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What rights does a tenant have?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2021 | Blog, Landlord-tenant Law

When you own property in Missouri, you can usually do whatever you want with it, within reason. However, the rules change when you start renting out your property to tenants. If you’re new to the landlord business, you could accidentally break the law without even realizing it.

What are three things that landlords can’t do?

According to tenants rights laws, landlords can’t raise the rent on their property for no reason. Once your tenant signs a contract, you have to abide by that contract in most situations. You might be able to increase rent if you included a stipulation in your contract for increasing rent in certain situations, like the tenant inviting another person to live with them. Otherwise, you can’t do anything until the contract expires.

Additionally, you can’t enter your tenant’s residence without giving them an advance notice unless there’s an emergency. You might own the property, but you still have to give your tenants some privacy and personal space. In some states, you can only enter your property during certain times of the week even with advance notice. However, the law goes both ways: if you follow the law and give your tenant advance notice, it’s illegal for them to refuse entry. If you suspect that your tenant has broken the law, contact a real estate attorney for help with the situation.

Finally, you can’t evict tenants without giving them a 30-day notice. This gives your tenant time to find another place to live while you look for another renter. Even if your tenant is being difficult, you can’t lock them out of the building or turn off the utilities. If you do, your tenant could file a lawsuit.

What are your rights as a landlord?

Tenants have rights, but so do landlords–after all, you’re the one that owns the property in the first place. A real estate attorney could talk to you about your rights and tell you how to proceed in difficult situations. They could also help you negotiate with difficult tenants without getting involved in a lengthy and expensive lawsuit.