Legislation would punish Missouri's evicted tenants who won't leave

Monday, February 20, 2012 | 9:14 a.m. CST; updated 9:23 a.m. CST, Monday, February 20, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri state senator wants to make it a crime for people to remain in rented homes or apartments if a court has told them to get out because they haven't paid rent.

Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, has introduced legislation making it a misdemeanor to fail to leave rental property within 10 days of a court judgment. Violators could face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Engler said the current system allows people to stay in homes and apartments long after they stop paying rent. He said they're basically stealing from property owners if they occupy a place for which they have not paid.


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