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J. Russell Ford, Attorney at Law, P.C.
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Kansas City, MO 64106
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Landlord Tenant law

Landlord/Tenant Information Page

Helpful Information from J. Russell Ford, Attorney at Law, P.C.

If you are involved in a dispute of residential rental property, you may be uncertain of your oblligations or rights or a landlord.

At the law office of J. Russell Ford, Attorney at Law, P.C., I work with landlords throughout the Kansas City, Missouri Metro area. With 40 years of experience, I understand the law and process and know how to take the necessary action to protect your interests. I will take the time to sit down with you, review your lease, listen to your concerns, and help you find the best way to resolve your dispute.

Landlord/Tenant Law

To set up a half-hour consultation, contact me or call my office at 816-399-5211. My offices are located a half block south of the round Federal Courthouse at 9th and Oak in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. I am available to meet with clients Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm, and evenings and weekends upon request.

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Landlord-Tenant Law Resource Links

Fair Housing
Website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency in charge of fair housing issues; includes an online version of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act).

Housing and Urban Development Rental Information
This portion of HUD's website is devoted to rental issues including information on budgeting for an apartment, apartment searching, and renters' insurance.

About Apartments
This web site, from, has general information on a host of rental issues from what to look for in a lease, to apartment decorating tips.

Rental Housing On Line
Rental Housing On-Line is full of information on a variety of tenancy issues. Check under the "guest subject areas" tab for a full listing.

State-Specific Landlord Information
This web site is mostly devoted to landlord (and some tenant) issues, divided on a state-by-state basis. Links are provided for laws, updates, and guides, among other items.

Landlord-Tenant Law - An Overview

After entering into a lease for an apartment or rental property, any number of things could go "wrong," such as a discovery that the property is unsafe for habitation, or the failure to pay rent when it is due. Sometimes real estate issues are resolved without the involvement of judges or lawyers. In other situations, the disputes and consequences surrounding the rental of property necessitates legal assistance and resolution. At those times, the help of an experienced and effective real estate lawyer, like those at J. Russell Ford in Kansas City, MO, becomes a key component to protecting your financial and personal rights, whether you are a landlord or tenant. If you are involved in a real estate dispute, call J. Russell Ford today

The Laws Surrounding Rental Transactions

When a person signs their name on a lease, they are effectively entering into a contract which binds them, and the other party, to certain obligations and affords certain rights. Even before that time, laws are in effect which limit the real estate rental process.

For example, if an individual is working with a rental services agency or real estate agent, there are laws that govern the agent/client relationship and how much compensation the agent can charge. Other laws mandate what information must be disclosed to potential tenants about a property, what limitations may be placed on a rental, and numerous other things.

Certain federal laws, such as the Fair Housing Act, bind people across the country no matter where they live. The Fair Housing Act places strict limits on the manner in which, and to whom, a landlord or owner may rent a property. Other laws, such as those affecting the obligations of a landlord to maintain a property or return a security deposit, are state-specific. While different states may have similar laws, the requirements vary from state to state.

Rental Agreements and Leases: What's the Difference?

Many potential tenants do not realize that there is a legal difference between a rental agreement and a lease. In short, a rental agreement is a document that provides for a short period of tenancy (often one month). The tenancy agreement is automatically renewed at the end of the period unless the tenant or the landlord provides written notice to the other party that it will not be renewed. This is called a "month-to-month" rental. In addition to opting not to renew a rental agreement, a landlord may also change the terms of the agreement after providing notice to the tenant. This right is subject to certain limitations, such as rent control laws and potentially other laws depending upon the state in which the property is located.

A lease, on the other hand, usually binds the parties to a longer period of time, such as six months or a year. The lease is considered valid over that period as long as the tenant continues to pay rent and abides by the other requirements of the lease. Leases are generally not automatically renewed at their expiration and instead require the parties to sign a new lease or renegotiate the lease for the next term or period of time.

When Something Goes Wrong

Laws protect the rights of landlords and tenants in the event that something goes wrong. For example, if a tenant fails to pay rent when it is due or consistently has loud parties resulting in property damage, a landlord may have a right to evict the tenant and retain the security deposit. A tenant may have a right to break a lease and move from a rental property if a landlord fails to make necessary repairs or to maintain the property in a habitable condition. For the most part, the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants are determined by state law, not the federal law. For that reason, the ramifications and the remedies can be very different from state to state.

Speak to a Landlord-Tenant Lawyer

Landlords and tenants both have various legal rights and obligations when they are involved in a real estate rental. If you have questions about a real estate rental transaction in which you are involved, it is in your best interests to contact an experienced real estate lawyer at J. Russell Ford in Kansas City, MO, to ensure that your rights are protected and your interests maintained

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