There are bound to be disagreements between a landlord and tenant at some point during the duration of a lease, but many legal questions and problems can be solved without a lawyer if both parties understand the basics of state law. To become better informed and avoid legal conflict, here is an overview of key landlord-tenant laws in Missouri, provided by Nolo, a publisher of do-it-yourself legal guides:
Missouri Security Deposit Limit and Return
Missouri state law limits how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit (two months’ rent), when it must be returned (within 30 days after a tenant moves), and sets other restrictions on deposits. See Missouri Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines for more on the subject.
Small Claims Lawsuits in Missouri
Tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for the return of their deposit, up to a dollar amount of $5,000. See Filing a Security Deposit Lawsuit in Missouri Small Claims Court for advice for tenants filing suit.
Missouri Rent Rules
State law regulates several rent-related issues, including how much time (five days in Missouri) a tenant has to pay overdue rent or move before a landlord can file for eviction. For details, see Missouri Termination for Nonpayment of Rent and Other Rent Rules.
Missouri Termination and Eviction Rules
State laws specify when and how a landlord may terminate a tenancy. For example, a landlord may give a Missouri tenant who has used the premises for gambling, prostitution, or possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances an unconditional quit notice that gives the tenant 10 days to move out before the landlord can file for eviction. See State Laws on Unconditional Quit Terminations and State Laws on Termination for Violation of Lease for details on these types of termination notices in Missouri.
Landlord Access to Rental Property, Tenant Protection Against Retaliation, and Other State Laws in Missouri
Several other landlord-tenant laws in Missouri affect both property owners and renters, including:
- procedures for how landlords must handle abandoned property left behind by tenants, and
- fair housing rights (discrimination is also prohibited by federal and, often, local law—see the Housing Discrimination section of the Nolo site for details).
For more information, download Missouri's Landlord-Tenant Law Guide, provided by the Missouri Attorney General.