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What Landlords Need to Know About Tenants and Military Duty

United States Soldier Being Greeted by His Young SonDuring situations wherein the renting tenants are members of the U.S. military, there are specific federal laws that change the way a property owner can legally conduct business. Renting to military tenants is distinctive to that of other tenants, mainly when it deals with tenants who break their lease or are periodically absent for training, securing the property, and collecting late rental payments. Property owners will need to know what the law says, along with how it may affect the tenant-landlord relationship in order to avoid violating your tenant’s rights.

Breaking the Lease

Every U.S. Military personnel is a member of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which helps active military personnel, as well as their families, handle certain financial and legal obligations. The  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), involves many situations, not to mention an active member of the military who is occupying a rental home. Indicated in this federal law, it is required to allow a tenant to break a lease without penalty if certain conditions are met.

Let’s say when military personnel receives orders of transfer (deploy or induction) more than 35 miles from the property, a discharge, or if there is a loss of life, they can legally break their lease. Accepting a military tenant’s call to break their lease can be a burden; by law, renters cannot be penalized or their security or other deposits withheld for breaking a lease due to transfers or other service-related circumstances.

Training Absences

Active members of the military are ofttimes compelled to attend training at locations around the country. Basing on which branch of the military the individual belongs to and where he or she has been stationed, this training could be as short as two weeks or as long as a month or more. When tenant advises that they will be gone for training, it is important to note that even an extended absence is not grounds for eviction or other legal action. Assuming the tenant intends to return to the property and continues to fulfill the lease terms, a landlord also adheres.

Securing the Property

In the event of an extended absence, lessors might worry about the security of their rental house. Vacant houses tend to draw a lot of concerns, from vandals to break-ins and everything else. In case you are nearby, you can pay a special personality to your property, all things considered, to ensure that nothing is amiss. Nonetheless, if you are not in a position to do as such, there are various options that may help keep your property secure during your tenant’s absence, from security systems to hiring a property management company such as Real Property Management Sunstate to preserve your rental property for you.

Collecting Late Rental Payments

Another protection offered by federal law is the specification to delay eviction proceedings for issues like nonpayment of rent. Provided that your tenant or any of their dependents are lodgings in the rental house during their active military service, and the rent is $3,851.03 per month or less, then the court is required to give the tenant at least 90 days to address the situation. The SCRA does not prevent a landlord from serving an eviction notice, but it may prevent you from taking action against a servicemember tenant or their dependents.

In Conclusion

Leasing to tenants who are active members of the military involves time and knowledge of the law. To rental property owners who are unaware of the law, there are a lot of things that may put you in legal trouble. But employing Real Property Management Sunstate helps. Our team of Green Cove Springs property managers have experience leasing properties to military tenants and have a full understanding of all related federal, state, and local laws. With our assistance, you can preserve your valuable investment and keep yourself and your tenant free from legal complications. Contact us today for inquiries. 

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.