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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351 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Amanda Schroeder

    On October 6 my apartment building was sold to a new owner. I was notified on October 10 of the transfer of ownership and new management company. My lease auto renewed this year, ending 7/31/2018. Today I was notified that my lease will be terminated as of 12/31/2017. Can my lease be terminated early without cause by the new owner? I would really rather not have to move during the holidays.

  • Kelly Still

    When a business owner ( not the building) is on a month-to-month lease, do they still have right of refusal to a new buyer of the building?

  • Mark Vandervort

    Can a prospective landloard refuse to show a copy of their LEASE without the renter making a deposit on the apartment ?

  • Kaitlin

    If I lived in a residence and had a year long lease signed with another party, and i moved out, and both parties are okay with this and are willing to sign to have my name taken off of the lease… But there are damages that are being “estimated” in the residence for both parties to be equally responsible does the landlord have the right to keep me on the lease until these damages are paid? She is refusing to take my name off of the lease until she gets an estimate for damages even though I have not lived there for over 3 weeks now.

  • Lee C

    I have been occupying a unit – of a four family flat- for going two months now, as of November 15th.
    Since October 2nd I have noticed the occupancy of unwanted guest (mice) within the unit, and have submitted three written request to assist in resolving the issue. Although it may be costly, it is a sanitation, as well as, a health concernas a tenant have exhausted every feasible option available to help eliminate the issue. I keep a clean environment but have still seen several mice passing through, and submitted written notice.
    Unfortunately, there is a no pet policy, and I have not utilized that option of extermination nor paid a professional to do so.
    So what rights do I have as a tenant if the issue hasn’t been resolved within 90 days?

    • jimmcvay

      plese notify me also as I have nearly the same prob[em

      • HILLARY M WOLFE

        I had the same problem. I moved in with a mice issue ( my fault, didn’t thoroughly inspect, after move in saw huge piles of mouse droppings in cupboards, along with roaches ). I told her about it, she told me to move. I can’t afford to. I informed her that there is an electrical issue( lights flicker, go through a bulb a week ), she won’t fix. Last month I was late on rent, she posted to my door a 3 day notice of pay or get out.

  • Michelle

    I live in low income housing and the manager is telling people not to go to someones house across the street or they will be evicted. Can site manager legally tell people not to visit someone off site or they will be evicted?

  • Joe Hunt

    I live out of the country and my manager has been handling the evictions and small claims for 20 years in Missouri. About 6 months ago, the judge started saying the manager was practicing law by representing me and wouldn’t allow her to represent me in court any longer. I even made a Power of Attorney form in her name but he still says she isn’t allowed to act on my behalf. I see other people representing their clients so what can I do to make it legal?

  • Nicole Ramsey

    My fiance was renting out a home that he owns and the tenants decided that the back porch was “in their way” so they decided to rip it up and throw the lumber over the fence of his back yard. Is that reason enough to be able to evict them?

  • Sarah

    Can 4 college students, that are not related, live in the same rental house? I am looking for occupancy laws in Missouri regarding this.

  • Ryan

    Moved into a house on 12/01/2017 nothing was in writing just text messages paid $400 security deposit and $500 for first months rent moved out on 01/01/2018 because landlord was constantly complaining about our dog when he knew we had it before we moved in and i couldn’t deal with a harassing landlord the house was cleaned spotless and no damage we did a walk through on Jan. 1st and he and I agreed there was no damage or anything of that nature but he won’t give my deposit back because he said we owe for the city bill and its in his name I live in missouri and the statue states that the deposit is used for damage or unpaid rent that being said can he legally withhold my deposit

    • Lon Kingery

      No…I don’t see how. As you stated, security is for that…just that..not some bill he should be paying. Tell him if he doesn’t give back the security deposit, you will sue him…then follow thru…go to small claims court. I had to do that myself a couple of time’s and they are helpful at the court house with filling out the form’s. Good luck.

  • Marilyn Irwin

    I have been renting a mobile home since 9/2012 I’ve always paid the rent and have made numerous repairs and paid for them myself and never asked the landlord for anything. I’m in process of moving now as the owner decided to remove the mobile home and let the lot stand empty.
    I am paid thru 1/29/2018 and plan to be completely before then but the landlord keeps sending me messages with threats like “I’m going to put a no trespassing fence up and have all vehicles towed and I want you gone!”
    Do I have to allow his constant harassment even though I still have close to 2weeks to complete my move?

  • Samantha

    Recently my roommate plugged in a space heater (like she normally does when she gets cold) and it blew half of the electricity in our house including both of our rooms and the bathroom. We called the emergency maintenance line that night and they showed up the next day to check it out. After not finding what is causing the loss of electricity, he said he would come back the next day. Well, the next day he didn’t find anything either. Is there something we can do the rectify the situation? People are telling me we probably have a fire hazard on our hands from where the wire blew and he “can’t find the problem.” It also doesn’t help that someone close to us just had a rental house burn down for the same scenario. HELP!

