Home > Blog > Missouri Landlords Cannot Ask Tenants to Agree to Fees in a Lease that Violate Missouri Law

Missouri Landlords Cannot Ask Tenants to Agree to Fees in a Lease that Violate Missouri Law

Posted by RCaldwell on October 20, 2015

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that landlords may only withhold money from security deposits for the reasons set out by statute, and not for any other reason listed in the tenant's lease.

Robert E. Caldwell, Jr. and Dan McMichael successfully obtained a ruling of law in the Missouri Court of Appeals that benefits all Missouri tenants.  You can read the opinion here:  https://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=83875

Under Missouri statute 535.300, 

3. The landlord may withhold from the security deposit only such amounts as are reasonably necessary for the following reasons:

(1) To remedy a tenant's default in the payment of rent due to the landlord, pursuant to the rental agreement;

(2) To restore the dwelling unit to its condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted; or

(3) To compensate the landlord for actual damages sustained as a result of the tenant's failure to give adequate notice to terminate the tenancy pursuant to law or the rental agreement; provided that the landlord makes reasonable efforts to mitigate damages.

The ruling by the Court of Appeals in Younker et al. v. Investment Realty et al. states that a landlord cannot put in the lease additional fees that come out of a security deposit.  Under the same statute, the landlord is required to tell a tenant the reasons for withholding money from a security deposit.  This will help tenants figure out if the withholding was wrongful or not.

Under the same statute, if there is a wrongful withholding, a tenant has a remedy of receiving up to twice what was taken from the tenant's security deposit illegally.  

If you feel that your security deposit was wrongfully withheld, and if you have not failed to pay rent, failed to provide proper notice to vacate the leased unit, and not damaged the apartment beyond ordinary wear and tear, you might have a claim.  Importantly, if the lease itself states that a fee will be withheld from the security deposit no matter what, and it is not specifically allowed under statute 535.300, you have good evidence of a violation of that statute.


Posted by Masl on
Hey INTJMom!!!One thing to note about the article you sent me: It's not a cnmplaiot about socialized medicine in principle -- it's merely saying that the British system was more efficient than the French system in 2004. It also talks about how the French were looking at a comprehensive medical record database system to eliminate some redundant treatments.The article may well be accurate on the point about creating a database. Note the article isn't current. In the past few years, I had a "Carte Vitale" which was used to track my treatment/payment records, so the biggest cnmplaiot -- wasteful redundant tests -- has apparently already been taken care of.The key point to note, though, is that the article doesn't compare the costs of the French system to the costs of the American system. The American system is far more costly and far less efficient overall, which is one of the main reasons people are looking to revamp it. (I don't have a link handy -- this is common enough knowledge that you can just Google for it.)Regarding their little anecdote about the doctor who makes house calls hanging around for a drink on time he's billing to the state: That smacks of the usual conservative "welfare queens in Cadillacs" type of rumor/scare tactic. Read (or any post of the increasing number of ordinary working families in the U.S. who currently have no health care for their kids) for the other side of the coin. When I was in France, we had several instances where one of our kids had an accident or fell sick, and it was fantastic to know that we could call and have a doctor come to our house to make sure our kids were okay. Every doctor who treated our kids in France was highly competent and professional. And having these problems taken care of right away in one simple visit ends up saving in the long run since people don't end up waiting until a health problem worsens to the critical point before seeking treatment. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.Really, I think it's revolting that people would be arguing that it's okay for families to have nowhere to turn when their kids get hurt or sick just because someone claims they heard there exists an incompetent doctor somewhere in France. So the thought that kids in working-poor families should go without pediatric well-child checkups and needed vaccines doesn't bother your commenter, but s/he is full of righteous indignation over a rumor that somebody out there might be playing the system? Talk about messed-up priorities! Imagine if the money for GWB's illegal war had instead been used to guarantee basic pediatric care for every kid in the country. One can hardly argue that it would encourage indigence or something since kids aren't normally expected to get a job...
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Well the trip is over .but it was a fun four days. We were so ready for the break! I love seeing the log tkurcs when we are around Hot Springs, etc. But I can't imagine driving one! (a rufus, huh?) When I was a kid my my Uncle Milford would come thru town in his semi. When it was time for him to leave, I'd get to ride with him a few miles outside of town and dad would follow and pick me up. I thought I was in tall cotton.
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