Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws

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Missouri landlord-tenant laws define the rights and obligations of each party to the rental agreement. Given that these laws are both local and at the state level, it can be difficult for landlords and tenants to understand all their provisions.

There’s no need to worry. With the comprehensive guide provided in this article, you should be able to understand your rights and duties regardless of whether you are a landlord or tenant. Read on for more information.

Is Missouri a Landlord-Friendly State?

Missouri is generally considered a landlord-friendly state due to the absence of rent control laws. Thus, Missouri landlords have a free hand in determining what to charge as rent.

They can also evict tenants quickly and they do not have to struggle to ensure the rental property is in a safe and habitable condition. Thus, the landlord-tenant relationship can be overly acrimonious.

Missouri Landlord Rights

The Missouri landlord-tenant law grants landlords rights that protect them from legal issues and help run rental property more efficiently. Here is the full list of tenant rights in Missouri:

1. Collecting Rent Payments

Missouri state law grants landlords the right to collect rent payments when they fall due. They also have the right to follow up on unpaid rent.

2. Charging a Security Deposit

Every Missouri landlord has the right to charge a security deposit to cover damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. Security deposits are great for paying for repairs.

3. Evicting a Tenant Legally

A Missouri landlord can legally evict a tenant from the rental property if they issue a reasonable notice.

4. Changing the Lease Agreement

A landlord in Missouri can change a rental agreement after consulting the tenant about it. But that depends on the type of lease agreement.

Missouri Landlord Responsibilities

Every Missouri property owner has several duties as established under the local landlord-tenant laws. The following are the main responsibilities of landlords in Missouri:

1. Providing a Habitable Rental Unit

Missouri landlords are responsible for providing rental property in safe and habitable condition. The property should meet local building codes and basic health and safety regulations.

2. Repairs and Maintenance in Reasonable Time

After receiving written notice from a tenant, every Missouri landlord must repair and maintain rental premises in a reasonable time.

3. Refunding the Tenant’s Security Deposit

Once a tenant moves out of a house, the tenant must refund the security deposit within 30 days. Otherwise, they should explain any deductions they made.

4. Give Notice Before Evicting a Tenant

Missouri landlords must issue sufficient notice to allow the tenant to correct the situation before evicting.

Missouri Tenant Rights

Missouri’s landlord-tenant laws confer various rights to tenants to provide safety and protection during the lease period. The following are the key tenant rights in Missouri:

1. Living in a Habitable Space

Missouri tenants have the right to live in a safe and habitable space. Thus, the rental unit must meet all prescribed building codes.

2. Swift Repairs and Maintenance

Landlord-tenant laws confer tenants the right to swift and efficient repairs. All a tenant needs to do is to serve the landlord with notice of the issues requiring repairs.

3. Suing the Landlord

Missouri tenants have the right to sue landlords for failure to repair rental premises in a reasonable time.

Missouri Tenant Responsibilities

Each lease agreement confers certain responsibilities based on the prevailing landlord-tenant laws in Missouri. Thus, tenants are responsible for the following:

1. Paying Rent on Time

Missouri landlord-tenant law requires tenants to pay rent on time. That’s the tenant’s major obligation regardless of the lease agreement.

2. Live Peaceably with Other Tenants

In Missouri, a tenant who disturbs other renters breaks the law. Such a renter may lead to the landlord initiating the eviction process.

Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws

The Missouri landlord-tenant law applies right from when a renter applies for a lease to the time of eviction. Here is a detailed breakdown of the Missouri state law concerning the relationship between the landlord and tenant.

1. Laws on Rental Application Procedures in Missouri

The landlord-tenant law in Missouri some aspects of rental application and the screening of tenants. They include the following:

How Much Application Fees

There is no limit to the amount of the application fee a landlord can charge prospective tenants. Thus, a Missouri landlord would typically determine this fee. Plus, the law doesn’t say whether it is refundable unless spelled out in the lease agreements.

Missouri Tenant screening

Any Missouri landlord is free to ask questions in the rental application. However, they do not have a free hand since they must conform to the Federal Fair Housing Act.

Plus, the tenant must consent to all background checks by the landlord. In a typical background check, a Missouri landlord would ask for the following:

  • Criminal history
  • Rental history
  • Credit reports

2. Missouri Laws on Lease Agreements

Under the Missouri landlord-tenant law, both an oral and written lease is acceptable. If the lease is at least one year, it should be written and signed by both parties.

Rental agreements in Missouri should include the following details:

  • Mandatory disclosures
  • The landlord’s business address
  • Rent amount
  • The landlord’s phone number
  • Name of the landlord and tenant
  • Lease period

3. Laws on Security Deposits in Missouri

State law allows Missouri landlords to collect a security deposit from each prospective tenant. The purpose of the security deposit is to cover the costs of repairs beyond normal wear and tear.

