Lease Agreements for Military Members

Lease Agreements for Military Members: What You Need to Know

As a member of the military, you may find yourself moving around frequently due to deployments or regular duty relocations. This can make finding a new place to live a challenge, but with the right approach, you can ensure that you have a solid lease agreement in place that respects your rights as a tenant.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when signing a lease agreement as a member of the military:

1. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides legal protections for service members when renting. Under the SCRA, service members are allowed to terminate their lease agreement early if they are deploying or receiving orders for a permanent change of station (PCS). Additionally, landlords cannot penalize service members for ending their lease early due to military obligations.

2. It’s important to thoroughly read and understand your lease agreement before signing it. Make sure you know the terms of the lease, including the rent amount, security deposit, and any fees or charges that may be incurred. If there are any concerns or questions, ask your landlord or seek legal advice.

3. Ensure that your lease agreement includes a military clause. This clause allows you to terminate your lease early without penalty if you are called to active duty or receive orders for a PCS. This clause is different from the SCRA protections discussed above, as it allows you to terminate your lease early for reasons outside of deployment.

4. When it comes to security deposits, be aware that some states have legal limits on the amount a landlord can charge. Additionally, under the SCRA, landlords are required to provide service members with a written list of any damages or repairs that need to be made before returning the security deposit.

5. Finally, be sure to keep records of all communication with your landlord. This includes emails, texts, and phone calls. In the event of a dispute, having a record of your interactions will be helpful in resolving the issue.

In conclusion, as a member of the military, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights and protections when renting. By ensuring that your lease agreement includes a military clause and understanding your rights under the SCRA, you can ensure that your rights as a tenant are respected. Additionally, by keeping thorough records and understanding the terms of your lease, you can avoid disputes with your landlord and ensure that your living situation is stable and secure.