A Missouri rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a rental property and a tenant who wishes to use it. Missouri landlord-tenant law governs these agreements; rental terms must be within the limits allowed by law.
Missouri Rental Agreement Types
A Missouri roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people (“co-tenants”) who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.
Missouri Required Residential Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name and Address (required for all leases ) – Missouri leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
- Methamphetamine Contamination Disclosure (required for some leases) – Missouri leases must disclose any actual knowledge relating to the production, use, or storage of methamphetamine on the rental property.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosures (required for some leases) – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a Missouri residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.
To learn more about required disclosures in Missouri, click here.
Missouri Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Missouri landlords can only rent out habitable property, which means providing certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within a “reasonable” time after proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant abate (withhold) rent through court escrow, or repair and deduct from the rent.
- Evictions – Missouri landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to pay or quit, depending on the eviction type. This means most evictions in Missouri take between about a week, to a little over a month.
- Security Deposits – Missouri caps security deposits at twice the cost of rent. Upon lease termination, landlords have 30 days to return any unused portion of a security deposit to the tenant.
- Lease Termination – Missouri lets tenants break a month-to-month lease with one month of advance notice. A fixed-term lease can’t be terminated early without active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, or domestic abuse.
- Rent Increases and Fees – Missouri doesn’t place a maximum cap on the amount of a rent increase, or require a particular amount of advance notice. Late fees must be “reasonable,” defined as the greater of $20 or 20% of the monthly rent. Bounced check fees are capped at $25.
- Landlord Entry – Missouri landlords may enter rental property for purposes reasonably related to the tenancy, like maintenance and inspections. They can enter at reasonable times upon reasonable advance notice, including abrupt entries in emergency situations.
- Settling Legal Disputes – Missouri allows small claims courts to decide landlord-tenant disputes, as long as the amount in controversy is under $5,000. Small claims does not have the power to decide evictions. Most landlord-tenant issues fall under contract law, which has a 10-year statute of limitations (5 years, for oral contracts).
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Missouri, click here.