New bill would lift cap on amount for apartment security deposit -

New bill would lift cap on amount for apartment security deposits in Mo.

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By Tim Klutsarits By Tim Klutsarits

( – A Missouri State Representative is proposing a bill that would eliminate the cap on what an apartment landlord can charge for a security deposit.

Under exiting Missouri law, a landlord can only charge a maximum of two month’s rent as a security deposit. State Rep. Eric Burlison of Springfield, said eliminating the cap would give renters with bad credit more flexibility if the landlord could adjust the deposit. Otherwise, Burlison said a landlord would not rent to the person.

Critics contend that Burlison’s proposed changes would hurt low income families.

“Right now there’s a cap and it it’s changed and opened up, a landlord could cater to someone who has good credit and might charge you only $500; but for someone who has a low credit scores, they might increase that and that puts an undue burden on the client,” said Michael Hammond with the Northeast Community Action Corporation (NECAC).

NECAC works in 12 counties to help secure housing for those who have no income. Some with NECAC believe renters may dig themselves into a hole if there is no security deposit limit.

“For example, someone might go and get a payday loan or something where they’re going to pay a lot of interest. That’s going to cost them a lot more money on the back end just get into a place they’re comfortable with, where they feel like it’s safe,” Hammond said.

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