Military Clause

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with BCL Properties-Manhattan, KS

Living near to a military base, we have many military families that rent with us. We have a military clause written into all of our leases. If you dont want to rewrite your lease to add it in you can always put it on as an attachment.  

Prior to entering into a rental or lease agreement with any military servicemember make sure you include a military clause. Contrary to popular belief, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act does NOT help a tenent break a lease in all circumstances that they may encounter during their military service. You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to have a provision in your rental agreement to release them from their obligations. Attached is a military clause that you can include in a rental agreement as an attachment. Be sure to indicate on their lease, in the appropriate place, to see the attached military clause. Though the sample clause only requires 30 days notice, they will be better protected if they provide written notice and retain a copy of that notice. If you have any questions regarding landlord-tenant issues, leases, or other personal legal assistance matters, please contact the nearest military legal office for assistance.

SAMPLE MILITARY CLAUSE ADDENDUM 

IN THE EVENT the Tenant is or hereafter becomes, a member of the United States Armed Forces on extended active duty and hereafter the Tenant receives permanent change of station orders to depart from the area where the Premises are located or is deployed for more than 90 days, then in either of these events, the Tenant may terminate this lease upon giving thirty (30) days written notice to the Landlord. The Tenant shall also provide to the Landlord a copy of the official orders or a letter signed by the tenant's commanding officer, reflecting the change which warrants termination under this clause. The termination will occur 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the landlord receives proper written notice

  

__________________ _________

TENANT                         DATE

 

__________________ _________

CO-TENANT                         DATE

 

2/13/2008 UPDATE:  You may want to read more about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act here at: http://www.uscg.mil/legal/la/topics/sscra/about_the_sscra.htm

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Fort Riley Housing and Relocation
Kansas Realtors
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Rainmaker
76,701
Byron Lewis
Landmark Real Estate - Manhattan, KS
Realtor, e-PRO, ABR, CRS, Manhattan Kansas Real Es

Rose- Michele asked me to respond to your question. 

First off I am not an attorney just sharing how we would handle such a thing.  I assume that your co-signer is not an occupant.  With our leases we have a base lease with attached addenda.  All addenda including the co-signer addendum is referenced on the base lease as optional addendums and checked if used.  The actual addendum is signed by tenant(s) and co-signer and references back to the base lease.  I would think this would work fine with a military clause addendum and could be one way to handle this.  In our lease we actually have the military clause in the base lease since we rent to about 75% military being so close to Fort Riley- probably a better method.

As I also understand it, a Military Clause is no longer required to be included in a lease and such things that were once included in a Military Clause are now public law  with the Civil Service Member Relief Act of 2003. However, some reference to the termination due to order changes etc. is still often requested by the military for inclusion in the lease.  I will e-mail you an excerpt of the language we are currently using in the leases if you would like. I would also suggest that you read the Civil Service Member Relief Act and keep a copy handy even if you do not currently have military tenants.  If one of your non-military tenants joins the military during a lease period, he/she has certain rights under this Act. Here is reference to it  http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ189.108.pdf

May 02, 2008 10:30 PM #6
Rainmaker
239,207
Gene Allen
Resh Realty Group - Virginia Beach, VA
Realtor Hampton Roads Real Estate
Our military clause is handled by our landlord and tenants act and is already set out for us in VA.
May 03, 2008 10:36 AM #7
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bill

I just received my orders that have me leaving in January.  Can I sign a one year lease now and break it in January (i.e. does the military clause still apply if I already have orders in hand)? 

May 19, 2008 10:50 AM #8
Anonymous
Anonymous
Kevin

Your miitary clause states the exact same thing the SCRA Sec. 305 mentions.  So if I meet any of those requirements, why would I need that written clause in my lease? 

Jul 31, 2008 11:47 PM #9
Rainer
36,692
Manhattan Kansas Property Management Homes For Rent
BCL Properties-Manhattan, KS - Manhattan, KS

Your right Kevin this is covered by the latest SCRA which, I believe makes it Federal Law.  Many state and federal laws are often reiterated in occupancy agreements.  Our local military base's off post housing office requests some language regarding the termination of lease and military orders to be included/reiterated in the leases and require this to be considered for referrals from their office.  This is just an example and the method we used that satisfy our local housing office and JAG office.  I, personally, think it is a good item to include since it is a situation that currently comes into play frequently at the moment.

Aug 01, 2008 12:27 AM #10
Rainmaker
76,701
Byron Lewis
Landmark Real Estate - Manhattan, KS
Realtor, e-PRO, ABR, CRS, Manhattan Kansas Real Es

Kevin-  I think their is also the traditional aspect to including such a clause.  The SCRA with federal law is relatively new and 'trumps'  or even 'mandates' what was once known as the 'military clause'.   I often see those service members that have rented homes for several years(prior to the new SCRA) who request a military clause(although I think we all agree it is mandated) in their lease even though such a clause is now covered by law.

