Land of the free and rental housing of the brave

On a day when we pause to honor the men and women in uniform, we remind landlords and property managers there are unique legal protections given to our heroes.

While tenants ordinarily cannot terminate their lease early because of a new job or job relocation, military personnel may be an exception. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, tenants on active duty can terminate the lease with 30 days’ written notice, without penalty, when their expected deployment will be 90 days or more. Some conditions apply. 

The newly minted SB 644 limits the amount that those currently in the military will pay for rental security deposits. After this statute was enacted into law, active duty military will only need to pay a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent.

Finally, SB 222 prohibits discrimination based on veteran or military status. Rental housing providers cannot refuse to accept Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers. 

General Douglas MacArthur once said, “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.” We agree and pay homage to our brave heroes, but in landlord-tenant matters, we are reduced to the pen and legislation to ease the burden.