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Military Tenant Questions

Tenant's rights can sometimes be abused by landlords; however, military rights often protect tenants against this type of abuse. Many legal questions arise when dealing with tenant rights since military law and civil law can be considerably different. Below are some of the commonly asked questions about military tenant’s rights that have been answered by Experts.

Can a soldier break a lease if they are not going to be gone for over 90 days?

Usually, if you plan on using the SCRA, you need to be gone at least 90 days. Once a person finishes their training, they will go to their AIT, which will take them past the 90 day mark. However, if you sign a lease, but later join the military, you can use the SCRA to end your lease without having to submit to the 90 day rule.

Is it true that there is no way to extract a military tenant from a rental home? The tenant hasn't paid rent in 8 months.

Usually you can do a couple of things to remove a military tenant from a rental if the tenant is avoiding you and not paying rent. In order to remove them, you will have to serve them eviction papers. If the tenant is in the states, you can find them and ask their commander to speak with the tenant. The commander isn't legally bound to speak to the tenant about the situation but they are generally willing to help with a situation like this. Once you have located the tenant, you can have him served with eviction papers. Just speak with his commander and they can assist you. Once the tenant is served, the court will be involved and the eviction process can begin.

Is it proper for a landlord who is also an officer in the Army Reserve, to have a SFC hand serve eviction papers? I was behind on the rent and the landlord told me that she wanted to get my attention.

This is generally not considered proper behavior for an officer. The officer shouldn't use their uniform to conduct business of a personal nature. Also, the officer shouldn't be using her enlisted soldiers to serve eviction papers. However, if the tenant is 18 years old or older, serving the papers is allowable. You can speak with the officer's command and notify them of the officer's conduct. You should know that your landlord is within their rights to serve you eviction papers, but he/she shouldn't be using her military pull to conduct personal business.

How can I track a tenant down to get my past due rent when the Navy won't give me information on how to find him?

You might have to hire a private investigator to search for the tenant. The Navy is probably not going to assist you in locating the sailor if you have not had any luck so far. There is no law that requires the military to submit information about one of their own. In order to take the tenant to court, you have to serve him with papers. If the navy continues to refuse you the needed information, a private investigator may be the way to go.

In Florida, if two people are renting a home and one person leaves for the military, is the person who didn't enlist responsible for the lease?

If two people are renting a home and one of them goes into the military, the one who didn't enlist into the military is still considered liable for the lease. However, the only way the SCRA usually applies to those who are serving in the National Guard receive Title 10 federal orders. If the person doesn't have Title 10 orders, the Florida statue will fall into place, but only if the orders required the person to move.

There can be many misconceptions about the understanding of a military tenant's rights. When you have doubts about your rights as a tenant, you may consider asking an Expert in Military Law for legal insight to your situation.
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