Jefferson City, Mo. – State Sen. Lauren Arthur, D – Kansas City, has filed Senate Bill 60 to help protect victims of stalking, domestic violence or sexual assault by making it easier for victims to move out of their apartment or rental property following their victimization.
Senator Arthur’s legislation would allow victims of stalking, domestic and sexual violence to terminate their leases when documentation of that status is provided to their landlord. The documentation could be a police report, protection order or statement from a service provider. The bill also would provide victims with protections from eviction or lease termination.
The legislation would also establish an affirmative defense during lawsuits for back rent from tenants who left a rented residence due to their victimization. Landlords would be allowed to charge a “reasonable” termination fee to a victimized tenant who terminates a lease.
Previously, Sen. Arthur filed House Bill 2166, similar legislation, as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.
“Victims who have been traumatized by violence or stalking should not have to be trapped in their homes by legal red tape,” Sen. Arthur said. “Making it easier for victims to relocate will help them heal, keep them safe and ease at least one burden during a most difficult time.”
For a complete list of all bills filed for the 2019 legislative session, please visit the Missouri Senate’s website at senate.mo.gov.