Missouri Eviction Process & Laws | Free MO Eviction Notices

The Missouri eviction process is a legal procedure known as the 'forcible entry and detainer', or 'FED', when a tenant has not responded to a notice to quit for nonpayment, noncompliance, or month to month lease termination. The landlord may use the Eviction Instructions (for St. Louis but may be applied to all counties) and the Tenant may Use This Guide to access their rights. All filings may be completed at a Circuit Court Location.

NonPayment Laws - Immediate § 535.010

NonCompliance Laws - 10 days § 441.040

Month to Month Laws - 30 days § 441.060

Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer Laws - Chapter 534

Types of Notice



Missouri 10 Day Notice to Comply or Quit | NonCompliance

The Missouri ten (10) day notice to comply or quit, in regards to Section 441.040, may be used when a tenant has committed some form of “curable” (i.e. fixable) lease violation. The notice provides the tenant with ten (10) days to either cure the violation(s) or vacate the rental unit. If…

Missouri Lease Termination Letter | Month to Month Tenancy

The Missouri month-to-month termination letter, pursuant to Section 441.060, is used to inform a month-to-month tenant of the landlord’s intention to terminate the lease/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…

Missouri Notice to Pay or Quit | NonPayment of Rent

The Missouri Notice to quit or pay, in connection with Statute 535.010, is a form that is not required to be given by a landlord to the tenant when payment is late. This is done out of courtesy of the landlord to inform the lessee that a case may be…

Process How to Evict a Tenant

The State of Missouri’s eviction process is relatively straightforward. The landlord is required to serve the tenant with a notice informing them of the lease termination* before an eviction action can be filed in court. After the eviction action is filed, the tenant will be served with a summons to appear in court. The judge will rule in favor of the plaintiff (i.e. landlord) or the defendant (i.e. tenant). Follow the steps in the guide below for an in-depth look into the eviction process from the point of view of a landlord.

*A tenant who has failed to pay rent does not technically need to be served with a notice before the an eviction action can be filed, however it is good practice to do so (it will provide documentation/evidence if the eviction goes to trial). 

Step 1 – Serve the tenant with the proper type of notice. A ten day notice to comply/quit must be served to a tenant who has committed a lease violation. Month-to-month tenants have to be served a thirty (30) day termination notice. The notice must be served personally, or left with a resident of the rental property who is at least 15 years or older.

Note: “Self-help” evictions are not legal in Missouri. An eviction must be conducted through a court order.

Step 2 – Allow the tenant the amount of time stated in the notice to pay/cure/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.

Step 3 – File the eviction lawsuit in the district court of the county where the rental unit is located. After the eviction action has been filed, the tenant will be served with a summons/complaint. The summons will list the date/time that the tenant and landlord will need to show up to court. The complaint will inform the tenant of what the landlord is filing for (i.e. possession, financial damages, etc.).

Step 4 – Show up to court on the date of the hearing/trial. Both the plaintiff (i.e. landlord) and defendant (i.e. tenant) are required to show up on this date. Bring any evidence such as payment histories, a copy of the lease/rental agreement, the notice that was served to the tenant, etc.

Step 5 – The judge will make a ruling on the eviction, granting “possession” to the landlord or the tenant. If the judgement is made in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be required to vacate the rental property (or file an appeal) within a certain period of time. The tenant has ten (10) days after the initial judgement to file an appeal.