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Money paid by a tenant to a landlord at the beginning of the tenancy. The money belongs to the tenant, but is held by the landlord until the tenancy ends. It can be used by the landlord to cover unpaid rent, to repair damages in the rental unit exceeding ordinary wear and tear caused by the tenant, or to reimburse the landlord for some damages caused by a tenant who fails to give adequate notice to terminate the lease. §535.300 RSMo.