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Old 04-19-2009, 08:32 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,352 times
Reputation: 10

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I am deploying in three months and I have been searching for the statutes on what grounds that a military member may break a lease agreement. They seem to vary from state to state so I will give a detailed explanation on the situation. I signed a one year lease agreement with my girlfriend that is due to expire in October. I deploy in July and will be gone for 6+ months and she is unable to find a job in her area of expertise and is planning on moving back to the mainland for the six months that I am away. It does contain a military clause in the agreement stating "If the TENANT's military orders require a change of TENANT's residence to some place off the island for sixty days or more, TENANT my end this Rental Agreement by giving the LANDLORD written notic twenty-eight (28) days in advance, accompanied by a copy of TENANTS orders.
My other question is, can I break the lease agreement with both of us being on the lease agreement or can I even break the lease agreement since I am going on deployment and not receiving Permanent Change of Station Orders? Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Ft Gordon, GA
70 posts, read 207,223 times
Reputation: 14
Not sure w/ her name on the lease. Check w/ post legal office/JAG.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,755 posts, read 5,874,308 times
Reputation: 2305
Ask the landlord. Being that you are then giving way more than 28 days notice, you may be given a little extra slack.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,127 posts, read 3,944,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RByassee79 View Post
I am deploying in three months and I have been searching for the statutes on what grounds that a military member may break a lease agreement. They seem to vary from state to state so I will give a detailed explanation on the situation. I signed a one year lease agreement with my girlfriend that is due to expire in October. I deploy in July and will be gone for 6+ months and she is unable to find a job in her area of expertise and is planning on moving back to the mainland for the six months that I am away. It does contain a military clause in the agreement stating "If the TENANT's military orders require a change of TENANT's residence to some place off the island for sixty days or more, TENANT my end this Rental Agreement by giving the LANDLORD written notic twenty-eight (28) days in advance, accompanied by a copy of TENANTS orders.
My other question is, can I break the lease agreement with both of us being on the lease agreement or can I even break the lease agreement since I am going on deployment and not receiving Permanent Change of Station Orders? Any input is greatly appreciated.
The odds of a Landlord (I've been one for forty nine years) trying to force you to keep paying when you have a "military clause" and are giving him lots of notice, are just about zero.

All landlords know that if you just stop paying and move out, it takes a lot of effort to get a "monetary judgement" against you, and even more effort to collect one.

For that reason, and just because it's the right thing to do, my advice is to call the landlord right away, tell him your situation, and offer to help him re-rent the place. Tell him you will hold "open house" for him each weekend, and show the place yourself (and tidy it up LOTS when you show it). Chances are he will be quite happy that you are trying to help him, and trying to make the turnover easy for him.

Almost every landlord in the world has one basic objective: Keep the rent coming in with the least possible hassle, and keep his place in good condition. If you keep that in mind, and help him do that, you should end up with a "Win-win".

You can also go to the base housing office, which probably has a list of military families looking for a rental. It's easier for you to get that list than for your landlord.

On the small chance that you are dealing with an idiot, starting this early gives you plenty of time to go see your legal office on base if said idiot behaves like one.

Hank
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,053 posts, read 1,599,014 times
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The real problem is that your girlfriend is not your wife! If you were married then she would automatically be included on your orders (yes, I realise that you are not PCSing- but MOST landlords will cut a Military family a break when it comes to deployment since they know most wives would prefer to go home during such a time)- since she would NOT be included on your orders and she is basically a 'free agent' they would be within their rights to insist that SHE be responsible for the remainder of the lease.

While you (both of you) could just pack up and leave it will be very difficult to find a landlord who would be willing to rent to you in the future (even if you do not end up paying a judgement- your former landlord will most certainly report you to the different credit agencies- virtually ensuring that you will have a terrible time in the future).

It is worth a try- if your apt is desirable and easily rented your landlord might be willing to let you off the hook- if he is not able to rent it before you leave then they might charge you. I wish you the best of luck in this matter (JAG will tell you that deployment unless a PCS is automatic after the deployment- is not within the Military clause- and that your girlfriend is totally on her own)- and I hope that your deployment is a safe.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,755 posts, read 5,874,308 times
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I reiterate... Inform the landlord NOW and see what the landlord may do for you. Don't delay. Giving as much notice as possible is the way to go.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:43 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,352 times
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I greatly appreciate the feedback and we have all ready spoken with her about my situation and she made it sound like that she is more concerned with losing money than she is anything else (I can totally understand this). My command can give me a statement of service so I am pretty sure that I could get my name off of the lease but as it was mentioned before, my g/f would be on the hook. I read through the Hawaii laws and it does state that since we have given her notice, she HAS to aid in looking for new tenants so we are in the process of looking for someone to take over the lease. Thanks again.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,053 posts, read 1,599,014 times
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Yes, she does need to look for new tenants, but it really does depend upon the lease that you all have signed. Most leases state that the tenants must pay for the remainder of the time on the lease as well as other penalties that would have been spelled out.

I just want you to be prepared for the extra financial repercussions to breaking the lease (your GF- since you will get off the lease). Of course she is concerned with losing money she is not in business to provide an apt where she will come out the loser- which is the whole reason for having a lease signed rather than just a monthly agreement.

The Military clauses are really terrific for the Military community- it allows SMs to find a good place to live- while allowing for the good of the Service (Orders) to not penalize the SM. Unfortunately, none of this is applicable to your GF. Hopefully your landlady will waive the extra fees involved with your GF's breaking of the lease- but she is not required to do so. Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
3,794 posts, read 4,885,287 times
Reputation: 3813
Default Hank is right

I rented to military tenants from Scofield for several years and my philosophy was, if they need to go, let 'em. You can always find another tenant.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Oahu
730 posts, read 1,249,907 times
Reputation: 277
I'd be shocked if the landlord tried to play hardball, even though she's on the lease. Hawaii, California, North Carolina, wherever. They don't do that.
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