Eviction laws differ according to state and sometimes even by county. In Missouri, the eviction process is covered by Chapter 535 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. And general landlord/tenant relation laws are located in Chapter 441 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. Missouri landlords would be well advised to be abreast of these laws because the circumstances of an eviction can be altered by a diversity of factors.
Reason for Eviction
The most common reason for eviction is non-payment of rent. Many landlords offer their tenants with rent payment options, including online rent collection. Additional reasons could include anything to a tenant harming the property in some way or violating the terms of the lease by allowing more individuals to move in than is allowed by the lease, repetitively engaging in activities that disturb other tenants or the neighbors, or even engaging in illegal activities like drug use and/or sales. Best practice to prevent violations is to prepare a state-specific lease agreement for Missouri. Regardless of the reason behind an eviction, they eviction process proceeds in a relatively predictable matter.
A landlord cannot simply walk onto a property and demand that a tenant vacates the premises. Instead, they must serve an eviction notice stating why the eviction is occurring and the time the tenant must resolve the problem. This notice can be delivered in person or even attached to the rental unit. A much smarter way to serve notice, however, is to deliver it by registered mail with a signature required from the recipient. Missouri eviction notices typically require a notice of thirty days from the time when the next rent is due.
Rent and Possession Suit
In short, after a notice has been served and the tenant has still failed to vacate the property, paperwork must be filed with the court system. This will necessitate the landlord paying a filing fee and possibly even retaining an attorney. The Court then prepares a Summons and serves the negligent tenant. The Summons specifies the date, time, and place where a hearing will be held. As is any court case, there are always two sides to every argument. If the tenant fails to show up for the hearing, however, the landlord automatically wins the case. If the tenant fights the eviction claiming the landlord has violated the terms of the lease in some way, the judge will weigh that evidence against that prepared by the landlord and, in the end, decide in one or the other’s favor. If the judge decides on eviction he may also award back rent and damages to the landlord. Even then, however, the landlord must wait for the tenant to move on his own or be escorted from the property by law enforcement.
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