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.
Get our free newsletter

Join 200,000+ landlords

  • ​Tips to increase income
  • Time-saving techniques
  • ​Powerful tools & resources
  Laws & Regulations

381 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Pam Reedy

    I’d like to know what the laws are for someone near 62 and has diabetes, blockage of the heart, acid reflux, osteoarthritis, very little cartilage in the right knee and anxiety disorder concerning getting a unit airconditioner in a residential hotel?

  • Isaac

    Ok so I’m renting a home with a REALLY bad bug problem and it was made by my landlord can I sue her

  • Mike Wambolt

    You incorrectly state that Section 535.300 requires landlords to take reasonable steps to re-lease property after a tenant moves out before his or her lease terms expires. Section 535.300 deals with security deposits.

  • Margie Mendoza

    Hi I would like to know what rights so renters have in Missouri for visitors how long can they stay my mom’s landlord is complaining cause I went to visit her and now she don’t want to remewy mom’s leases

  • sheila

    Live in springfield, missouri. just moved into a duplex the end of may 2018. Landlord gave me an unsigned copy of the lease doesn’t he have to provide me with a signed copy of lease for it to be a legal document?
    Also the locks were not changed, windows do not lock and assume previous tenant has garage door opener. Anyone can easily get in this duplex. I’m truly affraid for our safety this day and age.
    . Also Electric bill for this 1000 sq ft duplex are running $350.00 a month which was not disclosed and is way excessive.
    Do I have the right to break the lease because of the safety issue and excessive electric bills?
    This is an all brick unit thats only about 25 yrs old.

  • Mike

    I own my home. Was asked by an old friend if they could stay on my couch a couple days till place was ready, PRIMISED only couple days. Still here 2/3 months later only paid small portion of bills first month, none since. Now I discovered she’s smoking meth and caught red handed with some of my collectibles/tools in her trunk. I have an eight year old, PLEASE tell me I can remove her IMMEDIATELY. Please help asap

  • Mike

    I own my home. Was asked by an old friend if they could stay on my couch a couple days till place was ready, PRIMISED only couple days. Still here 2/3 months later only paid small portion of bills first month, none since. Now I discovered she’s smoking meth and caught red handed with some of my collectibles/tools in her trunk. I have an eight year old, PLEASE tell me I can remove her IMMEDIATELY. Please help asap
    By the way I reside in Missouri

  • Desiree Olvera

    Buying my grandmothers home from my aunt, whose allowed renters for 10 years now. They have no lease and haven’t paid the right in over 3 years. She informed the renters she’s selling to us in Jan of 2018 and to evict. They never have moved so we put the sell on hold 6 more months. They still have made no attempt to move. If we go ahead with the sell can i evict them since they were given a 30 day notice by the prev owner? Or do I have to give them another 30 days before I can file a court eviction?

  • Tracy Abarca

    In our Rental Apartment our whole kitchen cabinet wall unit fell off breaking 90% of all my dishes.
    Lived here for 3yrs, nothing has changed.
    Except for more active neighbors/kids running around upstairs.
    Behind the cabinet, sheetrock was weak, and moldy. After a week they replaced with a different color, smaller cabinet right over mold cover wall. We are moving now(30days after this) can I deduct my loss for their damge wall?

  • Wondering Sister

    I was wondering what my sisters rights are for getting her first months rent and deposit back after deciding not to move into a rental. She paid between 24-48 hours ago and when she went this evening to take stuff, there were roaches. She does not want to move in, but landlord says he will not give the money back and he will go in the morning and spray. No signed contract or lease was given or signed. Can she get at least her first months rent back?

  • Deborah Cole

    I have a question. In the state of Missouri, can a landlord automatically debit his resident’s bank account for yard maintenance without notification? My account was automatically debited by my landlord for trimming an overgrown bush. In the lease agreement I am responsible for the yard, however, the agreement states that the landlord will give you 14 days notice to correct the problem before he hires someone to rectify the situation. I never received such notice and my bank account was automatically charge for the yard service.

  • Ashley

    Hi. My daughter has a lease with a property manager who no longer works for the owner, there has been a leak in one of the bedroom ceiling coming from the apartment upstairs for 6 months. Someone shows up to fix it, then it leaks again a few days later. Then someone will show up to fix it, leave without saying anything, show up 2 days later and says it’s fixed, then it leaks again. This has been ongoing for 6 months, what can she do?

  • Tabitha G

    I signed a lease in realtors office and this was on may 2018 I moved in around july. My lease says a fixed number and im being told that the office messed up on amount due each month and want me to start paying the additional money. Also was informed that they have not signed my lease yet. (Although it has there realtor company name on lessor signature section) They are saying that Im a month to month due to him not signing it an is telling me they are going have to give me a 30 day eviction notice if I don’t pay the extra money. Is this legal what can I do about this as I paid rent on time I also paid my deposit, first an last months rent!

  • ScottB

    When I paid my rent no late fee was due; I even got a receipt in my email showing no fee was charged or due and that my rent was paid in full. However, today I received an email from the property management company stating I owe a late fee and that I must pay it or legal action will be taken to evict me. Can they collect on late fee when I have a receipt that shows the rent was paid in full and no late fee was charged at the time I paid my rent?