How Much Security Deposit?

In Missouri, the prescribed security deposit is equivalent to two months rent. Therefore, the types of rental agreements do not matter when it comes to determining this amount.


When collecting security deposits, a Missouri landlord doesn’t have to write a receipt for it. Thus, there need be no record.

Interest on the Deposit

State law requires landlords in Missouri to pay interest when refunding the security deposit. The interest should be at the prevailing market rates.

Where to Hold a Security Deposit?

Landlords in Missouri must hold security deposits in a credit union, federally insured bank, or other interest-paying financial institution.

Refunding the Security Deposit

Once the lease expires, the landlord must refund the tenant’s security deposit in 30 days. The landlord could make deductions to cover the following:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Late fees
  • Early lease termination fees

Where the landlord applies deductions, they must provide an itemized list of everything covered. Once they provide tenants with the list, there would be no questions about why they aren’t refunding the full amount.

If the landlord fails to refund the deposit within 30 days or wrongfully withholds funds, the tenant can file a suit in court. On winning the case, the tenant would get twice the amount.

4. Missouri Rent Laws

Rent Control Laws

Missouri is one of the states without rent control laws. State law prohibits towns and cities from instituting local land control laws. Therefore, landlords are free to charge any rent amount they wish. Landlords may increase rent during the lease period if the agreement allows it.

Rent Non-Payment

If a tenant doesn’t pay rent on time, the landlord may impose any amount of a late fee. That’s because the Missouri state law is silent on the late fee maximum and the grace period. However, lease agreements in Missouri must mention provisions to charge late fees.

5. Missouri Repair and Maintenance Laws

If landlords fail to repair rental properties in a reasonable time, tenants can take legal action. They could sue for costs, compel the landlord to repair the unit, or make repairs and then deduct from rent. The tenant may also withhold rent or terminate the lease.

6. Laws on Notice of Entry in Missouri

Is the landlord allowed to enter the rental premises? There is no provision in the Missouri landlord-tenant law on how and when landlords can enter rental properties. Thus, that must be spelled out in the lease agreement.

Generally, the landlord may gain access to rental premises for the following reasons:

  • Inspection
  • Maintenance
  • Emergencies

Although state law doesn’t specify the notice period, good practice requires an advance notice of 24 to 48 hours.

7. Eviction and Termination Laws in Missouri

Missouri’s landlord-tenant laws allow the eviction of tenants for specific reasons. Landlords must issue sufficient notice based on the reasons for eviction. The following are the reasons that could lead to eviction in Missouri:

Unpaid Rent

When a tenant fails to pay rent, a landlord in Missouri doesn’t have to serve notice. After all, that isn’t a requirement of the law. Thus, Missouri landlords can carry out immediate eviction of tenants.

Lease Violation

A 10-day notice applies when the tenant violates certain lease provisions. Within ten days, the tenant should have complied. If not, the landlord would file an eviction lawsuit.

Illegal Activity

When a tenant engages in illegal activity, the landlord must issue a 10-day unconditional quit notice. Activities that could lead to that include the following:

  • Illegal gambling
  • Possession or sale of drugs
  • Prostitution

When Can Tenants Terminate Leases?

Missouri tenants also have the right to terminate lease agreements early for several legal reasons such as:

  • Invoking the early termination clause
  • Landlord harassment
  • Active military duty
  • Uninhabitable conditions

8. Housing Discrimination Laws in Missouri

Due to the lack of a relevant state law, Missouri tenants rely on federal laws for protection. For example, the Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on color, race, religion, national origin, familial status, sex, and disability.

Missouri tenants can seek recourse from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations against landlords who unlawfully discriminate against them.

9. Mandatory Disclosure Laws in Missouri

Under the Missouri State law, landlords must provide renters with certain disclosures at the start of the lease. The common disclosures include the following:

  • Lead-Based Paint: Missouri landlords who build their rental units before 1978 must disclose details about lead paint concentration.
  • Authorized Agents: The landlord must disclose the names and addresses of all property owners and managers.

Does the Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law Mandate Insurance?

Not really. The landlord-tenant law in Missouri doesn’t require landlords and tenants to have insurance. But that doesn’t mean that landlord insurance isn’t important.

By taking this type of insurance coverage, landlords get protected from losses due to fire, water, and natural disasters. Plus, the landlord can easily meet the cost of liability against tenants and other people that get injured on the rental premises.

With Steadily.com, you have a reliable mobile-first platform that gives you access to landlord insurance both at initiation and compensation stages. If you’re looking for a reliable landlord and tenant insurance provider, contact us today for an irresistible quote.

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