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Military Rental Housing: The Basics of a Military Clause (update)


posted Sep 19, 2014

Securing military rental housing doesn’t end with finding a suitable property within your price range. Before you can move in, you’ll also have to enter into a lease agreement in which the terms are amicable for both parties – you and the landlord. This can often be difficult for military members, as most can’t commit to long-term leases for fear of permanent changes of station, deployments and discharge.

Fortunately, the military clause exists to combat this problem. The military clause is a standard inclusion found in most residential leases. It allows service members and their families to be released from their lease under certain conditions without penalty. Some of these reasons may include PCSing, deployments where your spouse wishes to return home, discharge from the military, or if base housing becomes available. It is a valuable element in securing and protecting your rights as a tenant and is also discussed in the Service Members Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA).

Before signing your lease, visit Housing 1 Source beforehand for step-by-step guidance and military relocation services. We can help you go through your lease line by line and ensure it’s amenable to your and your family’s needs. Our services are completely free to all service members.

Understanding the Military Clause
Once you have located your new rental home, while it’s crucial to read over the entire lease before signing, pay special attention to the military clause, as it can differ from state to state. The clause will generally be printed toward the end of the lease, under special provisions. It may also be listed as an addendum section on a separate piece of paper. Here’s a sampleof what a military clause might look like.

The military clause is a crucial part of any military rental housing agreement. Without it, you and your family could find yourselves locked into a lease, even after you’ve left town. As you know, military members are often asked to make spur-of-the-moment moves, and you may need to break your lease much sooner than you anticipated. If you don’t want to end up owing rent on a home you can no longer use, a military clause is imperative.

Helpful Tips
When looking over your lease’s military clause, be especially sure to note the conditions that are required to invoke it. Is it just a PCS that would allow you to break a lease? Or could your spouse break it when you’re away on deployment? Be sure you understand these conditions completely.

You should also look at the amount of notice required. This is different with every landlord, and it could range anywhere from a few days to several weeks. You’ll also want to see if written notice is required, and look for any prorated rent fees, in case your PCS requires you to stay past the first of the month.

Be sure to include your spouse’s name on the agreement, too, so they aren’t stuck in the lease in the event that you are called to duty elsewhere. Keep in mind that you may also be required to show proof of orders to your landlord, so make a copy once you receive them.

Military Clauses in Practice
Realtors, leasing offices and landlords in the San Antonio area are typically familiar with military clauses, as there are many local bases and branches. Because of this, most will make it a standard inclusion in their lease agreements. If you do not see one included in your lease, make sure to talk to your realtor, the landlord or call Housing 1 Source for help, as a military clause is crucial for any service member. If your landlord refuses to implement a military clause, you may want to look for another property.

Get Help with Your Military Rental Housing
If you find that you need further guidance, remember that Housing 1 Source is a free expert resource for military relocation services and many of our employees have prior military service. A part of our mission is to provide a comprehensive relocation experience that is responsive to the unique needs of each service member and his or her family. We can help you evaluate your lease and military clause, and ensure you’re getting the agreement you and your family require.

We can also help you locate military rental housing, arrange for utility hookups, get utility deposits waived, find employment or education opportunities for your spouse, schools for your children, and much more. Contact Housing 1 Sourcetoday to see how we can help you with your PCS move to Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB, or Fort Sam Houston.