The Missouri ten (10) day notice to comply or quit is issued by a landlord to a tenant who has committed some form of “curable” (i.e. fixable) lease violation. The notice provides the tenant with ten (10) days to either put right their violations or to vacate the rental unit. If the tenant fails to comply with this notice, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement and then file an eviction lawsuit. The notice must be served to the tenant in person or left at the rental unit with a resident who is at least 15 years of age. Laws – § 441.020, § 441.030, and § 441.040
Missouri Eviction Notices – 24 Hours, 10, and 30 Day Notices to Quit
The Missouri month-to-month termination letter is used to inform a tenant of the landlord’s intention to terminate their rental agreement. No reason is necessary to terminate a month-to-month (or “at-will”) tenancy, however, the termination cannot be discriminatory or retaliatory in nature. The tenant must receive at least thirty (30) days notice before the next rent-paying date before the landlord can terminate the agreement. Likewise, if the lodger wishes to terminate a month-to-month lease, they can also serve their landlord in the same fashion. The lease termination letter provides the date that the lease will be terminated and the amount of the
The Missouri Notice to quit or pay is a document that may be given by a landlord to a tenant when the rent payment is late. The law does not require this notice, so it is served only as a courtesy and to provide proof that the lessee has been informed that a case may be brought against them if they do not pay by the date indicated on the document. If the tenant fails to pay by the written due date, the landlord will be able to obtain a court order to have them evicted. Laws – § 535.010
How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
In Missouri, when a lease is going to be terminated, a landlord will usually serve a notice to their tenants before filing an eviction action in court when a lease is going to be terminated. If the tenant hasn’t paid their rent or has committed other violations as detailed in §441.740, no notice is required. Even if notice isn’t required, it will still be in the best interests of the landlord to issue a notice so that they have a written proof that they properly notified the lodger of the coming eviction. Furthermore, eviction is only legal by court order and landlords should never attempt an eviction without one. Once the eviction action has been filed, the tenant will be served with either a court-ordered eviction notice or a summons to appear in court. If the judge rules in favor of the occupant, they will be able to stay at their residence. Otherwise, they will be evicted by order of the court.
Step 1 – Choose the Correct Notice Type
Serve the tenant with the proper type of notice. The Demand for Payment or Possession is issued only when a lessee has not paid their rent in full. A Ten (10) Day Notice to Comply or Vacate is served to a tenant who has committed a lease violation. Month-to-month tenants have to be served a thirty (30) day termination notice.
- Missouri Demand for Payment or Possession
- Missouri 10 Day Notice to Comply or Vacate
- Missouri Lease Termination Letter
Step 2 – Deliver the Notice to Tenant
Once the notice has been prepared, it must be served personally to the tenant or left with a resident of the rental property who is at least fifteen (15) years old. The landlord should keep a copy of the notice for their records and complete the “Proof of Service” section of the copy (if applicable).
Step 3 – Prepare Statement/Complaint
Allow the tenant the amount of time stated in the notice to pay the rent owed, cure the lease violations, or vacate the rental unit. The eviction action can only be filed after the notice period has expired and the tenant has failed to comply with the demands stated in the notice.
For an eviction when the tenant has failed to pay rent, you will need to file a “statement” that includes a certified affidavit with the circuit court of the county in which the rental unit is located (§ 535.010). If they violated the lease, you will need to file a Complaint and a Summons (§ 534.070). These forms can all be obtained from your Circuit Court or in the Landlord’s Directions package which can be downloaded from the Missouri Courts website. Jackson and St. Louis County have their own forms which can be downloaded below.
- Jackson County
- Landlord’s Petition
- Order to Serve or Post
- Motion for Order to Post
- St. Louis County
- Judgment and Order for Immediate Eviction
- Affidavit and Petition in Unlawful Detainer
- Affidavit and Statement in Landlord/Tenant
Step 4 – File Statement/Complaint
File the eviction lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the county where the rental unit is located. If your property is owned in the name of a business, you must be represented by a lawyer. Filing fees will vary depending on the case and the apartment’s location (view fee schedule examples here and here). If the value of the settlement is $5,000 or under, the case will usually be filed with the small claims court.
Step 5 – Serve Court Order/Summons
Once the eviction action has been properly filed, the tenant will be served either a court order or a summons by a law enforcement officer (or another authorized individual). The applicable document will inform them of how long they have to vacate or what their date of trial will be.
Step 6 – Attend Trial
Arrive at the court on the scheduled date and bring any evidence such as payment histories, a copy of the rental agreement, a copy of the notice that was served to the tenant, and/or proof of lease violations. If the tenant does not attend the trial, the judge will enter a “default judgment” in favor of the landlord. Once the judge has made a ruling on the eviction, if the judgment is made in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be required to vacate the rental property within twenty-four (24) hours after the initial judgment to file an appeal.
Step 7 – Removal of the Tenant
If the tenant fails to comply with the court order, a law enforcement officer may be authorized to remove them from the premises. The landlord is not responsible for any of the tenant’s property once they have been evicted.