A reference of Missouri Eviction Laws, and steps of the Missouri eviction process for landlords and renters, updated 2021.

  • What notice do Missouri eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, an immediate notice will suffice. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 535.010).
    • For evictions based on the tenant’s non-compliance of the lease agreement, the landlord must give a 10-day notice. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 441.040).
    • If the property is being used as an illegal gambling house, a brothel, or for the facilitation of illegal activity related to a controlled substance, the landlord must provide a 10-day notice. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 441.020).
    • For evictions based on an illegal sublease, the landlord must provide a 10-day notice. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 441.030).
    • For evictions based on the tenant remaining in possession of the rental property after the expiration of the lease, the landlord must provide a 30-day notice. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 441.060).
  • 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. Missouri law prohibits self-help measures, including excluding a tenant or their property from the premises, removing the doors or locks to the property, or interrupting the service of essential services to the rental unit. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 441.233).

Missouri Eviction Process: Step-by-Step

Here is how to initiate the Missouri Eviction Process

  1. Landlord delivers the eviction notice. 

The landlord provides the appropriate eviction notice that states the reason for eviction. The landlord waits for the time indicated in the notice for the tenant to vacate the property. 

  1. Landlord files legal paperwork.

After the appropriate time has lapsed and the tenant does not return possession of the property to the landlord, the landlord can officially begin the eviction process in Missouri. The landlord files a petition for rent and possession. The landlord must submit an affidavit to any associate circuit judge in the county where the property is located that sets out the terms of the rental agreement, a description of the rental property, the amount of rent due, and claims that a rent payment has not been made. The clerk of the court issues a summons to the tenant, requiring them to appear before the judge on the date listed in the summons to show cause why possession of the property should not be returned to the landlord. The court date must be no more than 21 days from the date the summons is issued. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 535.030).

The landlord files these documents with the circuit court where the real property is located. St. Louis and Jackson County have special housing courts that deal with these types of cases. 

  1. Landlord serves the tenant.

The landlord is responsible for legally serving the tenant. This is usually accomplished through personal service. The summons must be served on the defendant at least four days before the court date. 

The landlord can request that the clerk make an order that service can be accomplished by affixing a copy of the summons and the complaint in an obvious place on the dwelling at least 10 days before the court date, in addition to attempted personal service and mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the tenant’s last known address. If the landlord does this and the tenant cannot be located, the judge can proceed in the case as though personal service occurred. (Mo. Stat. Ann § 535.030). The landlord completes a motion for order to post to accomplish this process. 

  1. Parties attend the hearing.

The landlord and tenant attend the hearing. The judge issues a judgment. If the judgment is in favor of the landlord, the tenant has 10 days to appeal the judgment. 

  1. Landlord applies for a writ of possession.

After the appeal deadline has expired, the landlord applies for a writ of possession, which gives the sheriff the legal authority to physically remove the tenant. Each county has its own form they use for this purpose. 

  1. Landlord notifies the sheriff.

In the final step of the Missouri Eviction process, the landlord sends the writ of possession to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff can then physically remove the tenant. 

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