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Legal Information: Missouri

Missouri Housing Laws

Laws current as of
January 1, 2024

There are many housing laws about the rights of tenants and landlords. This section talks about the law protecting tenants who are victims of domestic violencesexual assault, or stalking.

How does this housing law protect victims?

This law protects victims of domestic violencesexual assault, or stalking in two ways.

1. If you qualify to rent or lease a home, a landlord cannot do the following just because you are, were, or are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violencesexual assault, or stalking:

  • refuse to rent to you;
  • evict you; or
  • say you violated your lease.1

But a landlord can do these things mentioned above if:

  • you allowed the abuser into the home; or
  • the landlord reasonably believes the abuser is a danger to other people in the home or on the property.1

2. You can break your lease early if you follow the steps laid out in How do I break my lease early?2 

MO ST 441.920(2)
MO ST 441.920(3), (4)

How do I break my lease early?

If you need to leave your home and break your lease, you must:

  1. a document signed by both you and a victim service, health care, or mental health provider or professional who you asked for help.  It must state, “under penalty of perjury,” that the provider or professional believes that you experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking as defined by the law; or
  2. a record from a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency about the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This could be a police report, court record, or administrative agency record.1

MO ST 441.920(4)

What happens if my landlord sues me for rent after I followed the legal steps to break my lease?

It’s possible your landlord might try to sue you for rent after you’ve left. However, the judge will not order you to pay rent for the time after you left if the judge believes that:

Your landlord can still require you to pay a “reasonable termination fee” for ending your lease early, however.2

MO ST 441.920(3), (4)
MO ST 441.920(6)