All About Missouri Eviction Laws

Landlord Protection All About Missouri Eviction Laws

What Tenants Must Know About Missouri's Eviction Laws

In the rental process, tenant-landlord disputes are common. Often, these disputes lead to evictions. As a tenant, you have certain responsibilities:

  • Pay your rent on time
  • Dispose of garbage properly
  • Use reasonable care and don't damage the property
  • Don't sublease or take on additional occupants without your landlord's written permission

But, What Is Missouri Law on Eviction Notice?

If you break your lease in any way, it can lead to Missouri common law eviction. Fighting  on your own can be difficult and unsuccessful. But, you don't have to tackle the laws on residency and eviction in Missouri on your own and you don't have to shell out thousands of dollars to an expensive lawyer — DoNotPay can help.

Eviction Laws in Missouri

A Missouri attorney can follow  to evict a tenant for several legal reasons. These include:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Going against the rental lease/agreement
  • Excessive property damage

Once a landlord has decided to evict the tenant, they need to follow the proper eviction lawsuit process so they don't make any errors in the Missouri eviction process.

Similar to other states, in Missouri, only courts can facilitate the removal of tenants from rental units. No matter what the reason is for evicting a tenant, Missouri law requires landlords to first serve tenants with an eviction notice to terminate their tenancy. This informs the tenant that they need to vacate the rental unit within a specified time frame.

After the landlord serves the tenant an eviction notice, the landlord will then need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in the proper court of law.

Reasons to Evict Tenant/Be Evicted

A landlord can start the eviction process in Missouri for several reasons, including:

Reasons to be EvictedDetails
Nonpayment of RentIf a landlord wishes to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, they don't need to furnish a written notice.
End of Lease Term/No LeaseIf the term of the lease is up or there's no lease, the landlord doesn't need any additional reason to ask the tenant to leave, as long as they provide proper notice.
Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease TermsIf the tenant violates any part of the rental agreement or written lease, the landlord isn't required to provide them with the opportunity to correct the problem before they move forward with the eviction.
Illegal ActivityIf the tenant or one of the other rental unit's occupants engages in illegal activity, depending on the activity, notice may or may not be required.

What Can You Do to Fight an Eviction in Missouri?

If you're being evicted from your rental unit, you may be able to fight it. Tenants can only be evicted from their rental units through a court order. The landlord must file paperwork through the court to obtain a court order.

No matter what the cause for eviction is, if you wish to challenge it, you will need to appear at the hearing to present your case of defense. During the hearing, the judge will listen to both you and the landlord before making their final decision.

You may find challenging an eviction isn't always your best option. You may end up having to pay the court and lawyer fees of the landlord if you're unsuccessful in court. You can also end up with a negative credit rating, which can jeopardize future housing opportunities.

Your best option would be to try to talk with your landlord and try to negotiate some type of deal outside of the courtroom. There are numerous low-cost or free mediation services that work with landlord-tenant disputes. You'll also find local resources through websites like the American Arbitration Association and

What Does the Eviction Process Look Like in Missouri?

The eviction process will be different between counties, but many follow the following eviction process:

  1. Fill the Forms Out

The landlord needs to accurately fill out and file the necessary forms for a successful eviction.

  1. Serve the Tenant

The tenant must be served the Summons and Complaint. The landlord doesn't serve these documents themselves. In the state of Missouri, only a process server the court appoints or the sheriff can serve these documents. They need to be delivered a minimum of four days before the court hearing date.

  1. File a Motion to Obtain Judgment/Receive a Judgment for Possession

For landlords to win and accomplish this, they need to provide a strong, evidence-based argument against the tenant. If the tenant fails to show up to the hearing, then by default, the landlord wins the case.  

The tenant can appeal the judgment within 10 days from the Judgment for Possession being issued by the court. They may ask the court to set their judgment aside or request a new trial.

  1. Wait for Judgment

If the landlord wins the case and the tenant doesn't file for an appeal, the court issues a Writ of Possession 10 days following the court ruling in the favor of the landlord. This informs the tenant that they must move out of the rental unit or they'll be forcibly evicted. If they fail to do so, law enforcement can come and remove them.

How to Fight an Eviction Process in Missouri by Yourself?

Talk to Your Landlord

After receiving an eviction notice, your best course of action first is to talk to your landlord and see if you can come to some type of agreement without having to go to court.

Comply With the Rent Demand

If you're being evicted because you failed to pay the rent, you'll get a demand for rent. If possible, you should comply with this demand by paying all the rent you owe. If you do this, in Missouri, the landlord can't continue with the eviction.

Attend the Eviction Hearing

If you don't comply with an eviction notice and you can't reach an agreement with the landlord, they can file a lawsuit in court for the eviction. You'll get a copy of the paperwork filed by the landlord. You'll want to carefully read all the paperwork as it will contain important information regarding the upcoming hearing. It will inform you if you need to file any paperwork, such as an answer, before the hearing.

An answer is where you're allowed to state why you believe you shouldn't be evicted. You'll need to put any defenses here to the eviction, such as:

  • The landlord didn't follow correct eviction procedures
  • The landlord used "self-help" eviction actions against you
  • The landlord didn't maintain the rental unit
  • The landlord is evicting you based on discrimination

Next Steps to Fight the Eviction Process in Missouri if You Can’t Do It by Yourself

If you're appearing in court due to an eviction, you're held to the same standard as an attorney. This means you're responsible for following all the procedures properly like a lawyer has to.

For instance, if you're not sure how to submit a document properly into evidence during the proceedings, the judge may not allow you to present it at all, regardless of how essential it may be for your case.

Ensuring the eviction process is legal and fair is extremely important, particularly if you believe you didn't violate your rental agreement or if you believe you're being wrongfully evicted. Typically, you'd hire an experienced attorney to handle these proceedings, seeing how it's your home that's at stake.

However, hiring an eviction lawyer isn't cheap. Plus, during an eviction process, you're not just facing the possibility of having to find another place to live, but also you're facing extra costs for moving, paying another security deposit, disconnecting and reconnecting utilities, and other costs. And, this is on top of any legal representation costs. Instead, why not let DoNotPay help you with your Missouri landlord-tenant law notice to vacate? 

Solve an Eviction Process in Missouri With the Help of DoNotPay

DoNotPay is here to guide you through it and file your disputes on your behalf. Our Landlord Protection product can help you:

  1. Get back your security deposits
  2. Learn about Missouri eviction laws and what protections apply in your case
  3. Resolve disputes regarding repairs with your landlord
  4. Resolve disputes with roommates by filing demand letters or going through small claims court
  5. Break your lease early

How to Fight Your Eviction With DoNotPay

These four easy steps can help you fight your Missouri eviction:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay. 
  2. Select which issue applies to you. 
  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter. 
  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.

You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Solving your  is just one of many things DoNotPay helps with. Other services we provide include:

Being evicted isn't something you should fight on your own. It's a costly and frustrating process. Let DoNotPay help guide you through a successful process.

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