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What is the law on security deposits on residential rental property?

Missouri law provides that a landlord cannot request or receive a security deposit in excess of twice the monthly rent amount. Within 30 days after the date of termination of a tenancy, the landlord is required to:

  1. Return the full amount of the security deposit, or
  2. Furnish the tenant a written itemized list of the damages for which the security deposit or any portion thereof is withheld, along with the balance of the security deposit.

A landlord may withhold amounts from the security deposit to remedy a tenant’s default in rent, to restore the dwelling unit to its condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted, and/or 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. If the landlord wrongfully withholds all or any portion of the security deposit in violation of the law, the tenant can recover twice the amount wrongfully withheld as damages.


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