 

Aug 01, 2008 03:18 AM #11
Ambassador
287,856
Tim and Pam Cash
Crye-Leike (Sango) - Clarksville, TN
Real Estate Professionals - Clarksville TN

Michele, our clause is almost identical here in Clarksville.  Thanks for sharing.

Aug 01, 2008 05:17 PM #12
Rainer
3,368
Elaine Gibney
Northwest Choice Realty Olympia, - Olympia, WA
Broker - ABR, eAgent

Thanks for the information on the military clause, Landlords & property managers beware.  I have had 2 instances for soldiers in Fort Lewis, WA in the past year, where their orders were stated that they were being deployed to another station.  Then it turned out, their husbands were re-stationed, however, their wives stayed behind.  They used it as a way to get out of their lease to purchase a new home.  One of my owners, who is a soldier, provided me with some information from a lease in Florida, where the new station had to be located atleast 50 miles from the rental property.  He advised me that many soldiers are breaking their leases to purchase homes; he cautioned me to be sure to check all the credentials of the orders and that it actually states their name. 

Apr 22, 2009 11:05 PM #13
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tina

I decided to rent my home to a coast guard couple and they requested to sign a 18month lease rather then a 12 month due to a transfer was due in that 18months. They had just given me notice after 9 months in the house that she has requested for a transfer and they had given her orders to go early. The military clause is NOT included in the lease agreement nor did she provide me with one.  I have read all over the internet that the "Miltary Clause" is to either be included in the lease or attached and neither was done. Are they still liable for the remainder of the term?

Jun 04, 2009 11:55 PM #14
Rainmaker
76,701
Byron Lewis
Landmark Real Estate - Manhattan, KS
Realtor, e-PRO, ABR, CRS, Manhattan Kansas Real Es

Tina-May want to check out the link to the Civil Service Members Relief Act link in this main posting.  It is my understanding that this is federal law whether in the lease or not.  Additionally I believe that in many states the longest legal lease for a residential home is 12 months.

Jun 05, 2009 10:42 AM #15
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous mil spouse

Hello! I wonder if anybody can help me. This is my story: My husband got orders to AFGH and we used those orders to terminate the lease with the off base housing where we were living at the time because my job being too far away from where we lived at the time. So, we decided to move closer. We signed a 13 month lease with an apartment community close to my job and two weeks later my husband deplyed. What then seemed a good idea turned out to be a disaster for me. I now live too far from the base and it's hard for me to get on base when I need to. So now after 5 months I need to move back closer to the base.

My question is: Can I terminate the current lease again using my husband's deployment orders or is it too late? 

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Jul 22, 2009 07:23 PM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
Michele

Anonymous Military Spouse-

I would check with your current landlord/property manager/owner and your base JAG office. I am pretty positive the answer is no. The relief act is set up to provide service members and their families relief when there are unexpected changes due to receipt of orders. In your case you had the orders prior to entering a new occupancy agreement contract. In my opinion using these orders to break a current lease would be abuse of this act. Rather than use the Civil Service Member's Relief Act in the way of a'get out of jail free card' try speaking to your landlord about your issue. Many landlords will allow you out of a lease under certain circumstances that often come with an understanding of your issue. Keep in mind that your landlord allowed you to lease their property that they offered to the open market with the understanding that you would be there for a certain specified time at a certain monetary amount. Your leaving does affect them. Therefore landlords will often require a documentation fee or a fee of some sorts for their time and you are often liable for the lease until a new tenant is found. If your current situation is putting you in such a bind that a move is needed I feel that this is your best approach.  Best wishes to you and your families sacrifices with your soldier in Afganistan.

Jul 22, 2009 10:29 PM #17
Anonymous
Anonymous
kate

hey... i'm a grad student that bought a huge house about 1 year ago for young professionals looking to live in a nice furnished house with bills included. Everything is inclusive and everyone is in grad school or the military. Prior to moving in it's explain that there is no clause because in order for everyone to live here at an affordable roommates cannot just go and come~its not designed that way. Bills & Mortgage is calculated in a way to make it affordable for everyone. Military roomies understood that they're voluntarily accepting to contribute to financial responsiblity for the duration of their lease.  Even though one person knew this and person knew the set-up before entering the agreement. He sends a text randomly stating by the way I just got word I'm deploying I will give you thirty notice. what are my options... he is sharing a house with owner and other roommates and he agreed to be responsilble prior to moving in... military clause? he mention civil service act? what can i do? I've told that many of the military collagues many are told they can be deployed during this time period, however many times never get deployed... no papers/orders received....

