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Quick Answers...Legal Issues


What are my rights as a renter or tenant?

As a renter, you have a right to enjoy the peaceful possession of the property you have rented. Once you have signed a lease agreement, the landlord must notify you of, and you must agree to, any new terms or changes. Specifically, you have a legal right to:


  • A property that is capable of being lived in.


  • Have the rental property and appliances maintained and in compliance with applicable housing and building codes.


  • Safe, secure common areas in apartment and housing complexes, and they must comply with applicable codes.


  • Live on the property as long as you pay your rent. A landlord cannot evict you without a court order and must not have utilities disconnected unless there is an emergency (e.g., repairing a leak).


  • Pay only the rent specified in your lease agreement. If you are renting month-to-month, the landlord must provide you 30 days notice of any rent increase.

The landlord is legally obligated to comply with the terms of the lease, just as the renter is obligated to abide by the terms. You may have the right to move out or terminate the lease if the landlord fails to make major repairs that put the health and safety of you or your family at risk.

For more information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, see Missouri Landlord and Tenant Law: Mid Missouri Legal Service's Tenant Information Packet.




Brenda Procter, M.S., State Specialist & Instructor
Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri-Extension





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Last update: Wednesday, April 19, 2006




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