Can I break my lease if I am joining the military?

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Can I break my lease if I am joining the military?

I have 3 other roommates and we all signed a lease for a house. After many issues and financial problems I have decided that joining the military will benefit me greatly. Can I legally terminate my lease if I have government documents stating that I have committed to the United States Military?

Asked on August 8, 2011 Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the SMCRA (Service Members’ Civil Relief Act), a member of the military can break their lease upon receipt of permanent change of station orders or upon receipt of orders deploying them for at least 90 days. In such a case, a landlord cannot refuse to allow the tenant to leave. However, the tenant who is either moving or being deployed is still responsible for damages to the residence beyond normal wear and tear.

In order to legally terminate a lease (based on the above), the military member/tenant must provide the landlord with written notice and a copy of the orders, which they can deliver to the landlord either in person or by mail certified mail, return receipt requested.


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