Missouri Rental Lease Agreements
The Missouri Rental Lease Agreements represent an agreement between a landlord and tenant to follow a certain set of stipulations regarding the lease of a rental unit. The agreement is legally-binding, meaning that any stipulations contained within the document, such as the maximum amount a security deposit may be, must be upheld.
Given that Missouri state law is silent on a multitude of fundamental issues, such as when rent is due, it is integral that the lease agreement details these matters in full.
Types of Agreements
Commercial Lease Agreement – This contract ensures the rights of landlords who wish to rent a property suitable for commercial use will be protected.
Lease to Own Agreement – Also referred to as a Lease-Purchase Contract, this agreement clarifies precisely how a tenant can make payments towards the eventual purchase of their rental property.
Month-to-Month Lease – A monthly lease that renews automatically after each month, provided that neither party terminates it.
Roommate Agreement – A contract that roommates sign with the intention of clarifying any and all matters relevant to behavior and conduct in their shared rental property.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – A rental agreement that is complete with provisions set out by Missouri law.
Sublease Agreement – If a tenant will be absent from the rental property for a given amount of time, they can use this document to rent out their leased space while they are gone.
What is a Missouri Lease Agreement?
A Missouri Lease Agreement is a document that requires signees—a landlord and tenant—to hold themselves accountable to the terms they mutually agreed upon. Failing to do so may result in financial or legal consequences. To prevent a situation where the tenant fails to meet their legal responsibilities, landlords should make sure to vet prospective tenants. The best way to do this is by requiring prospective tenants to complete a rental application.
State Definition (§ 441.005(2)) – “a written or oral agreement for the use or possession of premises.”
When is Rent Due?
State law does not specify when rent should be paid. It is thus vital that this is clarified in the written lease agreement. There is also no grace period specified by state law.
Emergency: Although state law is silent on the matter of landlord access to the rental dwelling in emergency situations, under federal law, landlords have a right to enter without notice in such situations.
Non-Emergency: State law also does not attend to the matter of landlord access to the rental dwelling in non-emergency situations. Therefore, landlords are advised to provide tenants with sufficient notice before entering the rental dwelling. That is, landlords should give tenants at least twenty-four (24) hours notice prior to entry. Landlords are additionally advised only to enter during business days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Prior Methamphetamine Production Disclosure (§ 441.236): If the rental premises is or was used as a site for methamphetamine production, the landlord must disclose in writing to the prospective lessee the fact that methamphetamine was produced on the premises. This should be disclosed regardless of whether the persons involved in the production were convicted for such production.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: As per federal law, landlords must disclose any known lead paint hazards in rental dwellings built before 1978. Tenants must also be furnished with a lead paint safety pamphlet.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum (§ 535.300): Security deposits are capped at two months’ rent.
Returning to Tenant (§ 535.300): The security deposit must be returned to the tenant within thirty (30) days after the termination of the tenancy. If the landlord will withhold part or all of the deposit, they must furnish the tenant with a written itemized list of the damages the tenant has caused.