Missouri Rental Laws

Written on August 28, 2014 by , updated on January 9, 2018

flag-of-missouriThis article summarizes some key Missouri landlord-tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

The Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county. You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have a legal question or concern, I only recommend contacting a licensed attorney referral service that is operated by the state bar association. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Official Rules and Regulations

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No more than two months’ rent (§§ 535.300(1))
  • Security Deposit Interest: Any interest earned on a security deposit shall be the property of the landlord (§§ 535.300(2))
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: A landlord shall not commingle such security deposits with other funds of the landlord except as provided in section 339.105. All security deposits shall be held in a trust established by the landlord and deposited in a bank, credit union, or depository institution account in the name of the trustee. (§§ 535.300(2))
  • Pet Deposits: No statute
  • Non-Refundable Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 30 days after lease termination (§§ 535.300(2))
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit:
    • For payment of rent due to the landlord;
    • To restore the unit to its condition at the start of the tenancy, except for ordinary wear and tear;
    • To compensate the landlord for actual damages resulting from tenant’s failure to give adequate notice to terminate the tenancy, provided that the landlord makes reasonable efforts to mitigate damages. (§§ 535.300(3))
  • Require Written Description/Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (§§ 535.300(2)(2))
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: No statute
  • Failure to Comply: If landlord wrongfully withholds the security deposit, the tenant can recover as damages up to twice the amount wrongfully withheld. (§§ 535.300(5))

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • 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 for nonpayment, tenants may prevent termination of service by promptly petitioning the associate division of the circuit court of the county 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):
    • 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 habitability 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
    • Tenant 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: Landlord may discard the tenant’s personal property if tenant doesn’t respond to a formal written notice after 10 days, among other criteria. See statute §§ 441.065 for details.

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is required as the lease simply ends. (§§ 441.070)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: 60-day written notice prior to the end of the year (§§ 441.050)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: One-month written notice prior to a periodic rent-paying date (§§ 441.060(4))
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: No statute
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute
  • Immediate Eviction by Court Order: Expedited eviction of a tenant may be ordered by the court in cases in which:
    • an emergency situation imminently threatens either the safety of other tenants or threatens to cause damage that would exceed the rent for one year;
    • the leased property was used to assist or promote any drug-related criminal activity;
    • tenant or member of tenant’s household or guest has engaged in drug-related criminal activity either in or near the leased property;
    • tenant has given permission to or invited a person to enter onto or remain on any portion of the leased property, and the tenant did so knowing that the person had been removed or barred from the leased property. See statute for more details. (§§ 441.740)
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: Landlord must give tenant reasonable notice in writing of the date and time the landlord has chosen for the move-out inspection. The inspection must be at a reasonable time and the tenant has the right to be present. (§§ 535.300(4))
  • Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: If rent is unpaid when due, landlord may provide an immediate unconditional quit notice. (§§ 535.010)
  • Termination for Lease Violation: 10-day notice. In addition to lease violations, a 10-day notice is required if tenant has sublet the unit without the landlord’s written permission or permitted the premises to be used for prohibited gambling, prostitution or drug-related criminal activity. (§§ 441.020, §§ 441.030 and §§ 441.040)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (§§ 441.233(1))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (§§ 441.233(2))

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Name and Addresses: Landlord must provide tenant in writing before the start of tenancy the name and address of the property manager as well as that of a property owner for the purpose of service of process and receipt of notices and demands. (§§ 535.185)
  • Copy of the Lease: No statute
  • Domestic Violence Situations: No statute. An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection (AARDVARC) provides a directory of Missouri Domestic Violence and Support Contacts by county.
  • Landlord’s Duties: (Missouri Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord-Tenant Law (Pg. 5))
    • Habitability: Make property habitable before tenants move in;
    • Repairs: Make and pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear.;
    • Utilities: Refrain from turning off a tenant’s water, electricity or gas;
    • Transfer of Ownership: Provide written notice to tenants when
      ownership of the property is transferred to a new landlord;
    • Discrimination: Not unlawfully discriminate.
  • Tenant’s Duties: (§§ 441.630)
    • Trash: Dispose of in a clean and sanitary manner all garbage and other organic waste in the unit which might provide food for rodents;
    • Electrical, Heating and Plumbing: Refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures;
    • Compliance: Meet all obligations lawfully imposed on tenants by the code enforcement agency or the community;
    • Damage: Refrain from willfully or wantonly destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the structure, dwelling unit or facilities, and to prohibit any other person on the premises with his or her permission from doing likewise; and
    • Subleasing: Shall not under any circumstances take in additional occupants, sublease, rent or turn over said premises to any persons without the owner’s knowledge and consent.
  • Retaliation: No statute
  • Lead Disclosure:  Landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards.
  • Disclosure of Prior Methamphetamine Manufacture (Meth Lab): Landlord must disclose in writing to prospective tenants or buyers any knowledge of past methamphetamine production on the premises, regardless of whether those involved were convicted for such production. (§§ 441.236)

Court Related:

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.
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400 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • maryl redmond

    in the city of saint louis does the realtor have the right to charge money for water without putting meter in your name. does the realtor have the right to charge for trash when the container is on the alley for everyones use. does the realtor have the right to charge for sewer payment. I live in an apartment building.

