MILITARY PERSONNEL AND LEASES

     What do you do when you have military personnel as tenants?  You’re thinking, ‘I collect the rent and wish them well.’  That’s good and what do you do when they have to suddenly deploy in the middle of their lease?  Not so cut and dried, is it? 

     With so many men and women in the Military these days, it’s difficult to know what to do when a lease holder comes to you and requests to break their lease without owing any balance, fees, losing deposits or last month’s rent. All you can think about is all the money you’ll be out if you give them what they want.  What does Federal Law say?  What does Florida Law say?

     The short answer is, ‘it depends’.  Without sounding hard-nosed about keeping a tenant to their lease or maybe citing ‘if I let them out of their lease, everyone will want to break theirs and not pay a penalty’.  That may be true, but the law is on the sides of Military Personnel.  Anyone else is SOL [so outta luck].

     If a Military Personnel comes to you (or sends certified documentation) with their orders to deploy or move, by law, you have to let them out of their lease, with no penalty and give them back all deposits (provided there was no damage).  Oral notification does not work, either by the servicemember, recruiter or base.  It must be official documentation.

     For the full wording of the laws, see Releasing Servicemembers from their Leases

by Brian P. Wolk, Attorney at Law.


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