Healthy Homes/Rent Smart

Leasing Tips:

  • Missouri law limits occupancy to no more than two persons per bedroom except for children born during the lease period.
  • Get a receipt for your security deposit, rent or anything else for which you pay in cash.
  • Check in/Check out inventory is attached – Take pictures when you move in.  Should be completed within 72 hours of moving into the rental unit. It is best if it is completed together with the landlord.  Make a copy so you and the landlord both have one.  Check In/Check Out Form (PDF)
  • Landlord cannot legally let the rental unit fall below housing codes.
  • Utilities – Tenant needs to know what utilities they will be held responsible to pay.    Find out if you need to contact the utility company to get the utilities turned on or moved to your name when moving in.  In Missouri, the landlord carries the responsibility to be sure that gas, electricity and water are available in the rental unit.  If they cannot be turned on because of non-payment by a previous tenant, that becomes the landlord’s problem rather than a problem for the new tenant.
  • Tenants can often negotiate the terms in a lease agreement.  If there is something in the lease they want removed, they can work with the landlord to have it changed if the landlord is open to negotiation.  If changes are made to the lease, the changes need to be initialed by both tenant and the landlord and dated.
  • Read the entire contract and ask for clarification if you do not understand something.  Do not sign anything you do not understand.  All promises and agreements should be in writing.
  • Is trash service available?  Is it included in my rent payment?  What day is it picked up?  Where is the dumpster located?  Is there a limit on the number of bags?
  • Are all systems in good working order to include: exhaust fans, plumbing, heating/air conditioning and electrical?
  • What repairs and cleaning will the landlord do?
  • Are fees charged for late payments?
  • When signing a lease agreement, do not leave any blank spaces.  Either cross through them or write the word blank in the space.

Home Fire Safety Checklist (PDF)