Landlords, Tenants, & Security Deposit Law in Missouri

Missouri's Security Deposit Limit and 3 Reasons You Can Take Deductions

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Basics of Missouri's Security Deposit Law. Lightvision, LLC/Moment/Getty Images

If you own rental property in Missouri, you need to understand the security deposit laws that are in effect in the state. These rules list specific ways landlords must deal with the security deposit, from how much they can collect, to when they have to return a security deposit to the tenant. Here are eight basics of Missouri’s security deposit law. 

1. Maximum Security Deposit of Two Months' Rent in Missouri

2. Can Deposit Be Nonrefundable?

3. 3 Reasons You Can Keep a Security Deposit in Missouri

4. 30 Days to Return Security Deposit in Missouri

5. Do Security Deposits Have to Earn Interest in Missouri?

6. Written Notice Not Required After Collecting Security Deposit

7.Walk-Through Inspections Are Required After Tenant Move-Out

8. Transferring Security Deposit When You Sell Property in Missouri

1. Maximum Security Deposit of Two Months' Rent in Missouri

In the state of Missouri, a landlord can charge a tenant a maximum of two months’ rent as a security deposit.

2. Can Deposit Be Nonrefundable?

No. Security deposits in the state of Missouri are the tenant’s property. They must be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease agreement, minus allowable deductions.

3. 3 Reasons You Can Keep a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Missouri

A Missouri landlord may keep all or a portion of a tenant’s security deposit for the following reasons:

  • To Cover Unpaid Rent
  • For Damages in Excess of Normal Wear and Tear
  • For Other Breaches to the Lease Agreement

If a landlord wrongfully withholds a tenant’s security deposit, the tenant may be entitled to up to two times the amount wrongfully withheld.

4. 30 Days to Return Security Deposit in Missouri

In Missouri, a landlord has 30 days after a tenant’s move out to:

  • Return a tenant’s entire security deposit if no deductions have been made.

    Or
     
  • If deductions have been made, the landlord must include a written itemized list of any deductions to the deposit. Any portion of the security deposit that is due to the tenant after these deductions must also be included.

The landlord must mail these items to the last known address of the tenant.

5. Do Security Deposits Have to Earn Interest in Missouri?

In the state of Missouri, there are no particular requirements for how you must store a tenant’s security deposit. There is nothing in the law that states you must deposit it in a bank or financial institution. In addition, if the deposit is placed in an account in a financial institution, there is no obligation that the account must earn interest.

6. Written Notice Not Required After Collecting Security Deposit

A landlord does not have to notify a tenant in writing after receiving the tenant’s security deposit. The landlord has no obligation to notify the tenant of how and where the landlord is storing the tenant’s security deposit.

7. Walk-Through Inspections Are Required After Tenant Move-Out

A Missouri landlord must perform a walk-through inspection after the tenant moves out of the unit.

This inspection is done to determine damage to the unit and what deductions the landlord will make from the security deposit for such damage.

The tenant has a right to be present at this walk-through inspection. The landlord must notify the tenant in writing, or in person, of the date and time of this inspection. According to the law, the inspection must be held at a “reasonable time.”

8. Transferring Security Deposit When You Sell Property in Missouri

If a landlord in the state of Missouri sells his or her property, the landlord must either return the security deposit to the tenant or must transfer all tenants’ security deposits to the new owner. The landlord or the new owner of the investment property must notify tenants in writing that the property has been sold.

What Is Missouri's Security Deposit Law?

If you are interested in reading the text of the law that governs security deposits in the state of Missouri, please consult Missouri Revised Statutes § 535.300.