlords also have certain rights, such as the right to collect rent, the right to pursue eviction for lease violations, and the right to reimbursement for costs from property damage.

Missouri Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposits and Missouri Regulations

  • Security Deposit Maximum: State allows for no more than two months’ rent pursuant to §§ 535.300(1)
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statute given
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute given
  • Pet Deposits: No statute given
  • Non-refundable Fees: No statute given
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: Security deposit must be returned 30 days after the termination of the lease pursuant to §§ 535.300(2)
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit:

    • For payment of rent that is owed to the landlord;
    • To make repairs and restore the unit to its original condition, except for regular wear and tear;
    • Compensation paid to the landlord for actual damages that result from the tenant’s failure to give sufficient notice to terminate the lease, providing the landlord has made reasonable attempts to mitigate the damages pursuant to §§535.300(3)
  • Require Itemized List or Description of Damages and Charges: Yes pursuant to §§ 535.300(2)(2)
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: There is no statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: There is no statute
  • Failure to Comply: The tenant can recover up to twice the amount wrongfully withheld by the landlord if the security deposit is not returned according to §§ 535.300(5)

Lease, Rent & Fees Under Missouri Law

  • Rent Is Due: As stated in the lease.
  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute.
  • Rent Grace Period: No statute, but may be defined in the lease.
  • Late Fees: No statute, but may be defined in the lease.
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute
  • Returned Check Fees: $25, plus the amount of the fee charged by the bank for each returned check (§§ 570.120(6)(2)).
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No, however in the event that a heat-related utility service notifies tenants in a master-metered, multi-tenant building of an impending termination of service due to nonpayment, tenants may prevent the termination by promptly petitioning the associate division of the county circuit court for the property to be put into receivership. See statute for further details (§§ 441.650).
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, with restrictions (§§ 441.234):
    • The ability to make repairs and deduct the costs from rent is only applicable to a tenant who has lawfully resided on the rental premises for six consecutive months, has paid all rent and charges due the landlord during that time;
    • The issue detrimentally affects the habitability of the unit or is a code violation;
    • After 14-days written notice to landlord for repairs of less than $300, or one-half of the periodic rent, whichever is greater; and
    • Tenants may not deduct in the aggregate more than the amount of one month’s rent during any twelve-month period;
    • Other notifications, requirements, and provision apply (§§ 441.234).
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Fees: No statute.
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (§§ 535.300(3)(3)).
  • Early Termination Fee: No statute.
  • Abandonment and Personal Property: Landlords may discard a tenant’s personal property if the tenant doesn’t respond to a formal written notice after 10 days, among other criteria. See statute §§ 441.065 for details.

Notices and Entry Under Missouri Law

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is needed because the lease ends on the date listed in the lease agreement pursuant to §§ 441.070
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: One month/30 days written notice must be provided prior to a periodic rent due date §§ 441.060(4)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: No statute given
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute given
  • Immediate Eviction by Court Order: The immediate eviction of a tenant may be ordered by the court in specific cases in which the following situations present themselves:

    • an emergency situation imminently threatens either the safety of other tenants or threatens to cause damages that would exceed the total cost of rent for one year;
    • the leased property was used in any way in a drug-related or other criminal activity;
    • the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a guest has knowingly engaged in a drug related or other criminal activity in or near the property being leased
    • the tenant knowingly gave permission to or invited a person to enter into or remain on any portion of the leased property after being advised that the person in question had been barred or removed from the property at a prior time. For further details, see §§ 441.740
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: The landlord must provide the tenant with a reasonable amount of notice in writing concerning the date and time that has been chosen for a move-out inspection. Because the tenant has the right to be present during the inspection, the time and date chosen must be approved by both parties pursuant to §§ 535.300(4)
  • Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: If rent is not paid by the due date described in the lease, the landlord has the right to issue an immediate, unconditional quit notice pursuant to §§ 535.010
  • Termination for Lease Violation: 10-day notice is required. In addition to various lease violations, a 10-day notice is required if the tenant has sublet the unit without the landlord’s expressed written permission or has allowed the premises to be used for illegal gambling, prostitution or any other drug-related criminal activity as detailed in §§ 441.020, §§ 441.030 and §§ 441.040
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute given
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute given
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute given
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute given
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute given
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute given
  • Lockouts Allowed: Lockouts are not permitted pursuant to §§ 441.233(1)

Evictions in Missouri

Missouri landlords are allowed to pursue eviction for any of the following reasons:

  1. Nonpayment of rent – Missouri does not require landlords to issue a notice in the case of missing rental payments after any applicable grace period. As such, landlords can pursue immediate eviction if rent is not paid.
  2. Violation of lease terms – If a lease violation occurs, Missouri landlords may issue a 10-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. If the issue is not remedied in the specified timeframe, landlords can pursue eviction. Some violations are serious enough to warrant immediate eviction.
  3. Illegal acts – If a landlord has documentation of prostitution, illegal gambling, assault, or possession/sale of drugs occurring on their property they may file a 10-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant does not vacate the premises, the landlord can file an Unlawful Detainer suit.

At-will tenants are entitled to at least 30 days of written notice before eviction. Missouri law also does not allow landlords to evict tenants in retaliation or for discriminatory reasons.

Business Licenses

  • Business License Required: No statewide statute, but some cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. For example, Independence requires a landlord business license. Check with your local governing authority.

Mandatory Disclosures in Missouri

Missouri landlords must make two kinds of mandatory disclosures:

  1. Lead-based paint. Landlords that own homes built before 1978 must provide information about lead paint concentrations used in the building.
  2. Authorized Agents. Landlords must also provide the names and addresses of all parties involved in owning and managing the property.

Helpful Links

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Housing Authorities

Realtor, Landlord, and Tenant Associations

These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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