Missouri Rental Laws

Written on August 28, 2014 by , updated on July 23, 2017

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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321 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Rachelle

    My husband and I have been living in the same apartment since 2011 and are getting ready to move as we are expecting our first child and simply need more room. When reviewing our renewal lease agreement (to ensure we leave everything as our landlord expects it) I saw that they now are keeping $200 of our deposit for an “administrative fee.” I don’t see how this is legal considering it is is never stated what this is exactly for nor was it in our original agreement. If someone could explain how this is legal or IF it is, that would be great. Our apartment only has the expected amount of wear.

    • Lon Kingery

      Is it stated as a deposit, or security deposit? If security deposit, they can not keep any of it until they tell you why they will not give back all of your money.In some ststates, if they don’t let you know why they have not returned all of your money, they can be sued for 3 X the deposit. take ’em to small claim’s. The small claim’s office will help you fill out the paper work. Yes it will cost you to sue and to have them served. However, you can include that in your suit.
      My opinion only of cource.

  • Angela Livengood

    My mother has cohabitation with my sister and her children mom came to St. Louis to babysit this summer for me my sister is now threatening to have my mother arrested if she comes home(it’s her home ) there has never been a lease sign or she has never been paid rent they have just pooled money and my sister paid bills out of all accounts.(mother lives on fixed income) due to my sister refusing to let her come home to get her clothes and medicine my mother had extra expenses on medical stuff and doesn’t have money for electric bill she been in stl since may.sister now threatening to sue mother for cutting off lights as a landlord

    • Lon Kingery

      If the propery in your moms name, yor sister can not keep her from going home. Plus, your sister can not keep your mom from etting her property and especially her med’s. Call the police tell them your problem and they can meet you at the house to make sure she get’s anything she wan’t..especially her med’s.

  • Kevin Hicks

    I am a tenant in the state of missouri. I would like to buy a home before my lease in up. Can I , legally, get out of my lease if I’m buying a home?

  • marilyn phillips

    I have a friend who has been living with me for over 5 yrs, no lease agreement. now he and I are separating and I want him out of my house. I have asked several times and he states when he gets settled and doe not have a legit answer for me. I have no money for an attny. Can I start this process but what forms do I need. I know there is filing feels, processors, etc, just can’t afford the attny fees. He pays rent(helps out with bills), but very intense and I want him to move on. Any help would be great. Thank you

  • Kendra Baker

    Can someone let me know if an apartment can charge for damages before the lease is up instead of using the deposit paid for damages?

  • Tyren

    I live in an apartment complex. Been living here since 2009. Now for about the last 3 years or so we have been having issues with mice ever since they switched Pest control companies. I have Ben spending my own money buying traps, peppermint oil, and the plug in things that pose to keep mice away. The leasing office tells us to look for any holes and they come patch them up. They do come patch them up but some type of way they keep getting in. The entire complex is infested with mice. I have a 9 year old son. I think this is very unsanitary and the leasing office doesn’t take it as serious as I do. Is there something that I can do for them to get rid of these mice. The first company knew how to keep the rodents away by using something.

  • Keith

    My daughter moved out of her apartment in missouri when her lease was up. They did the walk thru inspection and told her she would only get $100 of her deposit back. She moved out and recieved the $100 check from the apartment owners. 45 days later they get a revised statemnt saying she owes $1300 for new carpet and repairs. Is this legal in missouri?

  • Charlene

    The realtor came over and said the owners want her to list the house. She offered us to buy we declined. She wants us to continue renting by allow showings of the house. Once it sales were have 30 to 40 days to move is this legal. What are our rights?

  • Charlene

    The realtor came over and said the owners want her to list the house. She offered us to buy we declined. She wants us to continue renting but allow showings of the house. Once it sales were have 30 to 40 days to move is this legal. What are our rights?

  • Jeannette Martin

    l just need some clarification on one of the 4 requirements on how to handle belongings left behind. The roommate that was living with me moved out without notice 2 weeks ago, as can be verified by MO Police. The 2nd rule states “The Tenant has failed to pay rent for thirty (30) days or more”. Does that mean I have to wait a full 30 days before I can send a notice to remove her belongings, which are taking up half my eat in kitchen?

    Hopefully, I’ll hear back from someone.

    Thanks for any help.

  • Jeannette Martin

    P.S. I am the homeowner/landlord/roommate

  • Heather

    Should I been charged extra rent for my son that is 4 years old??? I can see if he was 18 years old and could help but he can’t work so how can a landlord force a parent to pay for a little child live with him when they care for them only??? and plus the landlord won’t put a storm shelter in knowing some people can’t drive and state was going to put one in for free means he wouldn’t pay for it

  • Cindy

    This guy steve im kind of dating, well he’s on prorole from a dui I think. He still drinks as we all know. But I have been letting him stay at my house since his house is commened or something like that. He’s been at my house almost 8 weeks. I told him I want him out. He’s like nope I have no place at this time until the house is liveable. Then this morning he’s like I live here now, see my stuff and you will need to have the cops force

    • Halley

      Depending on the state you live in, i know that if a person is in your home for 30 days or more and receives mail there, by law they live there. You need to read up on your state laws. If that is the case, you need to get an eviction notice served.

