Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws

The following provides answers to the most common questions on Missouri landlord tenant laws, from breaking leases to mold to evictions. This is not intended as legal advice. Instead, the information is designed to help you get started. This post also refers to the relevant sections of the law, which you can view here

Can a Landlord Enter Property Without Permission in Missouri? 

Missouri does not have any laws requiring landlords to provide notice to tenants before entering their property. However, most landlords offer 24 hours’ notice as a courtesy. 

How Long Does a Landlord Have to Fix Something in Missouri? 

Landlords must complete any repairs needed to fix code violations within 14 days of notice of the violation due to property neglect. Once 14 days pass, the tenant can, in certain circumstances, deduct up to $300 or half of a month’s rent, whichever is larger. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to page 5 under “State statutes.”

How Long Does It Take to Evict a Tenant in Missouri?

Landlords in Missouri can evict a tenant with a court order if the tenant: 

  • Does not pay rent.
  • Damages the property.
  • Injures another tenant or the lessor.
  • Does not leave at the end of the lease.
  • Allows criminal activity involving drugs on the property.
  • Illegally gambles on the property.
  • Lets someone previously excluded by the landlord live on the property.

Under Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 441.020, 441.030, 441.040, the tenant has 10 days to move out before the landlord may file for eviction. 

After the landlord files for eviction, the court will provide a date at which both parties can be present. The process typically takes one to three months but can be less. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to page 14 under the title “Eviction.” 

Can You Evict a Tenant Without a Lease in Missouri? 

Yes, landlords can evict a tenant without a lease in Missouri, but they must go through the same legal processes as any other eviction. 

What Happens If You Break a Lease in Missouri? 

If a tenant breaks a lease in Missouri, the landlord must “mitigate damages.” This requires the landlord to make efforts to find a new tenant. The old tenant must continue paying rent until the lease ends or the landlord finds a new tenant. 

There are some exceptions to Missouri landlord tenant laws about breaking the lease, in which case the tenant is not required to pay the remaining rent: 

  • If tenants enter military service on active duty (Under the War and National Defense Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 App. U.S.C.A. § § 501). 
  • If the rental unit violates safety or health codes or is unsafe (Under Mo. Ann. Stat. § § 441.570, 441.580). 
  • If the landlord violates tenants’ privacy rights or harasses them.

Can You Get Out of Your Lease If There Is Mold? 

Mold can qualify as a violation of safety or health codes under Mo. Ann. Stat. § § 441.570, 441.580, which would allow tenants to leave the lease. According to the Missouri landlord tenant laws, mold issues typically require tenants to go to court. 

Can a Tenant Withhold Rent for Repairs in Missouri? 

In most cases, tenants cannot withhold rent for repairs in Missouri. Doing so frequently violates the lease, which can be grounds for eviction. 

There are very few exceptions. Tenants can withhold rent in the case of unsanitary or dangerous conditions, provided the landlord has received the notice and failed to make the necessary repairs. This exception only applies if all of the following conditions are met: 

  • Conditions that affect security, habitability, or sanitation of a property, therefore violating city code. (The tenant may need the city inspectors to provide written verification.) 
  • Tenants have occupied the property for six consecutive months or more. 
  • Tenants did not violate the lease. 
  • Tenants have not missed any rent. 
  • Tenants provided the landlord with written notice describing the problem and the planned repairs. 
  • That notice was provided at least 14 days before the tenant completed the repairs. 

Only in those circumstances can the tenant complete the repairs and withhold partial rent. Typically, the repair must cost less than a half-month of rent or $300, whichever is more. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to pages 12 and 13 under the heading “Repairs.” 

What Are Landlords’ Responsibilities with Security Deposits in Missouri? 

Length of Holding Onto a Security Deposit When a Tenant Moves Out

Missouri law allows landlords to keep the security deposit for up to 30 days after a tenant moves out. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to page 11 under the heading “Security Deposit.” 

How Much a Landlord Can Collect for a Security Deposit

Missouri law states that landlords cannot charge security deposits of a value greater than two months of rent. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to page 11 under the heading “Security Deposit.” 

What Can Be Taken Out of a Security Deposit When a Tenant Moves Out

Landlords may keep part or all of the security deposit as required to pay for damages beyond normal wear and tear or unpaid rent. The landlord may also take out any lost rent from the tenant moving from the property without sufficient notice. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to page 11 under the heading “Security Deposit.” 

Are Receipts Required with a Returned Security Deposit If Repairs or Other Items Are Taken Out of the Deposit? 

Landlords are not required to provide receipts, but they must provide itemized deductions. 

Any Other Rules the State Has on Security Deposits

The landlord must also give the tenant reasonable notice of a specific date and time to inspect the dwelling within the 30-day period following the lease’s end. The tenant has the right to be present during this inspection and have the inspection completed at a reasonable hour. 

Tenants are not allowed to pay their final month’s rent with the security deposit. 

In the case of a landlord wrongfully withholding some or all of a security deposit, tenants can sue and receive as much as twice the amount that was wrongfully withheld. 

More reading: Visit the Missouri Missouri Landlord Tenant Law PDF and go to page 11 under the heading “Security Deposit.” 

Is Missouri Landlord-Friendly? 

Most experts consider the Missouri landlord tenant laws to be landlord-friendly due to the ability to easily begin eviction proceedings. 

Resources for Complete Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws:

Read more of our state landlord tenant law guides here.

Note: This content is not intended to substitute, replace, or be construed as professional legal advice. It is for referential purposes only and not meant to replace the advice of your legal counsel, legal representation, and or lawyer. Please consult your professional legal representation or lawyer to be sure your lease is compliant with any state and/or federal laws.