5027L.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk



To repeal section 535.300, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to security deposits.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Section 535.300, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 535.300, to read as follows: 

            535.300. 1. A landlord may not demand or receive a security deposit in excess of two months' rent.

            2. Within thirty days after the date of termination of the tenancy, the landlord shall:

            (1) Return the full amount of the security deposit; or

            (2) Furnish to the tenant or renter a written itemized list of the damages for which the security deposit or any portion thereof is withheld and the estimated or actual cost for repairing or replacing each item on the list, attaching copies of the paid receipts for the repair or replacement, along with the balance of the security deposit. If the estimated cost is given, the landlord shall furnish the tenant or renter with copies of paid receipts or a certification of actual costs of repairs of damage within sixty days from the date of the statement. The landlord shall have complied with this subsection by mailing such statement, receipts, and any payment to the last known address of the tenant or renter.

            3. The landlord may withhold from the security deposit only such amounts as are reasonably necessary for the following reasons:

            (1) To remedy a tenant's or renter's default in the payment of rent due to the landlord, pursuant to the rental agreement;

            (2) To restore the leased dwelling unit to its condition at the commencement of the tenancy, ordinary wear and tear excepted; or

            (3) To compensate the landlord for actual damages sustained as a result of the tenant's or renter's failure to give adequate notice to terminate the tenancy pursuant to law or the rental agreement; provided that the landlord makes reasonable efforts to mitigate damages.

            4. The landlord shall give the tenant or renter or his representative reasonable notice in writing at his last known address or in person of the date and time when the landlord will inspect the leased dwelling unit following the termination of the rental agreement to determine the amount of the security deposit to be withheld, and the inspection shall be held at a reasonable time. The tenant or renter shall have the right to be present at the inspection of the leased dwelling unit at the time and date scheduled by the landlord.

            5. If the landlord wrongfully withholds all or any portion of the security deposit in violation of this section, the tenant or renter shall recover as damages not more than twice the amount wrongfully withheld.

            6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of the landlord to recover actual damages in excess of the security deposit, or to permit a tenant or renter to apply or deduct any portion of the security deposit at any time in lieu of payment of rent.

            7. As used in this section, the term "security deposit" means any deposit of money or property, however denominated, which is furnished by a tenant or renter to a landlord to secure the performance of any part of the rental agreement, including damages to the leased dwelling unit. This term does not include any money or property denominated as a deposit for a pet on the premises.

            8. A landlord of twenty or more dwelling units that are leased to tenants or renters shall:

            (1) Hold all security deposits received in a federally insured account, separate and apart from the landlord's own funds, but the landlord shall receive any interest earned on such account. The security deposit shall continue to be the property of the tenant or renter making such deposit and shall not be subject to the claims of any creditor of the landlord, including a foreclosing mortgagee or trustee in bankruptcy. In the event of a sale, transfer, or other direct or indirect disposition of residential real property, other than to the holder of a lien interest in such property, by a landlord who has received a security deposit, the landlord shall transfer such security deposit to the successor landlord and notify the tenant or renter who made such security deposit by delivering or mailing to the tenant's or renter's last known address the successor landlord's name, address, and telephone number. Upon transfer, the successor landlord shall be liable to the tenant or renter for the security deposit;

            (2) Provide the tenant or renter at the time of receiving such security deposit a signed receipt indicating the date, the amount of such security deposit, the name of the person receiving it and, in the case of an agent, the name of the landlord for whom such security deposit is received, a description of the leased dwelling unit, and the name and address of the bank or other financial institution in which the deposit will be held.

            9. For purposes of this section, a leased dwelling unit is a unit leased and occupied by one or more tenants or renters.