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Lease Terminations

Lease Terminations Under the SCRA

The SCRA provides servicemembers the right to early termination of residential and motor vehicle leases. The servicemember on the lease, called the lessee, may choose to terminate the lease at any time after the lessee enter’s military service or after the date of the lessee’s military orders. If a servicemember is a joint lessee with a dependent (like a spouse) and terminates the lease, the termination is also effective for the dependent.

The SCRA lease termination provisions apply to leases of premises, like apartments or homes, and leases of motor vehicles. Early termination of a lease of premises can be sought when a person enters military service during the term of the lease or when a servicemember receives military orders for a permanent change of duty station or deployment for a period of not less than 90 days.

Termination of motor vehicle leases have different requirements. A servicemember may terminate a motor vehicle lease under the following conditions:

  • When a person enters military service for not less than 180 during the term of the lease; or
  • When a servicemember receives military orders for a permanent change of duty station or changes from a location in the continental U.S. to a location outside the continental U.S or vice versa; or
  • When a servicemember receives military orders to deploy for not less than 180 days.

Notice Requirements

Servicemembers are required to comply with the SCRA’s notice requirements in order to terminate leases. If the notice requirements are not properly met, payments due to the lessor of the premises or motor vehicle could continue to accrue and become due and payable. However, so long as the notice requirements are met, the SCRA provides that leases be terminated and also affords protections on rent deposits, prorated rent or lease payments, and early termination charges. Compliance with the SCRA’s notice requirements is vital. A military justice lawyer can ensure proper compliance so that you can reap the most benefits from SCRA lease terminations.

What if my creditor doesn’t comply?

When lessors don’t properly comply with the SCRA, you can take action, and you may be entitled to compensation. Often times, an experienced military justice attorney can have the issue resolved without going to court. Lessors who don’t comply with the SCRA risk paying for your losses and damages resulting from their non-compliance, paying your attorney’s fees, and paying fines. Lessors can even be prosecuted for a federal misdemeanor.

If you or someone you know needs help navigating the SCRA, please contact Military Justice Attorneys today to speak with an experienced military justice lawyer.