Tenant Law in Missouri

Relationships between landlords and tenants in Scott City, Missouri can get contentious. It's difficult to be a tenant or a landlord. If one or both parties are not aware of their legal rights and responsibilities, conflicts can arise.

Landlords and tenants have many rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.

Landlord's Rights in Scott City, MO

The most important and most apparent right that a landlord has is the right to timely payment of rent from the tenant. This, of course, means that the tenant has a duty to pay rent.

Additionally, landlords can bill the tenant for any damage they cause to the unit, whether it was intentional or negligent. The costs of repairs for such damage can be deducted from a tenant's security deposit, but it should be noted that tenants aren't accountable for normal wear and tear, over which they have little control.

Tenant's Rights in Scott City, MO

Most basically, tenants have a right to get what they're paying for: a dwelling fit for human habitation. To this end, landlords have to ensure that the units they rent meet Scott City, Missouri's minimum standards for habitability. These requirements are normallyy not difficult to meet. They include basic amenities such as running water, electricity, a working phone line, heating, and protection from the elements.

In addition to habitable living spaces, tenants also have a right to reasonably safe common areas. Common areas include lobbies, hallways, and stairwells - basically anything that everyone living in an apartment complex has access to. These common areas must meet the building standards of Scott City, Missouri, and must not contain any unnecessary safety hazards.

Under the laws of Missouri, and the United States, discrimination in housing on the basis of race, religion, or gender is strictly prohibited. Additionally, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, landlords must not discriminate against renters on the basis of any physical disability. They also have to authorize the renter to make reasonable modifications to their apartment, to make it more accessible. Generally, landlords are only required to allow relatively minor and reversible modifications, and tenants cannot compel them to remodel the building, for example. Also, once the tenant leaves, the landlord can bill the tenant for the costs of restoring the apartment to its original condition.

Finally, tenants are legally protected from arbitrary eviction. Landlords typically must have a very good reason to evict a tenant before the lease agreement reaches the end of its term (at this point, they are of course allowed to decline to renew the lease). Of course, if the tenant breaches the lease agreement (such as by failing to pay rent, damaging the property, or violating other reasonable rules the landlord has put in the lease), the landlord, like a party to any other contract, is free to terminate the agreement and evict the breaching tenant.

Can a Scott City, Missouri Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants almost always prefer to avoid conflict. In a perfect world, tenants would pay rent on time, and landlords would always provide the services that they're being paid for. As we know, the world isn't perfect. When situations demonstrate the world's imperfection, a Scott City, Missouri real estate attorney can help, whether you're a landlord or a tenant.