In Missouri, a landlord can have a tenant evicted for nonpayment of rent, violations of the lease, property damage or illegal activity on the property such as drugs or gambling. A landlord can also file an eviction when the tenant remains on the property after the lease has expired. In order to evict a tenant the landlord must obtain a court order through the circuit court of the county where the property is located.
How to Evict a Tenant in Missouri
- You need to deliver a notice to the tenant requesting that they resolve the situation. This notice should state the time frame in which the tenant is allowed to remedy the issue. Your notice should also include what sections of the lease have been violated and the amount of any unpaid rent that is due.
- A complaint for eviction will need to be filed with the circuit court clerk’s office. A complaint regarding a violation of the lease may be filed 30 days after the next rental due date following the notice of eviction. Complaints made on nonpayment can be filed immediately after issuing the notice and if rent remains unpaid.
- If you believe illegal activity is taking place on the property or if there is a risk of harm or destruction to the property or neighbors, notify the clerk. In such circumstances, an expedited eviction hearing can be set within 15 days of filing.
- You should contact the clerk’s office several days before the hearing date and verify that your tenant has been served and that an affidavit of service is on file. If the tenant could not be located, choose to serve the summons by mail and post it on the property. When this method is used, monetary damages can be awarded should the tenant appear in the courtroom.
- Before for the court hearing it is strongly advised that you gather documentation to prove your case. These documents can include the lease, photographs, notarized witness statements, account statements, police reports and any correspondence made between you and the tenant being evicted.
- If the tenant fails to appear in court, a default judgment will be issued in your favor. If the tenant does appear then you will be required to prove your case for eviction.
- If the judge orders the eviction and the tenant has not vacated within 10 days of the hearing, supply a copy of the judgement to the sheriff’s office to have the order enforced. As the landlord, you will be responsible for removal of any items that are left behind by the tenant.