Oct 02, 2009 01:17 AM #18
Anonymous
Anonymous
Landlord Question

I have a renter whom is married, that called me the 1st of July 2010 stating he will be deployed as of Oct. 3rd. I pulled up his rental agreement and his lease did not expire until 9-30-10 and I also advised him that I would need a 30 day written notice and copies of deployment papers.  He stated his wife wanted to terminate early so she could move in with her grandmother and they would not have to worry about moving at the end of the lease so they could spend more time together.  The wife is moving about 10 miles from the complex.  The tenant was moving as of August 3rd, 2010.  He told me since he was in the military that I would be laughed out of course if I tried any legal actions.  I again advised him that a notice and copy of his papers where required only for him to have a fit of profanity.  My question is, can I hold him responsible and/or his wife responsible since she is not military or moving out of the area.

Aug 03, 2010 07:45 PM #19
Anonymous
Anonymous
David

Does the military clause work both ways? I am a Guardsmen mobilized away from my home. I agreed to rent my home to a miliary person for 2 years. My ordes however end aftere the first year and I will not be renewing them. I would like to return to my home. The Army will be PCSing me back home. By the way, the tentant called me and said he may have to break the lease becasue the Army may be sending him to the War College next summer, but he doesn't know yet.

So if I am PCSing (back home) can I use the military clause to break the lease just like the tentant can do?

Nov 22, 2010 10:07 PM #20
Anonymous
Anonymous
Justice

My tenants signed a 14 month lease well knowing of military orders in hand. They signed the lease one day before her husband was deployed. 3 months later I recieved a note on my door from his wifre giving a 30 day notice. She is currently going to school and as far as I know so far he does not have a change of station. Can the Military clause be abused to get out of a lease and move in with friends to save money while he is gone? It is to my understanding that she is getting monies to pay for the rent that they had to prove they are paying.

Jan 09, 2011 10:03 PM #21
Anonymous
Anonymous
Alyssa

My fiance and I signed a lease agreement with a serviceman and his girlfriend. He was shipping out to the navy's bootcamp in Illinois for 3 months and coming back to the apartment while his girlfriend remained at the apartment. They got married before he left and he took his orders to the office and him and his new wife were released from the lease. My fiance and I were accountable for the lease and rent and I know we were not approved to be responsible for the rent each month; it took all four of us to get credit approval on the lease. Neither I or my fiance make near what the rent is, and we are being told we are resposible for the rent. Do we have any rights or options?? 

Jan 19, 2011 08:53 PM #22
Anonymous
Anonymous
Alicia D.

Hello,

I am soon to be negotiating a lease and my recruiter told me to add in a military clause to my lease but I have yet to understand if the military clause would cover me in it since I am not fully a member of the US Navy I am only in the DEP (Delayed Entry Program). He said there could be a Certain way you could write it in as part of it but I am not sure if it is included allready or not.

"IN THE EVENT the Tenant is or hereafter becomes, a member of the United States Armed Forces on extended active duty and hereafter the Tenant receives permanent change of station orders to depart from the area where the Premises are located, or is relieved from active duty, retires or separates from the military, or is ordered into military housing, or is deployed for more than 90 days, then in any of these events, the Tenant may terminate this lease upon giving thirty (30) days written notice to the Landlord. The Tenant shall also provide to the Landlord a copy of the official orders or a letter signed by the tenant's commanding officer, reflecting the change which warrants termination under this clause. The Tenant will pay prorated rent for any days (they) occupies the dwelling past the first day of the month.

The damage/security deposit will be promptly returned to the tenant, provided there are no damages to the premises."

I was wondering if the "hereafter becomes" actually is what I need or not.

any help would be appreciated

Oct 31, 2011 02:42 PM #23
Rainmaker
76,701
Byron Lewis
Landmark Real Estate - Manhattan, KS
Realtor, e-PRO, ABR, CRS, Manhattan Kansas Real Es

Hi Alicia

I don't practice law but I think the SCRA already has you covered on this.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/spec_topics/military/scratext.pdf 

Read Section XII

 

The servicemember may terminate a lease for residential, professional, business, or agricultural
purpose anytime:
after entry into military service; or
• after the date of military orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) move; or
• after the date of military orders for deployment with a military unit for at least 90 days.

Oct 31, 2011 03:13 PM #24
Rainer
36,692
Manhattan Kansas Property Management Homes For Rent
BCL Properties-Manhattan, KS - Manhattan, KS

Alicia

This looks like it is covered under Section 305 (a)(1) of the Civil Service Members Relief Act so I don't know if you even need a clause.  May want to make sure the landlord understands this though.

 

 
 
   
 
 
Oct 31, 2011 03:27 PM #25
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