Now and then, there will be tenants who 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 unique from renting to ordinary tenants, particularly handling tenants who break their lease or are periodically absent for training, securing the property, and collecting late rental payments. As a lessor, it is essential to know what the law says and anything else that may affect the tenant-landlord relationship in order to avoid violating your tenant’s rights.
Breaking the Lease
Constituents of the U.S. military have the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which assists active military personnel and their families handle certain financial and legal obligations. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), encompasses many situations, among other things, an active member of the military who is a renter. As mandated in this federal law, landowners are obligated to allow a tenant to break a lease without penalty if certain conditions are met.
It is a fact that 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. Oftentimes, saying yes, a military tenant’s demand 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.
Active members of the military are usually obligated to attend training at locations around the country. With regard to which branch of the military the person belongs with respect to where they have been stationed, this training could be as short as two weeks or as long as a month or more. When a tenant declares 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. Considering that the tenant intends to return to the property and continues to fulfill the lease terms, the landlord must also do so.
Securing the Property
In the event of an extended absence, lessors can bear burdens in relation to the security of their rental house. Vacant houses are more inclined to various kinds of trouble, beginning with vandals to break-ins and anything else. In case you are close by, you can watch out for your property ordinarily to ensure that nothing is going wrong. Nonetheless, if you are not in a position to check always, 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 Rental Direction to look after your property.
Collecting Late Rental Payments
Another protection offered by federal law is the provision to delay eviction proceedings for situations involving nonpayment of rent. Granted that your tenant or anyone that is one of his dependents is staying 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.
Leasing to tenants who are active members of the military demands time and knowledge of the law. For rental property owners who are unaware of the law, there are multiple ways to put oneself in legal trouble. But employing Real Property Management Rental Direction can prevent that. Our team of Estero property managers have experience leasing properties to military tenants and have a full understanding of all related federal, state, and local laws. With our aid, you can look after your valuable investment and keep yourself and your tenant free from legal complications. Contact us today for more advice.
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