  • Tina

    I have a friend at work that has lived with her boyfriend for two years. She receives mail at that address. Thursday she received a text from the property owner that she has to be out to the house by Monday because he was moving out while she was working that day. What can she do?

  • Kathy Dockins

    We have rental property. We keep it up very well. My city has started a bi annual inspection process. The outside of the house is nice and neat. They are wanting me to meet them and let them inspect the inside. I’m concerned these inspections will run renters off. I wouldn’t want someone coming n and inspecting the inside of my house even thou I’m clean and sp is she. I wonder is this legal?

    • Lonnie W Kingery

      You bet. And you might like it if during an inspection they find a tenet who has trashed the place.

  • Mazzi

    Me and my wife are renting apartment and we have little kids. We have issue with A/C doesn’t work at all from June 2018 until now ( April 2019) and the beginning we talked to the office of the complex face to face and the make request in the system to be fixed and receive email about sometimes no one showed up and sometimes they came but they don’t fix it. After while I started email them with photos and when make request in the system no one shows up even sometimes I reply it same email.

    I’m writing this at 3:38 am with temperature 83 inside of my apartment.

  • Mary

    Owner offers tenant cash for keys incentive. Can owner sue or evict after tenant has upheld the cash for keys contract?

  • Jennifer Grayson

    I moved in a house 3 months ago, I have no kitchen sink, floors in hallway and kitchen unfinished, outlets when having anything plugged in turn the lights off….bunch of violations. What do I do?

  • Toni Hatch

    I need help on some questions that has happened to my cousin. He is disabled and he was living in some apartments and his apartment electrical outlet caught fire and burned all mine things they put him out and he had to clean the apartment to get back his deposit but the landlord only gave him part of it . Since it was the apartment fault on the fire should they put him up in another one ? He has to have oxegen every night . So can he get any kind of help.

  • Kitty Ess

    The neighbor upstairs was moving and broke a water pipe.My kitchen floor was flooded and my ceiling was stained.Industrial humidifier placed then removed 4 days later.Next day-in early am-water leaking through light fixture.Cut circuit breaker.Called maintenance several times between 4am-5:30am.No call back.Called elec co.Maintenance came at 10:00am.Dehumidifier placed again along with fan.It’s been another 4 days with these.My elec bill as shown on website skyrocket.My ceiling is buckling now in several places.Not just stains.Cannot sleep-machines loud.Paid to sleep elsewhere.Cannot use washer/dryer or kitchen area-due to cut elec.Loud machines and fear of ceiling falling thru.Can I withhold any or all rent payment? Thank You for yourtime

    • Lona Kingery

      I think so. Put yoyr rent into a pkace you can get to it. Call ooffice and tell them you are withholding rent till you problems are fixed. Also, i’d tell them if they dont fix the problem in a week, you will call someone and pay out if your picket and take if off your rent. Now this is what I’d do. You may want to get some professional advice. There is a warranty of habitalable they must follow.
      Good luck. You have been far more patient then i would have been.

      • Kitty Ess

        Thank you for your reply. Patience has been a learned virtue. Situations such as these require me to be as patient as possible.

  • Kitty Ess

    PS-I’m sorry to have to comment again but I think it important to add that I live in a property that has received funding in part through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. I am in the very low income bracket for my state of Missouri. households earning up to the income limit in the table below for their household size are eligible for units participating in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in High Ridge but actual income limits may differ for units at Walden Pond Apartments.

    1 Person Very Low Income (50%) $28,500 (My income is significantly less than this figure)

  • Cynthia Lynn Balcom

    So I rented a house with someone
    We both signed a years lease. She is up and moving to Arizona . I have 3 kids so I plan on staying and just paying the rent myself. It was brought to my attention today that she talked to the landlord and told him she wants to break the lease and she’ll just pay a she’ll go on and buy out the lease.
    Can they do that?
    So where does that leave me and my kids

  • KGracie

    My landlord continually makes excuses to come into my apartment to “check the security system, check the HVAC, check the air flow”. Over 12 times in 2 months. I work at a good job, and do not do drugs like the neighbors and have my place in move in shape. I do not understand the harassment other than wanting to be overbearing or actually hitting on me. I’m looking for sets of MO rules where the landlord needs to calm down with the unnecessary visits.

  • lINDA

    My landlord has a digital security system / temperature control / keyless entry system at our apartment. I noticed last week that there is a camera lens on top of the unit’s main control panel, so I placed a small piece of paper over it because I don’t like potential remote cameras, I have covers over all my laptops.

    so this week, the landlord sent a text that was generally stated “to all tenants” that they will be walking through apts testing the security system. BUT none of my neighbors got the text, nor a notice on the front of their door. This is tomorrow. Is this obvious to you as it is obvious to me that he has a hidden camera in my apartment to spy on me? I’m a single woman. I live in Springfield, MO if that matters for laws

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