Missouri Landlord Tenant Rights

Renting a home can be stressful, whether you are the lessor or the lessee. Take the stress out of rentals with our below guide on Missouri landlord tenant rights.

Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord has certain responsibilities to the tenant. These include:

  • Providing a habitable dwelling
  • Compliance with all local housing codes
  • Making requested repairs in a timely manner (14 days)

Missouri law does not provide a specific list of amenities that landlords are required to provide to make the unit habitable. However, whatever amenities a landlord provides at the beginning of a lease must be maintained throughout the entire lease. There are no Missouri laws prohibiting landlords from retaliating against tenants for exercising their legal rights to a habitable dwelling.

Tenant Responsibilities

The tenant also has responsibilities to the landlord. These include:

  • Keeping the unit in a safe and habitable condition
  • Making any repairs outlined in the lease agreement
  • Abiding by the terms of the lease
  • Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors

Security Deposit

Missouri law limits security deposits to 2 months’ rent.

The security deposit must be returned within 30 days after the tenants move out of the rental unit. A landlord is responsible for paying up to twice the original security deposit if they wrongfully withhold a tenant’s security deposit. However, the security deposit can be withheld for the following reasons:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Repairs for damages beyond ordinary wear and tear
  • Early termination by tenant

Landlords must provide the tenant an itemized list of deductions from the security deposit.

Rent and Fees

Missouri landlords can increase the rent for any amount without providing the tenant advanced notice or justification. In fact, Missouri law explicitly prohibits rent control policies and ordinances.

Landlords can charge any amount in late fees as long as it is included in the lease agreement. Also, there is no required grace period for a landlord to charge late fees. Returned check fees are limited to $25.

If a landlord does not make requested repairs necessary for the sanitation or security of the premises within 14 days of a tenant’s written request, a tenant may make the repairs and deduct the cost from their rent. However, this action is subject to the following requirements:

  • Repair costs cannot exceed half a month’s rent or $300, whichever is greater.
  • Tenant must provide landlord an itemized list of repairs with receipts
  • Tenant must be current on their rent payments

Tenant must have lived in the unit for at least 6 months

Evictions

Evictions can occur in Missouri under the following circumstances:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violation
  • No lease or end of lease
    • Month-to-Month - 30-day notice
    • Year-to-Year – 60-day notice
  • Damage to the property
  • llegal Acts (i.e. drug possession or prostitution)

Tenants can end a lease early for the following listed reasons:

  • Early termination clause
  • Active military duty
  • Uninhabitable unit
  • Landlord harassment

If a Missouri tenant breaks the lease early, they may be required to pay the outstanding amount due on the lease agreement or until the unit is re-rented. Landlords are legally obligated to make reasonable efforts in re-renting the vacant unit.

Lease Termination Notice

If the lease is Month-to-Month, the tenant must provide a 30-day notice. If the lease is yearly a tenant must provide a 60-day notice.

Relevant State Agencies

Missouri Housing Development Commission

City-Specific Links

Kansas City:

The Housing Authority of Kansas City

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Electric

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St. Louis:

St. Louis Housing Authority

St. Louis Housing Conservation

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Springfield:

Housing Authority of Springfield

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Official Rules and Regulations

Missouri Landlord and Tenant Statutes

Missouri Landlord Tenant Law Attorney General Guide