Missouri Landlord Tenant Law

No part of this information is a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions or believe you have a legal case under Missouri Landlord Tenant Law, you should contact an attorney.

Official Rules and Regulations

Missouri Landlord Tenant Law

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Security Deposit

  • Security Deposit Maximum: State allows for no more than two months’ rent pursuant to §§ 535.300(1)
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statute given
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute given
  • Pet Deposits: No statute given
  • Non-refundable Fees: No statute given
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: Security deposit must be returned 30 days after the termination of the lease pursuant to §§ 535.300(2)
  • Permitted Uses of the Deposit:
    • For payment of rent that is owed to the landlord;
    • To make repairs and restore the unit to its original condition, except for regular wear and tear;
    • Compensation paid to the landlord for actual damages that result from the tenant’s failure to give sufficient notice to terminate the lease, providing the landlord has made reasonable attempts to mitigate the damages pursuant to §§535.300(3)
  • Require Itemized List or Description of Damages and Charges: Yes pursuant to §§ 535.300(2)(2)
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: There is no statute
  • Receipt of Deposit: There is no statute
  • Failure to Comply: The tenant can recover up to twice the amount wrongfully withheld by the landlord if the security deposit is not returned according to §§ 535.300(5)

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Lease, Rent & Fees

  • Rent Is Due: As stated in the terms of the lease
  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute given
  • Rent Grace Period: Although no statute is given, it may be added to the lease agreement
  • Late Fees: No statute is given, but may be defined in the lease
  • Prepaid Rent: No statute given
  • Returned Check Fee: Basic returned check fee of $25 in addition to any fees charged by the bank for each instance of a returned check in accordance with §§ 570.120(6)(2)
  • Allowance for Tenant to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Basic/Essential Services (Heat, Water, Electricity, etc.): No, however, if a heat-related utility service notifies tenants in a master-metered, multi-tenant building of an impending stoppage or termination of service due to nonpayment, the tenants may prevent the shut-off by petitioning the associate division of the circuit court of the county for the property to be put into receivership. The following statute provides further details §§ 441.650
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, but specific restrictions apply pursuant to §§ 441.234
    • This only applies to a tenant who has been a resident of the unit for six consecutive months, paid all rent and various charges due to the landlord during that time:
    • The issue detrimentally affects the unit’s ability to be lived in or is a direct building code violation;
    • After 14 days and written notice has been provided to the landlord, repairs that cost less than $300 or one half of one month’s; rent, whichever happens to be greater; and
    • Tenant cannot deduct in the aggregate more than the total amount of one month’s rent during a single 12-month period;
    • Other notifications, requirements and provisions may apply, See §§ 441.234
  • Landlord Allowed to Recover Court and Attorney Costs: No statute given
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes pursuant to §§ 535.300(3)(3)
  • Early Termination Fee: No statute given
  • Abandonment and Personal Property: If a tenant abandons the unit, the landlord has the right to discard the tenant’s personal property if they do not respond to a formal written notice within 10 days, among other stipulations. For more information, see statute §§ 441.065

Notices and Entry

  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Fixed End Date in Lease: No notice is needed because the lease ends on the date listed in the lease agreement pursuant to §§ 441.070
  • >Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Yearly Lease with No End Date: 60 day written notice must be provided prior to the end of the year pursuant to §§ 441.050
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Month-to-Month Lease: One month/30 days written notice must be provided prior to a periodic rent due date §§ 441.060(4)
  • Notice to Terminate Tenancy – Week-to-Week Lease: No statute given
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours Notice: No statute given
  • Immediate Eviction by Court Order: The immediate eviction of a tenant may be ordered by the court in specific cases in which the following situations present themselves:
    • an emergency situation imminently threatens either the safety of other tenants or threatens to cause damages that would exceed the total cost of rent for one year;
    • the leased property was used in any way in a drug-related or other criminal activity;
    • the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a guest has knowingly engaged in a drug related or other criminal activity in or near the property being leased
    • the tenant knowingly gave permission to or invited a person to enter into or remain on any portion of the leased property after being advised that the person in question had been barred or removed from the property at a prior time. For further details, see §§ 441.740
  • Notice of Date/Time of Move-Out Inspection: The landlord must provide the tenant with a reasonable amount of notice in writing concerning the date and time that has been chosen for a move-out inspection. Because the tenant has the right to be present during the inspection, the time and date chosen must be approved by both parties pursuant to §§ 535.300(4)
  • Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: If rent is not paid by the due date described in the lease, the landlord has the right to issue an immediate, unconditional quit notice pursuant to §§ 535.010
  • Termination for Lease Violation: 10-day notice is required. In addition to various lease violations, a 10-day notice is required if the tenant has sublet the unit without the landlord’s expressed written permission or has allowed the premises to be used for illegal gambling, prostitution or any other drug-related criminal activity as detailed in §§ 441.020, §§ 441.030 and §§ 441.040
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute given
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute given
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Showings: No statute given
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute given
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute given
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute given
  • Lockouts Allowed: Lockouts are not permitted pursuant to §§ 441.233(1)
  • >Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No utility shut-offs are allowed pursuant to §§ 441.233(2)

