This is a summary of Missouri Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Missouri Revised Statutes, and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Missouri landlord-tenant laws, Missouri eviction laws, and Missouri renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws

Missouri Lease Terms Provisions

Security Deposits

What is the maximum allowable security deposit?

The security deposit cannot exceed two months’ rent. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(1))

Are landlords required to pay interest on  security deposits?

No. Any interest earned on a security deposit shall be the property of the landlord. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(2))

Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

Yes. Security deposits shall not be commingled with other funds of the landlord. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(2))

Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There are no Missouri laws forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge. 

How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

30 days. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(3))

Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to remedy a tenant’s default in the payment of rent due to the landlord, to restore the dwelling unit to its condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted, and to compensate the landlord for actual damages sustained as a result of the tenant’s failure to give adequate notice to terminate. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(4))

Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. The landlord must provide an itemized list of the damages for which the security deposit or any portion thereof is withheld. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(3)(2))

Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

No. There is no Missouri law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.

Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no Missouri law specifying record-keeping requirements.

What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

The tenant can recover as damages twice the amount wrongfully withheld. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(4))

Rent

Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. There are no rent control laws in Missouri.

Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. There is no Missouri law requiring a certain payment method for rent.

Fees

Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. There are no Missouri laws forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

No. There is no Missouri law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.

Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no Missouri law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

Can landlords charge returned check fees?

Yes. Landlords can charge a late fee of $25 plus the amount of the fee charged by the bank for each returned check. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 570.120(6))

Missouri Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?

No. There is no Missouri law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. However, landlords cannot raise your rent in the middle of your lease.

Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no Missouri law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.070)

What notice is required to terminate a tenancy at will or sufferance?

The landlord can terminate the tenancy with 30 days written notice. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.060(1))

Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

Yes. The landlord must give the tenant reasonable written notice at his last known address or in person of the date and time when the landlord will inspect the dwelling unit. The tenant has the right to be present at the inspection of the dwelling unit at the time and date scheduled by the landlord. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.300(5))

Entry Provisions

When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?

There is no Missouri statute regarding this issue. 

What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

There is no Missouri law requiring landlords to give tenants notice of entry.

When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?

There is no Missouri statute regarding this issue. 

Landlord’s Duties

There is no Missouri statute regarding this issue. 

Tenant’s Duties  (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.630)

  • Tenants must take reasonable care to dispose of all rubbish and garbage in his or her dwelling unit, and other organic waste which might provide food for rodents, in a clean and sanitary manner.
  • Tenants must refrain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating, and plumbing fixtures,
  • Tenants must meet all obligations lawfully imposed upon the occupants of dwelling units by the code enforcement agency or the community.
  • Tenants must refrain from willfully or wantonly destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the premises, and to prohibit guests from doing likewise.
  • Tenants must 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.

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Landlords are required to disclose in writing the names and business addresses of: 
    • the person authorized to manage the premises.
    • the owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for service of process and receiving notices.  (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.185(1))
  • 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.

Missouri Renters’ Rights

Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

Yes. If there exists a condition on residential premises which detrimentally affects the habitability, sanitation or security of the premises, and the condition constitutes a violation of a local municipal housing or building code, the tenant may repair and deduct under certain circumstances outlined in the statute. c

What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Missouri renter’s rights?

There is no Missouri law regarding this issue.

Missouri Eviction Laws

What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Missouri eviction laws?

Nonpayment of rent  (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.120)

Violation of lease terms / rental agreement  (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.030)

Illegal gaming activity, prostitution, or the possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.020)

Illegal drug activity, causing physical injury to other tenants or the landlord, or severe property damage (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.740)

The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.880)

What notice do Missouri eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?

For evictions based on non-payment of rent, no notice is required, but the landlord cannot start the eviction process until the rent is one month behind. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.120)

  • For evictions based on llegal gaming activity, prostitution, or the possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances, landlords must provide 10 days’ notice to vacate. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.040)
  • For evictions based on Illegal drug activity, causing physical injury to other tenants or the landlord, or severe property damage, landlords are not required to give notice before starting the eviction process.. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.780)
  • For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.880)

Do Missouri eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the landlord will be guilty of forcible entry and detainer. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.233)

COVID-19 Changes to Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws

  • The CDC has passed a national eviction ban through December 31, 2020, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants  who meet the following criteria for nonpayment:
    • Have used their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent.
    • Expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return).
    • Are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of income or employment, or extraordinary medical bills.
    • If evicted, will have no other housing options.
  • The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires landlords to provide a 30-day notice to tenants before eviction. However, the CARES Act only applies to properties that are supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or the United States Treasury (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), and properties with federally-backed mortgages, such as FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

Related Links

Government 

Legal Aid

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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