In Missouri, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Missouri Rev. Stat. §441.234. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.
Applicable Dwelling Types in Missouri
The implied warranty of habitability in Missouri does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.
|Dwelling Type||Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?|
|Mobile home parks||Only if person in mobile home is a renter, not owner.|
Landlord Responsibilities in Missouri
The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability. Not all of them are requirements in Missouri, as indicated below.
Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.
|Habitability Issue||Landlord Responsibility?|
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.||Not addressed|
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.||Not addressed|
|Provide hot and cold running water.||Not addressed|
|Provide working HVAC equipment.||Not addressed|
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.||Not addressed|
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking||Not addressed|
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).||Not addressed|
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).||Not addressed|
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.||Not addressed|
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.||Not addressed|
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.||Not addressed|
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.||Not addressed|
|Provide working smoke detectors||Not addressed|
|Provide a mailbox.||Not addressed|
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.||Not addressed|
|Provide working kitchen appliances.||Not addressed|
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.||Not addressed|
|Provide a working washer/dryer.||Not addressed|
As you can see, Missouri state law doesn’t lay out specific landlord responsibilities. However, landlords are required to comply with all housing codes, so you should check with the municipality in which the rental property is located to determine what specific responsibilities landlords may have regarding habitability.
Former Methamphetamine Houses
Landlords are required to disclose in writing to potential tenants that a rental property was used in the production of methamphetamines, regardless of whether the suspects were formally sentenced.
Tenant’s Right to Repairs in Missouri
Missouri’s rent and repair statute provides tenants with a limited right to compel repairs from the landlord.
- Sending Notice – If a tenant request repairs, they must put their request in writing to the landlord. The landlord is given 14 days to respond and make repairs.
- Landlord Access – Tenants are not required to give the landlord access to the property under Missouri law unless it is written into the lease agreement. Landlords should give the tenant reasonable notice to enter the dwelling unit and shall enter at a reasonable time, except in the case of an emergency.
Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made in Missouri
If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.
- Withhold Rent – Missouri landlord tenant law does not allow tenants in Missouri to withhold rent in response to habitability issues.
- Repair and Deduct – The tenant can pay for the repair and deduct from rent if the landlord fails to make necessary repairs. There are procedures and circumstances a tenant must follow before making the repair.
- Tenant has given the landlord written notice and has given the landlord a minimum of 14 days to respond to the notice.
- Tenant must have lived in the rental unit for at least six consecutive months.
- Repair is affecting the sanitation, security, or habitability of the dwelling unit and is in violation of city code.
- Tenant is current on all rent owed and is not in any violation of the lease.
- Repair cost must not exceed the greater of $300 or one-half of one month’s rent.
- Tenant may only use this remedy once in a 12-month period.
- Lawsuit – If a landlord intentionally or negligently fails to provide heat, water, electricity, and/or other “essentials,” tenants are allowed to pursue legal action.
- Reporting to Public Officials – If the unit becomes unsafe due to the repair problems, the tenant can contact local health or housing authorities.
Landlord Retaliation in Missouri
Missouri does not have state statutes prohibiting landlords from retaliating against tenants for pursuing legal rights (i.e., joining a tenant’s union, filing a complaint with a governmental agency for habitability issues).