This article is intended to be an online resource for Missouri landlords. We summarize key Missouri Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.
This article is not qualified legal advice. Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction. Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state level laws and statutes.
Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated. We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.
Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in Missouri.
Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering Missouri
Missouri landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord-friendly.
There are 6.1 million residents in Missouri. Major metropolitan markets in Missouri are:
- St Louis: Estimated population of 2,817,355, which 31% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $868.
- Kansas City: Estimated population of 2,0256,676, which 33% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $1,012.
- Springfield: Estimated population of 462,369, which 37% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $732.
- Columbia: Estimated population of 206,054, which 44% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $869.
- Joplin: Estimated population of 176,849, which 33% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $715.
- Jefferson City: Estimated population of 150,480, which 20% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $820.
- St Joseph: Estimated population of 127,574, which 35% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $733.
- Cape Girardeau: Estimated population of 97,024, which 28% of residents are renter occupied. Average rent is $750.
SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN MISSOURI
Does Missouri require security deposits?
Missouri does not require security deposits.
Is a security deposit receipt required in Missouri?
How much security deposit can a landlord charge in Missouri?
The maximum security deposit landlords can require is two months’ rent. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(1))
Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in Missouri:
Security deposits must 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. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(2))
Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in Missouri?
Landlords cannot commingle deposits with their personal assets. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 339.105)
Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Missouri?
Landlords do not have to share interest, interest earned is the property of the landlord. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(2))
When must a landlord return the deposit by in Missouri?
Landlords must return the security deposits within 30 days after the termination of tenancy. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(3))
When can a landlord in Missouri withhold a security deposit?
At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit. However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit for (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(4)):
- Unpaid rent and/or fees
- Excessive damage to the rental unit or premises
- Carpet cleaning beyond ordinary wear and tear. Must be stated in the lease that a tenant may be liable for actual costs for cleaning carpet if that exceeds ordinary wear and wear and the landlord provides a receipt for the actual cleaning costs.
- Actual damages sustained from the tenant’s failure to give adequate notice to terminate the lease; landlords must make reasonable efforts to mitigate damages.
Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:
Require a written description / itemized list of damages and charges?
Landlords are required to provide written and itemized list of damages. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(2)(2))
What happens to Missouri landlords that fail to comply with returning the security deposit?
Landlords who fail to comply, the tenant shall recover twice the amount wrongfully withheld from the security deposit. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(6))
RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN MISSOURI
Rental agreements required in Missouri:
Rental agreements are required for leases 12 months or longer. We always recommend having a legal lease agreement to prevent future complications.
If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online Missouri rental lease agreement.
What are the required lease provisions in Missouri?
Missouri requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement. Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.185):
- Must: Landlords name, address and phone number
- Must: Address of rental property
- Must: Rent Amount and Due Date. A grace period, if any is included.
- Must: Security deposit amount and terms
- Must: Length of the lease agreement
- Condition of occupancy
- Adequate description of premises/property
- Process for requesting maintenance and repairs
- Subleasing policy
- Landlord’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
- Tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
- Late Fees and Penalties
- Pet policies
- Cleaning Fees
- Other fees
Landlords cannot include (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.610):
- Any provision waiving sections 441.500 to 441.640 is deemed against public policy and will be void.
What are the rental agreement notice requirements in Missouri:
Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: Must provide at least a 60 days written notice if the lease has no end date. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.070) For fixed-end dates, no notice is required as the lease expires. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.070)
Week-to-Week: No statute regarding this short of a lease.
What happens when the tenant remains without consent after the rental agreement expires or terminates?
Landlords can file an unlawful detainer which allows the tenant 10 days to remedy or cure the violation, in this case occupying the premises. If the tenant hasn’t, the landlord can file a complaint about the unlawful detainer in court.
Does the lease automatically renew in Missouri?
Leases with a fixed end date in the lease will expire. If the landlord accepts rent payments after expiration, it automatically turns into a month-to-month tenancy.
Rent Increase Notice:
Rent Grace Period for Residential:
Missouri does not have a grace period. Landlord are allowed to begin the eviction process the day is delinquent.
LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN MISSOURI
Late Fees for Residential:
Landlords can charge a late fee / penalty. Missouri does not define a maximum. The late fee should to be stated in the lease agreement.
MISSOURI LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT
In Missouri, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated. Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations. Here are the cause and effects:
What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in Missouri?
Missouri allows the landlord to immediately send an unconditional quit notice the day rent is past due. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.010)
How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?
Missouri requires landlords to provide a 10 day notice to cure the remedy or quit. This includes any prohibited gaming table, bank, brothel, illegal possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances on the premises. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.020) (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.030) and (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.040)
Missouri allows immediate lease termination if the tenant is responsible for:
Landlords are allowed to immediately evict a tenant through expedited eviction for (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.740):
- An emergency situation where the tenant imminently causes with a reasonable certainty physical injury to a tenant, less or damage that exceeds 12 months of rent.
