MO House Representative Gary Cross reported on Tuesday that the Governor of Missouri signed HB 1410 into Law. This law deals with a lot of issues affecting the Missouri Landlord and Builder. The provision of the Bill that Gary came to our meeting to talk about a bit is the unlawful occupancy of squatters in our houses and makes it easier to evict people who are not legally occupying our rental property.
This bill changes the laws regarding landlord tenant actions. In its main provisions, the bill:
(1) Changes, from December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2024, the expiration date of the provisions requiring a builder to offer the purchaser of a family dwelling or townhouse the option of installing or equipping fire sprinklers at the purchaser’s cost;
(2) Modifies the definition of “lessee” by restricting it to only a person who leases premises from another to the exclusion of others during the rental or lease period and is obligated to pay rent. Currently, the definition of “lessee” includes any person residing on the premises with the lessee’s permission;
(3) Adds statutory definitions for the terms “landlord” and “tenant” and revises the definition of “occupant” as a person lawfully occupying a dwelling either as a tenant or a lessee;
(4) Specifies that if the plaintiff presents evidence that a person is not lawfully occupying a dwelling unit as a tenant or a lessee, the court must order the immediate removal of the person;
(5) Specifies that following an immediate eviction court order, the tenant must have 24 hours to vacate the premises. The landlord must subsequently have the right to re-enter and take possession of the rental premises;
(6) Requires all cases regarding forcible entry and unlawful detainer to be heard on the record unless the plaintiff has designated the case as one to be heard under the practice and procedure applicable before circuit judges;
(7) Removes the option for the filing of an application for a trial de novo in landlord-tenant actions;
(8) Requires the service of a summons issued in a landlord-tenant proceeding in Jackson County to be attempted within four days of the date of issuance. Currently, the sheriff must attempt to serve the summons within four days of the date of issuance; and
(9) Specifies that a person who, as a tenant, willfully or wantonly destroys, defaces, damages, impairs, or removes any part of a leased structure or dwelling unit or its facilities, equipment, or appurtenances may not inject the issue of claim of right.
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