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A Missouri eviction notice, also known as a notice to quit, is a document issued by the landlord to the tenant. Its purpose is to inform the tenant that they’ve violated the lease in some way. It also tells the tenant how long they have to correct the violation or leave the property. Eviction notices are subject to Missouri’s landlord-tenant laws.
A Missouri eviction notice is better known as a notice to quit. Serving an eviction notice is the first thing that a landlord must do before they file a lawsuit against the tenant. The purpose of an eviction notice is to notify the tenant that they’ve violated the lease in some way. Depending on the type of notice, it also gives the tenant a certain amount of time to correct the violation or vacate the property. It must also be legally served.
The components of a Missouri eviction notice are:
In Missouri, legal service methods of an eviction notice include personal service on the tenant or serving another resident of the property who is at least 15 years of age.
Next, we’ll look at some of the most commonly used Missouri eviction notices and the specifics associated with them.
Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
Missouri is different from the majority of the states because there is absolutely no legal requirement for the landlord to give notice about late rent. The accepted method is to write a notice to quit for non-payment of rent for one day. A landlord could choose to write it for three or five days if they wanted to do so.
A notice to quit for non-payment of rent demands immediate payment of the past due rent, explains the accepted payment methods, and where the payment may be made. Remember, this notice is only used as a courtesy and creates documented proof for the landlord if they plan to sue the tenant under § 535.010.
10-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
A Missouri 10-day notice to quit for non-compliance is issued by the landlord if the tenant doesn’t abide by the terms of the lease. It provides the tenant with 10 days to correct the violation or vacate the property. It should give a clear explanation of the lease violation as well as when it occurred. It should also give the date by which the tenant should correct the issue or vacate the property. This notice is subject to § 441.020, § 441.030, and § 441.040.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Month-to-Month Tenancy
A 30-day notice to quit for a month-to-month tenancy isn’t quite the same thing as an eviction notice. It can be written and provided by either the landlord or the tenant to the other party. What this notice does is give the receiving party 30-days of notice and a date by which the property should be vacant. This notice is regulated by § 441.060(4).
Missouri eviction notices must comply with landlord-tenant law as set by the state. Landlords are not legally required to provide notice for failure to pay rent. However, many landlords in Missouri still issue a notice for at least 24 hours so that they can provide proof to the court that they’ve informed the tenant of a problem.
In general, an eviction notice is the very first step a landlord takes if they want to file a lawsuit against the tenant. Without a court order for eviction issued by a judge, the landlord may not remove the tenant’s possessions, replace the locks, or shut off the utilities on the property. Doing so without a court order is illegal. Landlords may not evict a tenant because they report the property for code violations or because the property is legally uninhabitable. The landlord may not evict the tenant based on factors referred to as the seven protected classes as defined as the FHA: the tenant’s perceived or actual race, skin color, religion, country of national origin, gender, disability, or family status. Family status includes pregnancy and minor children.
If landlords engage in illegal eviction practices, they may be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. The tenant may be entitled to receive financial compensation because of the illegal eviction.
Tenants may learn more about their rights by visiting the website for the Attorney General. Knowing your rights is important because it can help you recognize whether they’re being violated. If you’re served with an eviction notice, read it carefully so that you understand what’s happening. Landlords are not required under Missouri law to serve a notice to quit for past due rent. However, many landlords will do serve a notice simply for courtesy. The eviction notice should give you a date by which you must correct the problem or vacate the property.
We discussed illegal evictions under Legal Considerations. If you think that the eviction you’re dealing with is illegal, you can contact a landlord-tenant attorney. They may be able to help you. If paying for a lawyer isn’t an option, contact St. Louis University School of Law, University of Missouri Columbia School of Law, University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, or Washington University School of Law. Ask if they have a legal clinic. Legal clinics often provide low-cost or free legal help to the public. They may be able to help you with the eviction process. Another option is Missouri legal aid. If you meet their income guidelines, you could receive free or low-cost help from a lawyer. They may also have additional resources that you can access.
Missouri landlords are not required to provide a notice to quit for non-payment of rent. However, many do because it provides documentation to help in the even that the landlord decides to sue the tenant. Keep in mind, though, that any Missouri eviction notice that is issued must comply with state law.
Also, landlords may not use illegal eviction methods. We discussed those items in detail under Legal Considerations. They include changing the locks, turning off the utilities on the property, or removing the tenant’s belongings without a court order; the tenant reporting the landlord or the property for code violations; or because the tenant belongs to one or more of the seven protected classes.
Landlords with questions about eviction notices, their rights, or their legal obligations should make an appointment with a landlord-tenant attorney in the county where the rental property is located.