Housing

Breaking a Lease Prior to Deployment

Can a servicemember who is about to be deployed/restationed break their lease?

Yes, but only if they meet some conditions.

Can a servicemember who is about to be deployed/restationed break their lease?

Yes, but only if they meet some conditions.

The Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA), passed in 2003 by Congress and enforced by the Justice Department, was enacted to ease financial burdens on servicemembers during periods of active military service. Active duty military members are covered by the act, which includes members of the reserves, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard. The act covers a whole variety of issues, from security deposits to evictions to insurance policies, but one particular function it has is to break a rental lease when someone is deployed or relocated.

So long as the tenant can:

  1. Show that the lease was signed before entering active duty;
  2. Show that they will remain on active duty for at least 90 days; and
  3. Deliver a written notice to the landlord, alongside a copy of the orders to deploy, the PCS, or a letter from a superior officer confirming the deployment.

If the tenant meets the conditions above, they should be able to break a lease in accordance with the SCRA. However, it is important to note that the lease does not terminate immediately--the earliest it can terminate is 30 days after the next rent period begins. So if deployment notice was delivered on July 23, and monthly rent is due on the 1st, the lease cannot terminate before September 1st, leaving the tenant on the hook for the payment in August. 

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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