  • Cynthia

    This guy steve im kind of dating, well he’s on prorole from a dui I think. He still drinks as we all know. But I have been letting him stay at my house since his house is commened or something like that. He’s been at my house almost 8 weeks. I told him I want him out. He’s like nope I have no place at this time until the house is liveable. Then this morning he’s like I live here now, see my stuff and you will need to have the cops force

  • TJ

    In Missouri lease expired 27 months ago not renewed after that time. Can the landlord still require a 30 days notice when vacating and can the landlord demand 30 days rent if sufficient notice is not given?

  • Joshua Kiner

    My previous landlords are suing me for water damages to the master bathroom to which I brought it to thier attention when I first noticed the issue and which was on a Friday and they have a weekend campground they would usually go to every weekend and to which they went ahead went away for the weekend and and I also tried calling them with no reply. I never claimed to be a plumber but I took care of the place like it was my own and plus was trying to be a good tenant and I ended up having to take tub insert out that was mildew stained and in poor shape. Found the leak that was on shower pipe which was in the wall which was damaged also.also put one gouge in neoleum floor with fridge and also told him. He now wants entire neoleum replaced.

  • Frank Alviar

    I have given our broker associate 60 day notice that we will be living the house that we are renting. In return, she told me that we have to keep the utilities on for an additional 30 days after our lease ends. Is that legal in Missouri?

    They also want me to clean the house to tip top shape, in which, it was very dirty when we moved in. Ripped carpets, molded window sills, stained walls, and, and, and…

    I have asked them that the walls needed painting and the landlord replied that we have to spend our own money and labor. (He refused)

    This place actually looks a lot nicer then when we moved in, but; I was told that the broker associate (This Real-estate company) will try to do anything to take your deposit.

    Need help.

  • Jason Allen

    Ok was all current on rent tell August we paid 460 out of the 650 owed rent do on the 10th for 8 months I been asking for repairs and he would set a date but never show up.. The heat would not shut off intel u flip main shut of switch and if we forget it would be 115 in the house when it was winter time then with broken windows and they letting heat out the bill be high then I had to shut gas off for the ax to work… And then the drain in the basement was clogged and my washer flooded basement so we stop use it.. But when we run ac it would eave water in basement.. Plus’s the valves for washer leaked and basement was flooded everyday for months still he had not fix anything… Back to the rent I called him up few days after pay the 460 and

  • Jason Allen

    After few days I called him up ask him when he going to fucking fix something he went off telling me he going to come over and kick my ass up and down the street.. I was at my mother laws house and he found me there he parked down street and came up there. He asked for me I cam e out he put his chest into mine and I told him to back off me and then he pushed me so hard I flew off porch and my shoes came off… He came down and push me again the rushed me I put him in a head lock like a rear naked chock hold.. Everyone was yelling and try to brake us up and I kept tell him if I let go if he leave me alone then I let go and he hot me with a 2 piece to the top my head and the he walked away yelling went to his car and drove back up yelling he

  • Jason Allen

    After he left cop show up ask me about it took picture and left then his wife keep texting my wife and try to get her to put me out or they kick us out and that it was all my fault then going to other family members and telling them lies and say I was talking shit on then 12 days later he filed a eviction with the courts with just my name on it when lease has only my wife name on it… Say we moved in may 1 and thru August we never paid rent and owe 3000 but we moved in on January 10 and he said rent do one 1st but it was due on the 10th… We went to court and I told judge I dont agree with what was on the paper and we need to set it for trial… I also asked for the date to be set after his assault case he was mad and said what that got

  • Jason Allen

    Got to do with anything and I said it has everything because u lie and file this evection only because u have to go to court for assault……. I forgot to say I had a truck I just bought and before I could get it tag he treated to have it towed when it was parked in the parking behind the house by my garage door…. And his wife I felt bullied my wife into talking me into sale them the truck for 2 months rent that would have been in the time frame he claim I did not pay him… He took title and got it tags because he knew someone worked at DMV.. With my name on back of title… Then when title came back to his house with my name on it he had me sigh it…. And we have had 2 different government agencies pay are rent and when they had not

  • Jason Allen

    When they did not received one of the checks fast enough they call me June 10 th and demand me pay that month rent that day or they was going to evict us… It took me a week but I paid it.. Then the check came in.. But every month if my payday did not full on the right day they threatened to kick us out….. I know that if I ask for 8 months for him to fix a fire hazardthe fernance and a heath problem the drain and the windows letting are bills get real high to where we was pay out 650 just in bills and with all the threats and assault on me that he needs to learn a lesson… He has had a few place shut down health department and some that’s going to get turn in when the renters find a place… And he sled evicted the person next door and

  • Jason Allen

    Before the eviction court date and already moved someone else in… That he should pay for being a slum lord and there threating bulling ways they use… Thinking they can do what ever they want.. I got more but I got to go….. One last thing I’m trying to be out of this dump before court even know I’m fighting the eviction so its not on my record….. What should I do and how…. Is the best thing to find the best lawyer I can and see if they can help cause with a fam of 6 I’m low income and they thank they can get away because I can’t afford a lawyer

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