Missouri eviction laws are specific and landlords must understand them in order to procede with an eviction. This post will outline the basics of Missouri’s landlord-tenant law, including notice requirements and the eviction procedure itself. If you are a landlord or tenant in Missouri, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities under the rental laws of Missouri. So, let’s get started!
Table Of Contents
- What is an Eviction?
- Reasons For Eviction
- General Responsibilities
- Missouri’s Law
- When To Start An Eviction?
What is an Eviction?
Eviction is the legal procedure that landlords employ to kick tenants out of a rental. A Missouri landlord cannot remove a tenant without first filing a lawsuit against them and succeeding in court. Whatever the basis for eviction, landlords must follow the legal procedure. Self-help evictions and illegal lockouts are two terms used to describe the removal of a tenant without a court order. Self-help evictions frequently involve changing the locks or forcibly evicting the renter.
If your landlord forcibly evicts you, get a lawyer and, if you feel safe doing so, get in touch with the police in your area. Gather critical personal belongings including your wallet, official identity, Social Security card, and birth certificate if you fear that your landlord would lock you out.
Reasons For Eviction
- Breaks The Terms Of The Lease
If a renter breaks the terms of the lease, they risk being evicted. The provisions of the lease agreement must always be adhered to by both the landlord and the tenant.
Any lease provision that the tenant violates may result in eviction by the landlord. This is referred to as an unlawful detainer case in a Missouri eviction.
Tenant must receive a 10-Day Notice to Quit from the landlord informing them of their violation and impending eviction. The renter has 10 days to leave the rented unit after receiving the notice.
The landlord is not compelled under Missouri law to provide the renter a chance to correct the rule they broke.
In a Missouri eviction, lease violations include:
- Injuries to the rental property
- Smoking in places that don’t allow it
- There are too many occupants in the rental property.
- Housing a pet in a rental home or apartment that prohibits pets, etc.
- Failure To Pay Rent
The most frequent cause of eviction is failure to pay rent. If a renter doesn’t pay their rent on time, the landlord may evict them.
In Missouri, one day after the due date, rent is deemed to be late. However, if the landlord and tenant were able to insert a clause about rent extension in their lease or rental agreement, a grace period to extend timely rent payment may be available.
Before a landlord can start filing for an eviction action, the tenant must be at least one month behind on their monthly payments, according to Missouri law. This indicates that rent has been past due for at least a month.
The landlord is not obligated to provide the tenant with any previous written notice prior to requesting eviction in a case involving failure to pay rent. The landlord is not compelled to give the tenant any notice, but they are free to do so.
- Non-Renewal Of Lease
In Missouri, a landlord cannot kick out a tenant without a tenant’s consent. The tenant is permitted to remain until the last of the renting period provided they do not break any rules.
However, if the renter continues to be a “holdover” tenant, the eviction procedure could start after the required amount of time has passed. A holdover tenant is a person whose lease expires without seeking a renewal. Even one day after the tenant’s formal lease expires, the landlord has the right to evict them from the property (and has not arranged for a renewal). This is referred to as an unlawful detainer case during the Missouri eviction process.
- Engaging In Unlawful Behavior
In the state of Missouri, a landlord is compelled to provide a tenant a written 10-day notice to vacate if they have engaged in criminal activities. This gives the renter ten days to vacate the rental home before the landlord can initiate legal eviction proceedings.
Unlawful behavior examples include, but are not limited to:
- Substance abuse
- Involvement with the manufacture, sale, or use of a controlled substance.
If the renter is still living there after 10 days, the landlord may start the eviction process.
No warning is necessary, though, if the unlawful behavior fits one of the following categories:
- Violence or attack directed at the landlord or other renters
- More than a year’s worth of rent’s worth of property damage
- Criminal behavior involving drugs
- Prepare the property so that tenants may move in.
- Make and pay for any repairs needed because of normal wear and tear.
- Do not shut off a tenant’s gas, electricity, or water.
- Give written notification to tenants when property ownership is shifted to a new landlord.
- Do not unlawfully discriminate.
- Avoid taking on additional inhabitants or subletting without the landlord’s written consent.
- On time rent payment.
- Take reasonable precautions to prevent property damage.
- Dispose of trash properly.
The landlord-tenant laws in Missouri give tenants protection when renting from inattentive landlords and give landlords options for evicting drug dealers, abusive tenants, and anyone who are illegitimately occupying a space.
- When a tenant permits a third party to occupy the property without the owner’s consent, the landlord can double the rent.
- Allow county courts to issue orders requiring the immediate eviction of tenants engaged in drug-related criminal activity or violence, even if no one has been apprehended, as well as anybody inhabiting the property without the landlord’s consent. No prior written notification is necessary.
- If a landlord purposefully interrupts utility service, unless it is necessary for health and safety reasons, it is considered forceful entranc and you can make your property owner guilty for it.
- Allow a tenant to withhold half a month’s rent or up to $300 (whichever is higher) for the repair of code breaches when a landlord neglects their property, as long as they follow certain conditions and provide the landlord 14 days’ notice.
- Except for children born during the term of the lease, only two people are permitted to occupy each bedroom.
- Upon completing the necessary notice procedures, permit landlords to remove abandoned personal items.
When To Start An Eviction?
A court order is required before a landlord can evict a tenant.
Eviction proceedings may be started by the landlord if a tenant:
- Harms the property.
- Misses rent payments.
- Breaks the lease’s conditions
- Harms the landlord or a different renter.
- Accepts criminal activities relating to drugs on the property.
- Fails to leave the property when the lease is up.
- Engages in unlawful gambling there.
- Permits someone the landlord has previously barred from living there.
Missouri’s eviction process is similar to other states in that it requires a landlord to give their tenant(s) notice before an eviction can take place. An eviction cannot happen without going through the proper channels, and there are specific laws in place to protect both landlords and tenants. If you find yourself in either situation, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Missouri’s Eviction Law so that the process goes as smooth as possible.