St. Charles is home to about 70,171 residents and over 30% of them live in rentals.
The landlord-tenant relationship is guided by the state’s landlord-tenant laws. As a landlord, it’s crucial you acquaint yourself with Missouri’s laws in order to avoid legal issues down the line.
Generally speaking, Missouri is considered a landlord-friendly state. That’s because there are no laws that control rental, evictions can be carried out relatively quickly, and landlords have few habitability obligations.
The following is a basic guide to the statewide Missouri landlord-tenant laws.
Required Landlord Disclosures
Before a tenant can sign the lease agreement with you, they need to be made aware of certain information. Such information includes:
- The landlord’s name and address. You must provide your tenant with the name and address of the landlord or anyone acting on their behalf.
- The landlord’s responsibilities. You are required to disclose to prospective tenants your list of responsibilities.
- The tenant’s responsibilities. As a MO landlord, you have an obligation to notify your tenants of their responsibilities.
- The presence of lead. If your rental property built before 1978, chances are lead-based paint was used. For this reason, you must let your tenant know of any lead-related hazards.
- Drug or criminal related activity. Finally, you must let prospective tenants know if the premises was ever used for criminal activities.
St. Charles, MO Tenant Rights & Responsibilities
Tenants in St. Charles have the following rights. A right to:
- A safe and sanitary home.
- Enjoy quiet and peace in their rented premises.
- Be notified when the landlord makes changes to the terms of the lease agreement.
- Have repairs made within a reasonable time period after making a request to the landlord.
- Be evicted using the proper legal eviction process. It should be noted that using “self-help’ eviction tactics like shutting down their utilities or locking them out of the premises is illegal.
- Exercise their right to “repair and deduct” when the landlord fails on their maintenance responsibilities.
- Be treated fairly as per the Missouri landlord-tenant laws.
As for responsibilities, tenants in St. Charles have a duty to:
- Notify the landlord before moving out at the end of the lease agreement.
- Abide by all terms of the lease agreement, including paying rent on time.
- Keep noise within reasonable levels.
- Inform the landlord whenever maintenance issues arise.
- Keep the property clean and sanitary at all times.
- Let the landlord know when they’ll be away for extended periods of time.
Landlord Rights & Responsibilities
St. Charles landlords have a right to:
- Be served with a notice by a tenant looking to vacate their rental unit after the lease expires.
- Be served notice when a tenant is looking to be away for a prolonged period of time.
- Enter rented premises to carry out their responsibilities, like to inspect the unit or make needed or requested repairs.
- Make changes to the lease agreement so long as they seek their tenant’s consent.
Similarly, as a Missouri landlord, you have a responsibility to:
- Keep the home in a good state of repair.
- Maintain the common areas.
- Provide access to vital services, such as electricity, and hot and cold water.
- Provide your tenant with a copy of the lease agreement.
- Follow the Missouri eviction laws when evicting a tenant.
- Maintain peace and quiet.
An Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in St. Charles, MO
Evictions in Missouri
As a landlord in Missouri, you have a right to evict your tenant for certain reasons. For example:
- Failure to pay rent
- Failure by the tenant to move out after their lease expires
- Excessive property damage
- Major lease violations
- Repeatedly disturbing the peace of neighbors
In doing so, however, you must follow the step-by-step statewide eviction process. For instance, for a lease violation like keeping an unauthorized pet, you must serve the tenant with a 10 Day Notice to Cure or Quit.
The notice will give the tenant two options: remedy the violation or move out. If they don’t take either of the two options within the stipulated time, you can move to take legal action at court and file for an Unlawful Detainer.
As a landlord, you must also adhere to the statewide security deposit laws. Among other things, you must:
- Charge a security deposit not exceeding the equivalent of two months’ rent. So, if you charge tenants $1,500 a month for rent, then the most you can ask as a security deposit is $3,000.
- Only make allowable deductions to the deposit, for example, when a tenant has caused excessive property damage. Wrongfully withholding a tenant’s deposit can attract some penalties, including paying up to 2X the withheld amount.
- Return the tenant’s deposit within 30 days.
As a landlord in St Charles, you have a responsibility to treat all your tenants equally and fairly. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a tenant based on their race, color, sex, ancestry, religion, disability, and national origin.
Therefore, you must be particularly careful when advertising your vacant rental and when conducting tenant screenings.
Landlords can enter rented premises to carry out any one of their responsibilities like performing needed or requested repairs, under court orders, or to show the unit to prospective buyers or renters.
Some states do require landlords to provide a notice to their tenants prior to entering their units, Missouri does not require this. That said, most landlords still provide their tenants with a notice of at least 24 hours.
Remember that landlord-tenant laws differ from state to state and are always subject to change. With this in mind, as a landlord, make sure you stay informed of any changes to your right to enter rented units.
Missouri law expressly forbids any kind of rent control policies. As such, as a landlord, you are free to charge as much as you want as rent.
As a Missouri rental property owner, it’s important that you understand and stay up-to-date on the state’s landlord-tenant laws. This seems like a daunting task, don’t worry, you can always hire the services of a qualified and trusted property management company. They’ll be able to keep you informed of any changes to leasing laws, security deposit laws and help you manage your properties!
Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for legal advice. Laws change frequently and the post may not be up to date at the time of your reading. For further help, please get in touch with Keyrenter St. Charles Property Management