When renting to tenants who are 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 different from renting to other tenants, especially when it comes to handling tenants who break their lease or are periodically absent for training, securing the property, and collecting late rental payments. Landlords should know what the law says, along with how it may affect the tenant-landlord relationship in order to avoid violating your tenant’s rights.
Breaking the Lease
U.S. military employees can use the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which aids active military personnel and also their families handle certain financial and legal obligations. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), involves many situations, not to mention an active member of the military that is a lessee. As stated in this federal law, owners are expected to allow a tenant to break a lease without penalty if certain conditions are met.
It is clearly stated that when military personnel receives 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. While agreeing to a military tenant’s decision 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 generally need to attend training at locations around the country. As to which branch of the military the individual is a part of where they have been stationed, this training could be as short as two weeks or as long as a month or more. If a tenant signifies 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. Granting that the tenant intends to return to the property and continues to fulfill the lease terms, a lessor must replicate.
Securing the Property
In the event of an extended absence, landowners may be concerned about the security of their rental house. Vacant houses are prone to lots of kinds of issues, from vandals to break-ins and everything else. On the off chance that you are close by, you can keep an eye on your property normally to ensure that nothing is amiss. Nonetheless, in the event that you are not in a position to do as such, there are different 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 New York Gold to guard your property for you.
Collecting Late Rental Payments
Another protection offered by federal law is the mandate to delay eviction proceedings for cases including nonpayment of rent. On the assumption, your tenant or one of his or her dependents is currently 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 dealing with tenants who are active members of the military requires time and knowledge of the law. For almost all rental homeowners unaware of the law, there are a lot of avenues to find yourself in legal trouble. However, talking to Real Property Management, New York Gold can be of help. Our team of New York property managers have experience leasing properties to military tenants and have a full understanding of all related federal, state, and local laws. With our assistance, you can safeguard your valuable investment and keep yourself and your tenant free from legal complications. Contact us today for clarification.
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