What you need to know when faced with a problem
With growing enrollment numbers being recorded for all four of the UM System campuses, an increasing number of students are turning to off-campus housing for living arrangements. While the number of students renting apartments or houses is increasing, there are also a number of complaints regarding wrongfully withheld security deposits. Steve Concannon, Director of Student Legal Services at the University of Missouri, cites around 40% of the students seek Student Legal Services because of security deposit issues.
– Tenants may not use security deposit for last months rent.
– Landlord can only require a maximum two months’ rent as a security deposit.
– At the end of the lease, the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit with an itemized list of damages for which any portion of the deposit is kept.
– The tenant has the right to be present during the move-out inspection
Legislators are currently drafting legislation that would ultimately require more severe penalties to landlords that illegally withhold security deposits from tenants.
ASUM will be exploring legislation that requires the security deposits of tenants to be put into an escrow account.
Additionally, students are urged to file complaints against their landlords regarding the improper withholding of security deposits through the Consumer Protection Division of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.