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes

  • Name and Addresses: The tenant must receive the name and address of the property manager as well as that of the property owner for the purpose of service of process and receipt of notices and demands concerning the property. This must be received prior to the start of tenancy pursuant to §§ 535.185
  • Copy of the Lease: No statute is given
  • Domestic Violence Situations: AARDVARC or An Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection offers a directory that lists Missouri Domestic Violence and Support Contacts by county.
  • Landlord’s Responsibilities: As listed in the Missouri Attorney General’s Guide to Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law (pg. 5:)
    • Habitability – Unit must be habitable before the move in date
    • Repairs – The landlord must make or pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear
    • Utilities – Refrain from turning off a tenant’s electricity, gas or water
    • Transfer of Ownership – Provide written notice to tenants when the property is sold and ownership changes hands
    • Discrimination – Cannot unlawfully discriminate against possible tenants
  • Tenant’s Responsibilities: As listed in §§ 441.630
    • Trash – Dispose of any waste, trash or other garbage in a clean and sanitary manner that could possibly attract rodents;
    • Electrical, Heating and Plumbing – Abstain from unreasonable use of electrical, heating and plumbing fixtures’
    • Compliance – Fulfill all obligations imposed on the tenants by the code enforcement agency or the community at large:
    • Damage – Refrain from intentionally and willfully destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the structure of the unit or facility and to prohibit any other person on the premises from doing the same: and
    • Subleasing – Shall not under any circumstances sublet, rent or turn over the unit to any other occupants without the property owners’ knowledge and written consent
  • Retaliation: No statute is given
  • Lead Disclosure: Landlords are required by law to disclose any and all potential or known hazards pertaining to lead paint. They must also provide tenants an information pamphlet that details lead-paint hazards. This must be included as an additional attachment to the original lease.
  • Disclosure of Prior Methamphetamine Manufacture (Meth Lab): All prospective tenants, buyers or leases must be notified in writing of any knowledge of past methamphetamine production that occurred on the premises, regardless of whether or not those involved in the situation were convicted for the criminal activity pursuant to §§ 441.236.

Court Related

  • Missouri Small Claims Court
    • Limits: $5,000 or less pursuant to §§482.305
    • Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims: No. Evictions are heard in circuit court
    • Missouri Small Claims Court Forms
    • Missouri Small Claims Court Handbook
    • Missouri Circuit Courts
  • Eviction Process: If rent is not paid on the scheduled due day, the landlord must request payment followed by the filing of a statement that has been verified by an affidavit, with the circuit court detailing the situation. The court then issues a summons for the defendant to appear and show cause as to why possession of the property should not be restored to the landlord. For more information see statues §§ 535.020 and §§ 535.060.
  • Statute of Limitations
  • Missouri Courts
  • Missouri Attorney General
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Legal Aid:

Business Licenses

  • Business License Required: There are no statewide statutes requiring landlords maintain a business license, but many cities and counties have specific rules and regulations concerning the issue. As an example, The city of Independence requires a Landlord Business License. It is important to check with your local governing agencies to determine whether or not a license is required.

Missouri Tenant Screening Background Checks

A key component of landlord tenant laws is also Missouri Tenant Screening Background Checks. We’ve dedicated an entire page to it because of its importance. Visit Missouri Tenant Screening Background Checks to screen your tenant.

Missouri Landlord Forms

All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and Missouri is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s Missouri Landlord Forms now.

Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws

Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of Missouri? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant laws page.

Reminder: This information is a general explanation and summary of Missouri Landlord Tenant Law but is in no way meant to substitute for legal advice, nor does it list all the statutes under the Missouri Residential Landlord Tenant Act.