- Drug-related criminal activity on the property
- Property used to promote, aid or assist in drug-related criminal activity
- The tenant, member of tenant’s household or guest engages in drug-related criminal activity on or within the vicinity of the property
- Tenant knowingly has given permission or invited a person who has been removed or barred from the property
- The tenant has failed to promptly notify the plaintiff that a person removed or barred has entered or remains on the property
MISSOURI LAWS ON REPAIRS
Missouri requires landlords to provide a habitable property for tenants to live and enjoy. There are specific provisions defining how tenants can remedy repairs if the landlord fails to do so.
How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs?
Tenants must provide written notice and allow the landlord 14 days for needed repairs. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.234)
Can tenants withhold rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?
Missouri allows tenants to pay for repairs and offset against future rent. This only applies to tenants who have resided on the rental property for 6 consecutive months, has paid all rent and charges due to the landlord during that time, and did not receive any written notice from the landlord for any violation. Tenants cannot deduct more than one month’s rent added up during any twelve-month period. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.234)
MISSOURI LANDLORD LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Landlords have an obligation to the tenants, which include:
- Make property habitable before the tenant occupies
- Make and pay for ordinary wear and tear repairs
- Refrain from turning off a tenant’s utilities: water, electricity or gas
- Provide written notice to tenants when ownership of the rental property is transferred to a new landlord
- Not unlawfully discriminate
MISSOURI TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Tenants must dispose of all rubbish and garbage, refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures, meet all obligations lawfully by the code enforcement agency, refrain from willfully destroying or damaging the structure, take in additional occupants, rent or sublease without the owner’s consent. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.630)
MISSOURI EVICTION LAWS
Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?
In Missouri, it is illegal for landlords to cause the tenant to quit the rental unit involuntarily. Landlords are deemed guilty of forcible entry and detainer. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.233)
Are landlords allowed to lock out tenants by changing locks?
The landlord cannot change or remove the doors or locks. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.233)
Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?
Landlords cannot turn off utilities. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.233)
Do landlords have to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages when re-renting the rental unit?
Yes. Landlords must make reasonable efforts to mitigate damages. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.300(3)(3))
MISSOURI LAWS ON RETALIATION
Missouri laws do not state any retaliation protections. Burbz will always encourage landlords to act professionally and not target tenants out of frustration.
LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
Missouri has no statutes to protect a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, or stalking. Burbz encourages landlords to work with these victims in good faith and help prevent or reduce the situation. This includes changing locks or letting the victim out of their lease agreement to find a safer home.
If you are a victim, please search for a provider in your county from The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence site.
MISSOURI LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS
Missouri does not have any statewide laws regarding locks.
MISSOURI PET LAWS & PET POLICIES
Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws does not have any specific pet laws. Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements. Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more. Read our guide to pet policies.
DO LANDLORDS IN MISSOURI NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?
According to Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords do not need a rental license in Missouri.
Landlords and owners of residential rental property do not need to register the property. Local cities may have different requirements, we recommend you research the local city-specific laws. Baltimore in particular has regulations for licensing.
NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN MISSOURI
Do landlords in Missouri have to provide notice of entry?
Missouri does not require landlords to provide any notice. The right of entry for maintenance and repairs have to be defined in the lease. However, it is recommended that landlords provide 24 hours’ notice for normal circumstances entry. This includes:
- Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
- Improvements to property
- Showing prospective tenants, contractors, mortgagees or buyers.
When can a landlord enter without notice:
Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?
Can landlords enter for showings?
Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?
Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?
Can landlords enter for pesticide use?
MISSOURI SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS
Landlords should include a clause in the lease agreement to prevent subleasing. Landlords may evict a tenant for subletting or earning rent without the knowledge and consent of the landlord. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.740(5))
TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN MISSOURI
Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws states a landlord can abandon property with reasonable belief the tenant has vacated and does not intend to return, is has been past due for 30 days or landlord posts a written notice on the premises and mail via first class and certified mail to the tenant’s last known address. The notice must including the following:
“The rent on this property has been due and unpaid for thirty consecutive days and the landlord believes that you have moved out and abandoned the property. The landlord may declare this property abandoned and remove your possessions from this unit and dispose of them unless you write to the landlord stating that you have not abandoned this unit within ten days of the landlord having both posted this notice on your door and mailing this notice to you. You should mail your statement by regular first class mail and, if you so choose, by certified mail, return receipt requested, to this address ______ (here insert landlord’s name and street address)”
Tenants have 10 days from both the date of the posting and deposit of the first-class or certified mail.
REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR MISSOURI LEASES
Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:
Lead Paint Disclosure: Yes. Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards. Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.
Name and Address of Owners: The landlord must disclose in writing the name and address of the property owner and property manager. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.185)
Disclosures required for transfer of property where methamphetamine production occured: The landlord must disclose in writing to prospective lessee, purchaser or transfee if methamphetamine was produced on the premises. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.236)
Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.005-441.880 – Landlord and Tenant
Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 482.300-482.365 – Small Claims Courts
Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.010-535.300 – Landlord-Tenant Actions
Missouri’s Landlord-Tenant Law (PDF Guide)
MISSOURI RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS
Missouri Small Claims Court Limits:
$5,000 is the limit for small claims court. (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 482.305)
Missouri Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:
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