Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws

A summary of Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.

Security Deposit Limit

The maximum equivalent of two months’ rent may be charged as a security deposit.

Deadline for Returning Security Deposit

After the tenant moves out, the deposit must be returned Within 30 days.

Small Claims Lawsuits

Landlord-tenant disputes that do not exceed $5,000, may be filed in small claims court.

Late Fees

Missouri state law does not address late fees so in order for one to be charged, the lease agreement must specifically mention the amount and when it would be charged.

Increasing Rent

There is no specific statute referencing increasing the amount of rent. However, it’s customary to provide a month’s notice to make any changes regarding a month-to-month tenancy. Lease agreements of a longer duration must mention what changes are allowed and when. Otherwise, the entire agreement remains in full force until the end of its term.

Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent

Landlords must maintain a safe, healthy and habitable place for their tenants. Failing to do so by neglecting to act on making important repairs within a reasonable amount of time, gives tenants the right to withhold rent or fix the issue themselves and then deduct the cost from the following month’s rent. For more information, see Mo. Ann. Stat. §§ 441.570, 441.580 for withholding information and Mo. Ann. Stat. § 441.234 for deducting the cost of repairs from the rent.

Termination and Eviction

An unconditional notice giving 10 days to quit before an eviction is filed, can be used on tenants using the premises for gambling, prostitution, or possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances; assigning or subletting without consent; seriously damaging the premises or even just violating the lease.

Domestic Violence

An order of protection shall temporarily enjoin respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling of the petitioner if the dwelling is jointly owned, leased, rented, or occupied by both parties; owned, leased, rented, or occupied by petitioner only; jointly owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner and a person other than respondent provided that no spouse will be denied relief pursuant this section by reason of absence of a property interest in the dwelling; or jointly occupied by the petitioner, and a person other than respondent, provided that respondent has no property interest in the dwelling.

Missouri Lease Agreement

See Missouri Residential Lease.

Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes

Missouri Rev. Stat. §§ 441.005 to 441.880; §§ 535.010 to 535.300.