Missouri Lease Agreements & Landlord-Tenant Law

Missouri boasts a low cost of living and many tax breaks, which benefit both renters and landlords, making it one of the best states to move to or invest in real estate. Missouri should hit the top of the list for the renters because of its miles of coastline and award-winning BBQ. For those looking to purchase a rental property, Missouri is an excellent choice for the low cost of homes and the high demand.


Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find Missouri voting information here.

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Missouri Renters’ Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Must return security deposit within 30 days
  • 30-day notice required before raising rent
  • No notice required before entering the rental

When it comes to Missouri rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security Deposit – Missouri law limits the amount of the security deposit to two months of rent. Landlords must return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out.
  2. Raising Rent – Landlords in Missouri may increase the rent to any amount with no notice or justification.
  3. Notice of Entry – Missouri does not require any notice before entering the unit or property.

Missouri Landlords’ Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

  • Landlords do not have to give their tenants notice before filing for eviction
  • Renters have ten days to claim abandoned property
  • Tenants must keep the property in safe and habitable condition

  1. Overdue Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord does not need to notify the tenant or give them a grace period and may file for eviction immediately.
  2. Abandoned Property – If a tenant moves out and leaves behind personal property, the landlord must give the tenant ten days to claim the items. If the tenant fails to claim the property, the landlord may dispose of it in any way they deem acceptable.
  3. Tenant Responsibilities – Tenants are required to remove all garbage and keep fixtures clean. They must also make minor repairs around the property when necessary.

Rental Application Fee: There are no additional rental application fee requirements.

Criminal History Check:

  • HUD (Federal) laws do not classify criminal backgrounds as a protected class, but making a decision to rent based off a criminal background alone could lead to a discrimination charge as it impacts certain protected groups of people disproportionately.
    • However, if the criminal background check revealed a crime for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, homicide and/or stalking, denying the application is allowed.
  • Landlords should have a consistent and equal policy or procedure in place to follow regarding criminal background checks so as not to discriminate against one class of people over another.
  • HUD states that a landlord cannot ask about arrest records, only convictions, as innocent people are commonly arrested though the situation may not have resulted in a conviction.
  • Some municipalities may have written their own laws expanding onto what you can and cannot ask regarding criminal backgrounds during the tenant screening process.

Security Deposit: Landlords must hold security deposits in an FDIC-insured bank, credit union, or another financial institution.

Kansas City and St. Louis have additional laws for Missouri landlords to consider:

Kansas City requires landlords to provide certain amenities (like heating, water, plumbing, electric fixtures, and cooking equipment). Landlords must also follow a specific notification process before entering the rental unit.

St. Louis requires landlords to obtain a Certificate of Inspection to charge rent.

Build a Missouri lease agreement in less than 15 minutes.

Missouri Lease Agreement Example

There are three sections to a residential lease agreement. The first section outlines the custom details of the contract, such as who’s involved and for what address. Here’s an example Missouri lease agreement listing details found in Section 1:

missouri lease agreement sample

Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in Missouri:


Can You Withhold Rent in Missouri?

You cannot withhold rent in Missouri except for extreme circumstances where the landlord fails to fix dangerous conditions.

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

Evicting a tenant in Missouri typically takes anywhere from one to three months, depending on the reason for eviction.

Is Missouri a Landlord-Friendly State?

Missouri is considered a landlord-friendly state because there are few rent control laws and very few habitability requirements. Make sure to always check local area laws, along with state laws, to ensure you’re fully educated.

What is the Eviction Process in Missouri?

There are four reasons a landlord may file for eviction in Missouri. The four reasons include failure to pay rent, violation of the lease agreement, end of lease term, and illegal activity. Depending on the violation, the landlord must give the tenant notice and anywhere from five to 60 days to cure their violation.

If the tenant fails to cure or move out, then the landlord may file a complaint with the court, which will then be served to the tenant. The eviction hearing will then be held within 15 days after the tenant has been served.

If the court rules in favor of the landlord, then a writ of possession will be issued ten days later. Once the tenant has been served the writ of possession, they will have two business days to move out.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in Missouri?

Landlords must give tenants a 30-day notice before requiring them to move out.

Due Diligence and Missouri Rental Laws


TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources and official state statutes to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are constantly in flux, and landlords and tenants alike should do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in Missouri. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.


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Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law Resources

Missouri Fair Housing Resources

Missouri State Resources

Missouri Real Estate Associations

City-Specific Housing Resources


Kansas City

St. Louis



Jefferson City


Federal Fair Housing Resources

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