Columbia Skyline

Security Deposits

What You Need to Know...

Most landlords require a deposit at the time of signing the lease. This deposit is money that the landlord collects as security against property damage, unclean conditions, and unpaid rent. The amount may vary; it is often equal to one month’s rent, but it cannot exceed two month’s rent in the state of Missouri.

It is a good idea for you to take photos before moving out to show that the property was clean and in good repair when you moved.

Within 30 days from the date the lease ends, the landlord is required to either return your full security deposit or give you a written list of reasons why part or all the security deposit was withheld.

The landlord may retain all or any portion of the deposit to cover any damages or charges for which you are liable under the lease. The landlord may also retain all or any portion of the deposit if you break the lease agreement.

It is important for the tenant to make it known to the landlord where they will be staying during the 30 days after the tenancy ends, so the security deposit can be sent to the appropriate location.

If the landlord fails to comply with this law, the renter may file a lawsuit asking for double the amount wrongfully withheld. Complaints can be filed through the Attorney General's Office online. Students can also contact with University of Missouri Student Legal Services.