Are you a Missouri tenant facing eviction?
If your landlord is evicting you, EDDE (Eviction Defense Document Engine) can help you create your own court documents to fight your eviction for free.
How it works
EDDE (Eviction Defense Document Engine) asks you questions and uses your answers to complete your court forms. You can save, edit, email, download, and print your completed forms. You will get instructions to help with your next steps.
Your answers are used to create a court ready document you can file in your Missouri eviction case.
Review your forms
You will have a chance to review all of your answers.
Download and file your forms in court
You can save, edit, email, download, or print your completed forms. You must file them with the court.
If you are not current with your rent, you should first attempt to make payment arrangements with your landlord. While your landlord is not required to accept a payment plan, it is best to get any agreements in writing to avoid future disputes about what you agreed to.
Unlawful eviction is an attempt by the landlord to evict a tenant without a court order. Only a judge can order a tenant to move. Illegal "self-help” evictions may include the landlord changing your locks, threatening you or engaging in physical violence against you, or removing your personal property.
A rent and possession lawsuit in Missouri is the method to evict someone for failing to pay rent. If you are past due on rent, a landlord may try to evict you through a rent and possession action.
An unlawful detainer action in Missouri is the legal action where a landlord seeks to evict someone if they fail to move when the lease expires, if the lease has been terminated, or if they were not allowed to live on the property in the first place. Many leases are for a specific time period.
Because an unlawful detainer action cannot begin until your lease agreement has ended, either your lease must expire or your landlord must take action to terminate your lease. The landlord can terminate your lease for any violation of lease terms and must provide notice of termination, the reason for termination, and time to move. Since the amount of time you have to vacate after lease termination can vary depending on the reason for termination, immediately seek legal help if you are served with notice of lease termination from your landlord.
Be aware that many leases are for a fixed time period, but often have provisions for automatic renewal when the original term ends. Carefully read your written lease for the specific new arrangement that begins when your agreement expires.
You will receive notice from the court that you have been sued. This notice can be done by personal service (where someone hands the lawsuit to you or someone that lives in your home) or by posting (where the lawsuit is taped to your front door and you get a copy of the lawsuit in the mail). If you have been served with a summons, now is the time to seek legal assistance.
Once a judge orders you to move, after a hearing or if you fail to show in court, you will have 10 days to move from your rental property. If you fail to do so, the court will order the sheriff in your county to evict you from the rental property. How long it will take for the sheriff to actually make you move varies county-to-county, but you will not want to take the chance of still being in your rental property once the sheriff shows up to make you move. If a sheriff is required to make you move, they may make you leave the rental property – and your personal belongings – immediately. It then can become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get your personal belongings back from the landlord.
If you appear in court and agree to move, it is possible the sheriff could come to the home at any time to make you move. Therefore, if you appear in court and agree to move, it is extremely important to talk to the landlord or landlord’s attorney to arrange for some time to move.
Missouri Tenant Help offers free, easy-to-use, and mobile-friendly resources to Missouri tenants facing eviction or other housing needs. Our EDDE (Eviction Defense Document Engine) is accessible to tenants, attorneys, paralegals, or anyone helping a tenant.
Missouri Tenant Help is proudly funded by HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and is supported by legal aid organizations across Missouri.
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under an award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government.