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What Landlords Need to Know About Tenants and Military Duty

United States Soldier Being Greeted by His Young SonSometimes the renters or tenants will be 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 distinct from leasing to other tenants, specifically those tenants who break their lease or are periodically absent for training, securing the property, and collecting late rental payments. As a property owner, one should always know what the law says, including how it may affect the tenant-landlord relationship in order to avoid violating your tenant’s rights.

Breaking the Lease

Elements of the U.S. military are beneficiaries of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which is geared to guide active military personnel along with their families, handle certain financial and legal obligations. The  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides for many situations, inclusive of an active member of the military who is a lessee. As stipulated in this federal law, it is mandatory for lessors to allow a tenant to break a lease without penalty if certain conditions are met.

If military personnel receive 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. Whilst giving in a military tenant’s desire 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 need to regularly attend training at locations around the country. With reference to which branch of the military he or she is included in and where they are presently stationed, this training could be as short as two weeks or as long as a month or more. Whenever a tenant informs you 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. Supposing the tenant intends to return to the property and continues to fulfill the lease terms, the property owner must accept.

Securing the Property

In the event of an extended absence, investors may have worries regarding the security of their rental house. Vacant houses tend to bring out many kinds of problems, from vandals to break-ins and what they may seem fit. In case you are close by, you can keep an eye out for your property commonly to ensure that nothing is amiss. Nonetheless, on the off chance that 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 Richmond Metro to watch over your rental home for you.

Collecting Late Rental Payments

Another protection offered by federal law is the stipulation to delay eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent. Conceding that your tenant or any of the dependents is still residing 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

Striking a deal with tenants who are active members of the military needs both time and knowledge of the law. As for those rental property owners unaware of the law, there are plenty of situations to get yourself in legal trouble. But trusting Real Property Management Richmond Metro can prevent that. Our team of Hanover County property managers have experience leasing properties to military tenants and have a full understanding of all related federal, state, and local laws. With us working together, Let’s keep your valuable investment and keep yourself and your tenant free from legal complications. Contact us today for more tips. 

 

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.