Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
ELMER M. OTEY, Respondent,
DEBRA WILEY, Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis Honorable
Barbara T. Peebles
B. SULLIVAN, P.J.
Wiley (Wiley) appeals from the trial court's judgment
entered in favor of Elmer M. Otey (Otey) on his claim for
rent and possession. We affirm as modified.
and Procedural Background
November 17, 2015, Otey filed a Petition and Affidavit for
rent and possession seeking $6, 700 in damages for unpaid
rent from Wiley from January 2015 through November 2015 in
the circuit court of the City of St. Louis. On January 12,
2016, the court entered a default judgment against Wiley in
the amount of $14, 400 and granted possession of the premises
January 19, 2016, the court heard and granted Wiley's
motion to set aside the default judgment. That day the
parties entered into a consent judgment as to possession and
the court conducted a bench trial on the issue of unpaid rent
and damages. The following evidence was adduced at trial.
December 2014, Wiley entered into a written lease agreement
for the premises with Carletta Lloyd (Lloyd), Otey's
ex-wife. The terms of the lease, signed by Lloyd and Wiley,
provided the monthly rent of $1, 500 be paid to Lloyd on the
1st of each month from December 2014 through December 2015.
The lease states that a $30 late charge will be applied to
late payments. At the time of the lease agreement, Lloyd and
Otey jointly owned the property.  On January 5, 2015, the St.
Louis County Circuit Court entered a judgment, pursuant to a
settlement agreement, quieting title to the property in favor
of Otey. Wiley testified she had been renting the
property from Lloyd for over three years when Otey became the
sole owner of the property in January 2015.
January 6, 2015, Otey hand-delivered to Wiley a letter
informing her that he was the new owner of the property. The
letter advised Wiley she must sign a new rental agreement
with him at the rate of $1, 800 per month and if she did not
sign the new lease, the rent would increase to the default
rate of $2, 200 per month. On January 9, 2015, Otey presented
Wiley with said lease, which included a provision allowing
him to charge a fee for late payments.
refused to sign the new lease, advising Otey she had an
existing lease to pay $1, 500 per month. Wiley stated Otey
insisted he needed $1, 800 a month and that she ultimately
agreed to pay him $1, 800 per month for 10 of the 12 months
under the lease, for a total of $18, 000, because the total
amount of money paid would be equal to paying $1, 500 per
month for the 12 months under the terms of the existing
testified she paid Otey $1, 800 per month from January
through October and nothing in November and December, thus
satisfying the terms of the lease. Otey acknowledged Wiley
paid him $1, 800 per month from January through September but
asserted Wiley's October payment was returned for
insufficient funds and was never satisfied. Otey further
testified Wiley was late in her payments on seven occasions.
Wiley acknowledged she had to stop payment on her initial
October payment to Otey but insisted she later satisfied the
January 19, 2016, the court entered judgment against Wiley
and in favor of Otey in the amount of $10, 600. This appeal
first point, Wiley argues the trial court misapplied the law
in finding in favor of Otey because she had a valid,
enforceable existing lease agreement and a new owner of ...