  • Eddie

    I moved at the end of September. Never heard anything about my security deposit. I waited until November 17 sent a text in which i have to my former land lord. Who responded with it there was any deposit owed she would send it to my new address. I sent the new address. Now in January 12 1st time i have heard from her she says i owe her 1500 for new carpet. 4 months after i moved. Is this legal? Seems to be a long time to tell me i damage her property. I have pictures of when i moved showing everything looked great.

  • Nicole

    So my husband and I have been looking for a place here in Missouri and there is one realitor here who has my husband on a do not rent list. So when we asked why since he has never rented from them they said it was because of how the house was left when his dad rented from them. My husband was 16 at the time his dad rented from there. Is this legal?

  • Tammie Brundage

    We rented an apartment to a gentleman that is deaf. We knew he was deaf at the time. The apartment is just a normal apartment, no accommodations. We are not government subsidized, he is not government subsidized. He is now demanding accommodations (special door bell) or he said he is going to report us. I don’t know who he is reporting is to. Are we required to meet his demands? Does it make a difference if the tenant receives government assistance? We are a privately owned complex. His parents live in the next apartment. If they all get mad and move, voiding their contracts, how will a judge look at that as far as us recovering the loss of rent?

    • Kyle

      First off, what you’re asking about is covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the fair housing act. To answer your question very simply yes he is entitled to an accommodation for the doorbell but you are not required to pay for it. A person with any sort of disability is allowed to modify or make their place of residency accessible, provided that it does not cause any structural damage and that when they move out they replace the property into its original condition. You basically can’t stop him from putting one in, but you don’t have to pay for it.

      And by the way it makes no difference one way or the other if he receives government assistance for doesn’t or you do or don’t, the bottom line is that this is just a reasonable

  • Heather

    My son is working as maitence for a landlord of a trailer park. Supporting his pregnant fiance and his 5year old daughter. I visited for a week over the holidays and found they had no heat.The furnace had been down for 3months! It was reported to the landlord. They had a space heater in their room to stay warm. And mice were invading the trailer! I bought over$500 worth of heaters and clothes for them for the time being so they can use the entire house without freezing!Still since I left the furnace is out. They since have sent a repair man over twice who apparently doesn’t know how to properly repair the furnace.What rights in Missouri do they have???? I’ve returned and bought them a car because the landlord says they can’t move or no job!

  • Melissa

    My parents own their own double wide and just pay lot rent in a mobile home park. They have 2 storage sheds in the back yard. The park was recently sold to new owners, and my parents were made to sign a new lease. Later, the new owners decided to increase lot rent, so they sent out letters with new rules stating that my dad, who is retired and uses his storage shed as a workshop for building projects such as birdhouses, is not allowed to have my children out there with him, and they can’t play outside in the common areas. They are also not allowed to paint their house or deck without approval from the park owners of the color. Is all of this legal?

  • kenny

    I am mentally disabled but I was trying to rent a house on my own to be responsible and move out from my mom’s I give deposit of 450 to the woman but never got to move in decided I probably couldn’t afford it she agreed to my mom that would probably be the best thing for me not to move in now she says she would give me my deposit back now she said she will not what rights do I have to get my $450 deposit back

  • Nicole womac

    I rent a duplex in Kansas City. The duplex upstairs from me has been vacant since I moved in and in the past two months they have been renovating it. I received my November electric bill that stated I had used 5,600 kwh for 42days December bill 31 days 8,600 kwh. I have contacted Kcpl and they have the account noted that I’m seeking an investigation because it’s impossible to use that much. What do I do I have repeatedly contacted the owner there’s other issues but this is top priority due to a $1,318 light bill for 2 months please help!!!

  • Carolyn

    We have rented a house four eighteen years and always paid rent on time. The landlord got angry and decided to sell the property. We need our money to rent a new home. can we stop paying rent

    • Lon

      As long s you live there, You Must pay rent. If you don’t…they can sue you for it and will get a judgement against you for It. So pay your rent so it doesn’t go against your record.

  • Adam Weatherford

    I have been living in my current home for almost 3 years. The first year I had a lease. After that lease expired, I have been on a month to month lease. The landlord has decided to sell the house. It has been on the market for a week. We still are currently living in the house. The landlord has scheduled the real estate agent to show the house 5 days this week. Some days the house has been shown multiple times. It is disrupting our lives. Is there any limitations to the house being shown. There is a lot of damage to the house due to age. The floor is crumbling under the carpet. Shingles blow off the roof and the electric flickers any time there is heavy wind. Furnace does not work. Air ducts are rusted through. Should I tell the agent?

  • Amanda

    Me and my old man was renting a house in Missouri we signed a lease for the property we had already paid him the first month’s rent had the water turned back on and turned on the gas so we formed outvalot of money we lived there doe about 2 weeks then we get a knock on the door by the sheriff saying we have 3 days to move that the guy who we thought waa the landlord isn’t that his father is and wants us out so what can I do about it

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