What Rights Do You Have?
As a Tenants Rights Attorney In St Louis, I’m often asked;
What rights do residential tenants have in Missouri when renting a house or an apartment?
What should you do if you are facing eviction, have a maintenance or repair issue or need to get back your security deposit?
There are others of course, and in this area, there are not a ton of protections for tenants in Missouri, so it extra important that you understand your lease before your sign it, that you negotiate terms where you can, and that you understand the consequences if you violate the lease terms.
The Landlord-Tenant Law in Missouri can be found by clicking here (RSMo. Chapter 441) and here (RSMo. Chapter 535).” In addition, the Missouri Attorney General has made information available by clicking here, and that page contains a number of handy guides that contain information about the rights of residential tenants.
If you are facing a specific problem in one of the following areas, we may be able to help you:
- Eviction – Once the landlord has filed a lawsuit to evict you (called either a Rent And Possession suit or am Unlawful Detainer suit), things can move rather quickly.This can catch tenants off guard who thought their landlords were still negotiating with them or who thought they had already agreed to a payment plan. Failing to appear in court often results in a default judgment that can result in you and your things being removed from the property.
- Maintenance or Repair Issues – The Lease should state who is responsible for what, and the Landlord is generally responsible for making sure the home is habitable under Missouri law (for example, by making sure there is heat in the winter) and for structural issues such as the roof. Unfortunately, there is often confusion about who is responsible to make what repairs, and landlords are not always attentive to tenant repair requests.
- Habitability Issue – This is what we might call a “severe” maintenance or repair issue with your apartment, condo or house. These issues are so severe or dangerous that a reasonable tenant would, under Missouri law, consider moving out for their own protection. Examples might be a lack of working heat in the winter, dangerous mold outbreak, or wildlife infestation. There are very limited circumstances in Missouri when a tenant can actually move out due to habitability issues and terminate the lease. Under the right circumstances, you might be able to pay to fix the issues and deduct the amount paid from your rent. However, there are a lot of strict regulations you must follow when pursuing this option. In other instances, you sometimes pay rent into the Court until the Landlord has made the necessary repairs.
- Security Deposit Returns – When moving into a rented house or apartment, you may have paid an amount in addition to the rent, called the Security Deposit. This protects the landlord in case a tenant damages the property. The landlord can only withhold these funds for specific charges at the end of the lease. These charges must be itemized and provided to the tenant. The remaining security deposit amount should be returned to the tenant and there are penalties if the landlord wrongfully fails to do so.
If you are facing eviction or facing another problem with your landlord and need a Tenants Rights Attorney in St Louis or nearby, please reach out to us and take advantage of the flat fee pricing we can usually offer in this area.
If you are a residential tenant facing problems with your landlord, we also offer reduced fee consultations of $50 for thirty (30) minutes.
Please click below to schedule now: