Missouri Eviction Laws: A Comprehensive Guide for Landlords (2023)
Missouri has seen a staggering total of 101,117 eviction filings since March 16, 2020. During April 2023, there were 2,850 new filings, indicating the issue has continued to persist for landlords beyond the pandemic.
In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about Missouri eviction laws. Keep reading to find the most valid legal reasons for eviction and a step-by-step understanding of the eviction process.
What Are The Eviction Laws In Missouri?
Understanding eviction under Missouri eviction laws is essential for landlords and tenants alike. Here are some of Missouri's commonly encountered reasons for eviction.
Failure to Pay Rent (Nonpayment of Rent)
The most common reason for eviction in Missouri is the nonpayment of rent. If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, even by one day, the landlord has the right to initiate the eviction process. But landlords may provide a grace period if specified in the lease agreement.
Violation of Lease/Rental Agreement
Missouri eviction laws allow landlords to evict tenants for violating the lease or rental agreement terms. These violations may include:
- causing damage to the rental unit
- smoking in non-smoking areas
- housing unauthorized pets
- exceeding the occupancy limits specified in the lease
The landlord must serve the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit, giving them ten days to rectify the violation or vacate the premises. The landlord is not obligated to offer the tenant an opportunity to cure the breach before initiating eviction proceedings.
Conducting Illegal Activity
Engaging in illegal activities on the rental property can also lead to eviction in Missouri. Such activities may include:
- illegal gaming
- involvement in the creation, distribution, or consumption of controlled substances
In these cases, the landlord must serve the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit, giving them ten days to vacate the property. However, no prior notice is required for certain serious offenses, such as violence, excessive property damage, or drug-related criminal activities.
Non-Renewal of Lease after Rental Period Ends
If a tenant adheres to the lease terms and does not violate any rules, they can stay until the end of their rental period. However, if the tenant becomes a "holdover" by staying beyond their written lease end date without arranging for renewal, the landlord can initiate an eviction process known as an unlawful detainer case.
Depending on the type of notice specified in the lease (30-Day Notice to Quit or 60-Day Notice to Quit), the landlord must provide the tenant with the appropriate notice period before proceeding with the eviction.
Missouri Eviction Laws: Quick Reference Table
|Problem||Missouri Eviction Law Says…||Which Form To Issue|
|Tenant hasn’t paid rent.||Must file a detailed complaint with a circuit judge in your county.
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 535.020
|File an eviction lawsuit immediately with your local circuit judge.|
|Tenant has pets or long-term guests.||Mo. Rev. Stat. § § 441.030||Serve the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit.|
|Tenant has damaged the property.||The landlord is not obligated to offer the tenant an opportunity to cure the violation before initiating eviction proceedings.
Mo. Rev. Stat. § § 441.030
|Serve the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit.|
|Tenant is conducting illegal activities.||Engaging in illegal activities is ground for eviction according to Missouri eviction laws.
Mo. Rev. Stat. § §441.880
|Serve the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit. No prior notice is required in extreme cases.|
How To Evict A Tenant In Missouri: Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Serve an Eviction Notice
The first step in the eviction process in Missouri is to serve the tenant with an eviction notice. The notice must clearly state the reason for the eviction, such as nonpayment of rent, lease violation, or holdover (failure to vacate after the lease has expired).
Step 2: Filing a Complaint
After the notice period has passed, and if the tenant has not rectified the issue, the landlord can file a legal complaint in the appropriate circuit court based on the county where the rental property is located. Ensuring all necessary forms are accurately filled out for a successful eviction process is essential for a favorable outcome.
Step 3: Rent and Possession Suit (Nonpayment of Rent)
If the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent, the landlord must file a Rent and Possession Suit. This type of lawsuit requires the landlord to submit an affidavit to the circuit court, providing details about the nonpayment, including the date of demand and the amount of rent due.
The court then issues a summons, which is served to the tenant, specifying the date and time of the eviction hearing. If the tenant fails to appear in court, the landlord may win the case by default, and the judge can award possession of the property and money damages.
Step 4: Unlawful Detainer Suit (Lease Violation or Holdover)
The landlord must file an Unlawful Detainer Suit for evictions due to lease violations or holdover tenancy (failure to vacate after proper notice). Similar to the Rent and Possession Suit, the landlord files a complaint and summons with the circuit court, and the tenant receives notice of the eviction hearing.
The judge will listen to both parties and decide based on the evidence presented.
Step 5: Eviction Hearing
At the eviction hearing, the landlord and the tenant can present their evidence and arguments before the judge. The judge will carefully consider the case and then make a ruling regarding the eviction. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they may be granted possession of the property and potentially receive monetary damages.
How Long Does An Eviction Stay On Your Record?
An eviction typically does not appear directly on your credit report. However, any late rent payments and related fees resulting from the eviction may be reported, and these negative marks can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
Hassle-Free Eviction Help: Hemlane Eviction Services
Enjoy hassle-free eviction help with Hemlane Eviction Services. Say goodbye to tenant delinquency stress and costly court fees. Our on-demand delinquency management is designed to recover your owed rent while reducing your burden. Take control of your rental property now income with Hemlane's efficient eviction services.