A Missouri lease agreement is a binding contract between a landlord and a tenant to lease out a property situated in the state of Missouri. It can be for commercial or residential use. It establishes the conditions that will govern the use of the property. The tenant is required to pay a certain amount of rent every month during the lease. It usually extends to one year and can be longer depending on the requirement of the tenant.
Laws in the state of Missouri may differ from other states in the United States of America. Hence it is important to ensure that a Missouri lease agreement is in compliance with the laws of Missouri.
Purpose of a Missouri Lease Agreement
A Missouri lease agreement lays down the duties of the tenant and the landlord during the period of the lease. It allows them to have a clear understanding of what is required by either party. This helps in reducing ambiguity and addresses any concerns that either party may have. In case of a dispute, the agreement can be referred to resolve the issue. The courts will also look into the terms of the agreement when adjudicating a dispute concerning the lease.
Having a written lease agreement gives a comprehensive account of the terms agreed to by both parties. In Missouri, if the agreement is not in writing and signed by the parties, it is assumed to be a month-to-month lease agreement. Therefore, it is important to have a written agreement to avoid ambiguity.
Key Terms of Missouri Lease Agreement
Irrespective of the type of lease, there are certain important terms that must be included in a lease agreement in Missouri. These are:
- Names of the parties
- Address and description of the property
- Term of the lease
- Rent to be paid
- Security deposits
- Restriction on the number of occupants
- Use of the premises
- Utilities and who should pay for them
- Repairs and maintenance
- Duties of the landlord and tenant
- Landlord’s right of entry
- Grounds for termination of the lease
- Disclosures required under the law
- Governing law of the agreement
- Signature of both the parties
How to Draft the Missouri Lease Agreement?
There are certain important points to remember when drafting a Missouri lease agreement-
- Both parties and the property should be identified clearly so that there is no confusion.
- The term of the lease should be specified- whether it is for a few months or one year or more than that. The date when the lease begins and ends should be mentioned.
- The amount of rent should be clearly mentioned along with the date when it is to be paid and the mode of payment.
- The tenant has to furnish a security deposit, which should be in accordance with the law of Missouri. It cannot be more than two month’s rent. The landlord must return it within thirty days from the date when the lease comes to an end. Other considerations, such as where it will be deposited and how it will be returned, should also be included.
- A clause of ‘utilities’ should be included to clarify who will pay for which service. For example, the tenant will be required to pay for electricity and the internet while the landlord will pay for water charges.
- Both parties should agree on their duties and responsibilities under the agreement. In this way, both are aware of what is expected of them. The duties must conform to the law of the state. For instance, under Missouri law, the tenant must dispose of garbage in a sanitary manner. These should be included to ensure that there is no violation of the law.
- The landlord shall incorporate a provision where he reserves the right of entry into the premises. As per the law in Missouri, the landlord is not required to give any notice to the tenant before entering the property.
- There should be a provision stating the circumstances under which the lease can be terminated. This protects the tenant from arbitrary termination of the agreement by the landlord.
- While the laws of Missouri do not mandate any disclosures to be given by the landlord, they are bound to disclose, under federal law, about lead-based paint if the property was built before 1978.
- The governing law of the agreement should be plainly stated to avoid any issues regarding jurisdiction in case of a dispute.
- Ensure that both parties sign the document.
Types of Missouri Lease Agreement
The following are the different kinds of lease agreements in Missouri-
- Standard residential lease agreement- it is used when the property is leased out for residential use.
- Commercial lease agreement- commercial lease agreement is used to establish a lease when the property is leased for commercial use, such as office space.
- Roommate Agreement- Roommate agreement is used to lay down the conditions of use between roommates who share common areas in a house.
- Lease to own agreement- lease to own allows the tenant to purchase the property after a certain amount of time.
- Month to month lease agreement- this month to month lease agreement renews every month upon payment of rent to the landlord. It can be terminated by giving at least one month’s notice.
Download a Sample Missouri Lease Agreement
A template of a Missouri lease agreement can be downloaded from below.