Gov. Mike Parson (Photo courtesy of Gov. Parson’s Twitter page)

Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a bill that prevents victims or potential victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking from being denied a rental for being a victim. It expands to protect them from eviction or if they must break their lease agreement for being a victim.

House bill 243, sponsored by Cameron Republican Rep. Jim Neely, says the tenant has an affirmative defense, in certain actions brought by the landlord, that the tenant who left the premises was a victim or was in imminent danger of becoming a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking. It provides a list of paperwork the landlord must accept as proof that the tenant was or was going to be a victim.

The measure allows a landlord to charge a termination fee on such a tenant who wants to end a lease early.

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