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Property Management Blog

Land Lords and the Military

System - Sunday, August 31, 2014

Some of the landlords may have heard of The Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) (http://www.justice.gov/crt/spec_topics/military/scratext.pdf) .  Among other things, this piece of federal legislation allows the people who are covered and receive certain military orders to terminate their residential leases early without penalty. 

 

Who is covered under the SCRA? 

The SCRA applies to a member of the uniformed services, i.e. the four branches of the military plus the Coast Guard. It also applies to Reservists, a member of the National Guard who serve for more than 30 consecutive days and to a person who enlists in the military. 

Permanent change of Station or Deployment

The purpose of the SCRA is to allow members of the military to focus on fighting for our country and to not have to worry about events back home. Accordingly, the SCRA only applies to military orders for a deployment of 90 days or more of orders for a permanent change of station. The military even provides a link (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/scra/) for landlords to check to see if someone is active duty in the military. 

Procedure for cancelling the lease

A member of the armed services can cancel a lease that they signed by delivering 1) written notice to the landlord and 2) a copy of the military orders. The servicemember regularly pays rent the next time it is due and is then released from the lease 30 days after that payment. While the landlord cannot charge an early termination fee, all the other regular charges that are due on the lease need to be paid.

 

In summary, if a member of the military gets orders to deploy or for a permanent change of station, after they give you written notice and a copy of the orders, they will then be able to lawfully terminate the lease.

Here http://www.military.com/benefits/military-legal-matters/scra/scra-lease-termination-provisions.html?comp=7000023431425&rank=5 is a link that further explains about the provisions of the SCRA.

Landscape Maintenance and Rental Properties

System - Tuesday, May 13, 2014
While residents want to rent a nice looking home, they often have no interest, time, or knowledge on how to maintain the property. They may agree to landscape maintenance in the rental contract but it can be difficult for a property manager or owner to enforce. The owner can charge the tenant for maintenance or include landscape maintenance but it is not always practical to increase the rent with the full cost, particularly if the landscaping on the property is extensive.

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