  • Eric Pratt

    My family and I are renting a basement apartment on a weekly basis. Been living here for four almost five years. No lease, only oral agreement. His girlfriend moved in and now he wants me to leave with no warning or reason why. What do I do? I choose this place because I don’t have a vehicle and it’s close to my job.

  • Katrina D

    I have lived in a building for 5 years, we recently got a new management group late last year.
    We have steam heat and loved it in past, this year its 11/5 and no heat has been turned on.What is the law in Missouri for this. I have the pdf of regulations however only really go over electricity and water . I have paid every month , never late however I Feel unsafe at my apartment with all space heaters in our old building , and believe this is a fire hazard . Please some insight is helpful

  • Jennifer Nichols

    rented a basement apartment.paid 500 deposit. nov. was prorated . Paid another 500 dec.rent on 23rd 1375 to date Paid in full. signed roommate agreement. 4 days after paying Dec. rent, she said i owed her another 500. SHE typed up agreement it reads deposit 1st month rent. 30 day notice came via text nov 26 after pointing this out. I havent been served anything. She left a notice on ground in front of door. I havent been in place 30 days yet. No smoke dectecters. She rents place from company. Being petty parking in my spot. Putting pics of my stuff online in her ads. Reason to terminate.she dont like personality. HELP been there 35 days. Dont believe her landlord knows she rented his basement out.

  • Caryn


    We are in a 12 month lease agreement with our landlord, who is actually a lawyer. We signed the lease I guess without completely interpreting a paragraph that states “tenants are exclusively responsible for all maintenance and repair of the premises including but not limited to appliances, structure, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical systems, walls, floors and roof and driveways.

    Month 4, main breaker to the mobile home went out. He refused to replace or pay for. $130 for the repair. On month 5, the hot water tank went out. The hot water tank was 20 years old. He paid for half. Now well switch went out, we replaced but it wont cycle leaning on bigger problems and air tank is underground somewhere. Any help?

  • Kamala

    1inch to 10inches length of crayon Mark’s on the walls at exactly 6 spots. tried to wipe off each mark and it got almost faded. we moved out leaving it for the landlord to have it fixed by some cleaners and charge us in our move out expense. what we didnt anticipate was a $1200 bill on this. if the marks were extensive then could have been reasonable. but there were no professional cleaners used, no explanation or Bill’s on why such expensive way of fixing these. they already have my $700 security deposit held. I am aware of my responsibility to surrender the unit without any damage and pay the charges to fix any damage. but how legit it is to spend $1200 to fix something cosmetic and minor?

  • Kamala

    Emptied and cleaned all cabinets and drawers in the rental unit before moving out. My landlord is charging us around $350 for cleaning each one of the cabinets. They didnt provide ang pictures of any trash inside or to explain why it needed such intense cleaning. also they have charged $160 for General cleaning as well. There was 3 cello tapes on a wooden surface which was not visible n we missed to pull it out. They have charged 2 hours labor and $80 to fix this. How can this be reasonable? my son had 10 quarter size sticker on a wooden door. They have charged $160 for removing and repairing the door. the replacement cost of the door in their list is $150. removing stickers and fixing is costs more than new door?

  • Kamala

    Not all renters are bad and irresponsible. We are definitely not the one among them. We honestly will pay the Bill’s charges reasonably to fix the problems. But what we cannot pay is the highly expensive charges and repair work completed by the property managemnt maintenance staff and they have their predefined list of charges (never disclosed it to us even after we moved out and asked an estimation) and dont know how professional these staffs r on cleaning the house. we enquired a professional cleaning service and they gave an estimation of $250 to fix all the Mark’s stickers damages and clean entire unit. Landlord can charge us even doubly like $700 but not $2700 stating their own prices and no details.

  • Heather Flores

    My bf and I have rented our house since 2008. He passed 2 years ago. I still live in home and have faithfully paid rent every month. The house was bought by new owners 2017. I received a letter from new company saying there is a 400 passed due balance for late fees from other owners dated 2005. When my bf was alive he took care of rent and I had no idea about fees until now.
    Am i obligated to pay these fees? Is there a statute forthe state of missouri? This is the first time anyone has said anything about it.

  • Jessica

    Me and my 5month old baby just moved into a house about 2 weeks ago.
    I saw some ants even though there was no food yet in the house. Bought antspray and was hoping this would take care of it. The ants are everywhere, I noticed in the course of this 2 weeks. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen even appliances like the dishwasher. I’m afraid continous use of ants pray or traps will be harm for my infant. I contacted the landlord. I got as answer that it is to cold outside for ants but am supposed to buy traps. Is this really my responsibility. The house seems to be totally infested. And was obviously before we moved in.

  • Brodie

    My girlfriend is trying to rent a new home for her and her daughter. After paying the deposit penny for penny what the guy texted, he said they also need $149 fee so she can pay her rent at Wal-Mart with cash and online. She said no thanks, I’ll pay in person if there’s a fee involved. The guy is saying they don’t do that, but only disclosed the fee after the deposit was paid. What are her options?

    • Lon Kingery

      Either forget abut this guy, or make damn sure you get a lease written and read it before signing anything . In my opinion, id let that go and get my money back. He will try to keep what you have already paid, but becausee of the $149 he didnt disclose to you he will have to return it. He will fight you so tell him you will sue in small claims and when you win, it will cost him time and court cost. IMO?

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Be short, sweet and to the point.