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State Laws

Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws

February 28, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures   

Lead-based paint  
  
Rent and Fees   

Application Fees: N/A 
Rent Control: Banned 
Late Fee Limit: N/A 
Grace Period Minimum: N/A 
   
Security Deposits   

Amount Limit: 2 months’ rent 
Interest: N/A 
Return Within: 30 days 
  
Entry   
Notice: N/A 
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A 
Fair Housing Protections   

Race  
Color   
National origin   
Religion   
Sex   
Familial status   
Disability   
Ancestry 
  
Eviction Notices   

Rent Demand Notice: Immediate 
Notice for Lease Violation: 10 days to cure or quit 
Unconditional Notice to Quit: 10 days to quit 

Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law 

Understand the essential state landlord tenant laws before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Missouri state law code.  

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. 

Rent and Fees 

  • Rent Due Date: There is no statute in Missouri specifying when rent should be due. 
  • Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in Missouri.  
  • Rent Increases: Rent control is banned in Missouri (MRS § 441.043). 
  • Late Fees: There are no statutory limits on late fees in Missouri. A standard late fee for rent is 5-10% of the amount due. 
  • Grace Period: Missouri rent laws do not designate a mandatory grace period. 
  • NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a fee of $25 for checks less than $100 and $50 for checks between $100 and $250 (MRS §  570.120(5)). 
  • Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord refuses to remedy a condition that threatens the habitability, sanitation, or security of the property, the tenant should give the landlord 14 days’ notice of their intent to repair and deduct. If the landlord does not remedy the condition within 14 days, the tenant may arrange for the repair and submit an itemized statement to the landlord. However, the repair cost must be less than $300 or half the rent, whichever is greater. The cost should not exceed one month’s rent (MRS § 441.234). 

Security Deposits 

  • Deposit Limit: 2 months’ rent (MRS § 535.300(1)). 
  • Interest: If the security deposit accrues interest, it belongs to the landlord (MRS § 535.300(2)). 
  • Return Within: 30 days (MRS § 535.300(3)). 
  • Deposit Location: Security deposits should be kept in a bank, credit union, or depository institution that is insured by an agency of the federal government (MRS § 535.300(2)). 
  • Withholding: The landlord may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent, to remedy property damage, or to compensate the landlord for any actual damages caused by the tenant’s failure to give adequate notice to terminate the tenancy. The landlord must also provide an itemized list of deductions (MRS § 535.300(3-4)). 

Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections 

Protected Classes 

  • Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Missouri state law adds ancestry (MRS § 213.040). 

Credit Reports 

  • Missouri landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial. 

Criminal Histories 

  • Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Missouri. 
  • Missouri landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.  

Entry 

  • Advanced Notice: There is no state law in Missouri requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering a property.  
  • Permitted Times: Missouri state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering. 
  • Emergency Entry: There are no laws in Missouri regarding emergency entry without notice, but it is generally permitted. 

Eviction Notices 

Evictions are complex legal processes often poorly understood by both parties. Before pursuing eviction in Missouri, consider hiring an experienced real estate attorney and be sure to review the Missouri eviction process in more detail.

  • Rent Demand Notice: According to Missouri laws on eviction, landlords may file for eviction immediately if rent is unpaid when due (MRS § 535.010).  
  • Notice for Lease Violation: 10 days to cure or quit (MRS § 441.040). 
  • Unconditional Notice to Quit: 10 days to quit (MRS § 441.020). 

Other Laws and Facts About Missouri 

  • The median rent rate in Missouri is $1,300. 
  • The median rent rate in Kansas City is $1,300. 
  • The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects active service members during and after deployment. Tenants protected under this act may legally break the lease agreement early if the lease was signed before active duty, the tenant will remain on duty for the next 90 days, and if they deliver written notice. 

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