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Consumer protection in Missouri includes rental property tenants

Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act, R.S.Mo. 407.020, makes it unlawful for a business to engage in any deception, misrepresentation, or unfair practice in consumer transactions. The Act also provides that consumers who suffer from such misconduct may sue to recover the amount they have lost, and may also recover punitive damages. R.S.Mo. 407.025. This private right to sue for damages applies to all “purchases or leases” of “merchandise,” which the Act defines to include “any object, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services.” R.S.Mo. 407.010. The Act was amended in 1999 to include “real estate” among all those types of “merchandise”; previously, the section on private lawsuits included only “goods or services.”

Tenants of residential real estate are thus within the protections of Merchandising Practices Act, whether in Kansas City or elsewhere throughout the state of Missouri. Remember also that the Merchandising Practices Act contains a provision allowing the Court to order the defendant business to pay the consumer’s legal fees if the consumer prevails in the lawsuit. If you have questions about whether a business has violated Missouri or federal law, you may contact Civil Justice Law Firm LLC to request a free and confidential consultation.