Missouri Apartment Lease Agreement

A Missouri apartment lease agreement is a contract drafted to govern tenancy. While verbal agreements can be considered valid in some instances, having the lease agreement in writing is highly recommended. Lease agreements are typically signed before the tenant moves into the apartment. This ensures that both parties know their rights and obligations from the outset.

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Missouri Apartment Lease Agreement

Leasing out apartments must adhere to state laws governing landlord-tenant relationships in Missouri. This is reflected in the Missouri apartment lease agreement’s clauses, which are in line with existing laws and statutes. Sections to be understood when signing one include:

Security Deposit

  • Amount limit: A landlord in Missouri can’t demand or receive a security deposit that exceeds two months’ rent.
  • Holding the security deposit: The landlord must hold all security deposits in a federally insured bank, credit union, or depository institution. However, housing authorities and other government entities acting as landlords are exempt from this requirement.
  • Return and itemization: Within 30 days after the tenancy’s termination, the landlord must either Return the full amount of the security deposit or provide the tenant with a written, itemized list of damages for the withheld amount, along with the remaining balance.
  • Permissible deductions: The landlord may only withhold amounts from the security deposit that are reasonably necessary for Unpaid rent as per the rental agreement, excluding normal wear and tear
  • Inspection notice: The landlord must provide the tenant with reasonable written or in-person notice of the date and time for inspecting the dwelling unit after the tenancy’s termination to determine the amount to be withheld.

Entry Access

  • Tenants gain exclusive use of the rental property under a lease agreement. 
  • Missouri law typically requires 24 hours minimum notice before landlord entry, with some exceptions.
  • Permitted circumstances for entry often include making repairs, showing to prospective renters, and emergencies.
  • Even without specific statutory mention, landlords may enter for true emergencies if the tenant has abandoned the property or after an extended absence to protect the property.  
  • Tenants should review lease terms carefully and consult local resources if they need clarification on landlord access rights in Missouri.

Pets Policy

  • Pet deposits: Landlords can charge tenants pet fees or refundable pet deposits with a legal cap of up to one (1) month’s rent.
  • Service animals: Tenants with documented disabilities can request deposit waivers for service/assistance animals as reasonable accommodations.
  • Deposit uses:  Pet deposits can only be applied toward damage directly attributable to tenants’ animals per Missouri statute.


For a Missouri apartment lease agreement to be legally valid, it must disclose: 

  • Lead-based paint – For pre-1978 units, landlords must disclose lead concentration levels to inform tenants of potential hazards.
  • Authorized agents – Landlords must provide current contact details for all property owners and managers associated with the rental.