Breaking Your Lease for Military Service
As a member of the military, you know that there are tons of benefits and challenges to living a life of service. One of the things you may have to deal with is moving regularly for months of active service. If so, there may come a time when you need to break your lease early for military service.
If you find that you need to break your lease before it has ended so that you can embark on your mission of service in another state or area, you should be able to pretty easily. However, actually beginning the process can be somewhat confusing if you haven't done it before. If you need help, our legal experts at DoNotPay can get you started on the lease-breaking process to help you avoid any costs for breaking your lease.
Legally Breaking Your Lease for Military Service
If you are a member of the military, you have rights under the law to protect you from unfair charges from your landlord if you need to break your lease early. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), enacted in 2003 with several revisions since then, is designed to protect service members on the way to entering active military duty.
The SCRA provides military members with six main rights, including:
- A six percent interest cap rate on certain expenses such as credit cards and mortgages.
- Protection against default judgments in court if active service prevents appearance.
- Protection against non-judicial foreclosures for active military members and for one year after their service ends.
- Protection against the seizure of a leased vehicle during a member's active service.
- The right to terminate a lease early if a member receives a permanent station change (PCS) or is required to move for at least 90 days.
- Protection of property on a lien while the member is in active service.
How to Break Your Lease Under the SCRA
For illegal reasons to break your lease, like changing jobs or getting married, tenants can receive penalties, including damaged credit scores, fines, and even lawsuits. However, in most cases, military service members should be able to break their lease under SRCA without facing these problems. Under this act, you are allowed to terminate your lease if you complete the following steps:
- Submit a written notice
- Provide the landlord with military orders for PCS or deployment and/or a letter from the commander
- Pay the next rent payment, after which the lease terminates 30 days following that payment
In order to effectively break your lease early, you must occupy (or intend shortly to occupy) the premises or have dependents occupying the premises before you terminate the lease.
FAQs on Breaking a Lease for Military Service
|Can You Terminate a Lease with a DD214?||When you receive your DD214 and end your time of active military service, the government will pay to return you to your initial home. Therefore, if you receive your DD214 and need to leave the area where you have been serving, you can request a lease termination in the same way as you would have upon receiving your PCS or other orders.
Under the SCRA, the same rules will apply. You will need to give notice, pay your next rent, and then leave before or when the lease expires 30 days following your final payment.
|Is Your Military Spouse Included When Breaking a Lease?||The SCRA does not specify that your spouse must be released from the lease at the same time as you. However, most landlords who offer a military clause in their lease should allow for your spouse to leave with you.
If this is not provided for in the lease agreement, you should talk to the landlord or choose somewhere else to live so that you can be sure your spouse can come with you whenever you terminate your lease.
|Is a Military Clause Required in a Lease?||Landlords are not required to include a military clause, but it is highly encouraged. Be sure you speak with your landlord or potential landlord about a military clause before signing a lease that may cause you problems in the future.|
How to Break Your Lease for Military Service Using DoNotPay
While you are protected under the law from legal backlash after breaking your lease for military service, your landlord may not be too happy that they are losing your tenancy. They may try to avoid the extra cost associated with letting you out of your lease early. Thankfully, DoNotPay can help.
If you are a uniformed service member and need to break your lease because of a call to duty or a reassignment, DoNotPay can help you draft and send a letter to your landlord demanding that you be allowed to break your lease under the SCRA.
Here is how you can get help breaking your lease in three easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference, and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
Depending on your specific circumstances, here’s how DoNotPay will quickly solve your problem:
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
Other Ways DoNotPay Can Help
DoNotPay is a great resource to help you break your lease early if you're in military service. Plus, DoNotPay can also help with a variety of other legal tasks. We can help you:
If you need further help with legal issues as you're navigating military service, don't hesitate to set up a free account and get help from DoNotPay today!