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.
Rules and Regulations Governing Missouri Landlord-Tenant Laws
- Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.005-441.880 – Landlord and Tenant
- Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 482.300-482.365 – Small Claims Courts
- Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 535.010-535.300 – Landlord-Tenant Actions
Missouri Lease Terms Provisions
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. All security deposits shall be held by landlord in a bank, credit union, or depository institution which is insured by an agency of the federal government. 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. It must be mailed to the last known address of the tenant. (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))
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.
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
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))
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.
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. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.630)
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))
- Before renting pre-1978 property, 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. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
Landlords must disclose, in writing, to prospective tenants any knowledge of past methamphetamine production on the premises, regardless of whether those involved were convicted for such production. ( Mo. Rev. Stat. § 441.236 ).
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’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- Missouri Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides rent and utility payment relief.
Squatter’s rights in Missouri
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
Missouri has no specific laws recognizing squatters.The squatter must live on the property for 10 years before claiming adverse possession. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.010).
- Missouri Courts
- Missouri Attorney General
- Missouri Circuit Courts
- Missouri Department of Insurance
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Missouri
- Missouri Real Estate Commission
- Legal Services of Missouri
- Legal Aid of Western Missouri
- Legal Services of Western Missouri
- Mid-Missouri Legal Services
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- Missouri Realtors
- St. Louis Association of Realtors
- Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors
- Greater Springfield Board of Realtors
- Columbia Board of Realtors
- Missouri Apartment Association
- Springfield Apartment & Housing Association
- St. Louis Apartment Association
- Apartment Association of Kansas City
- Mid-Missouri Apartment Association
- Landlord’s Association of Eastern Jackson County
- St. Louis Real Estate Investors Association