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10 Commonly Asked Questions About Renting to Military Tenants

July 14, 2023

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Questions About Housing And Rent For Military Tenants

Many landlords want to rent to military tenants but want some of their questions answered first. 

After all, this is a unique subset of the population, and it’s not the same as renting to civilians. 

In this article, we’re going to review 10 common questions many landlords have and provide brief answers to these questions. 

What is military housing? 

Military housing refers to the housing options provided to members of the military and their families. It can include on-base housing, which is government-owned and managed, and off-base housing options, such as rental properties available to military personnel. 

Are military members required to live on base? 

No, military members are not required to live on base. They can live on-base if there is housing available and they choose to do so. However, many military members also choose to live off-base in rental properties or homes they own. 

How does the military housing allowance (BAH) work? 

The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a military benefit that provides eligible service members with a monthly allowance to offset the cost of housing when they choose to live off base. The amount of BAH is determined based on the service member’s rank, location, and dependents. It is intended to cover a portion of the service member’s housing expenses. 

Are military tenants reliable and responsible? 

Military tenants are considered reliable and responsible due to the nature of their profession. They often have a stable income and strong discipline. However, it is important to remember that individuals within the military are still diverse and can vary in their personal characteristics. Conducting thorough tenant screenings, including background and credit checks, is always recommended. 

How can I attract military tenants to my rental property? 

To appeal to military tenants, you should consider the following: 

  • Advertise near military installations or online platforms frequented by military personnel 
  • Highlight features such as proximity to base, military-friendly amenities, or flexible lease terms 
  • Offer a military discount or special incentives. 
  • Ensure your property is clean, well-maintained, and meets the needs of military families. 
  • What are some considerations when renting to military tenants? 

And when renting to military tenants, it’s important to: 

  • Understand the terms of the lease agreement and any military-specific clauses or provisions 
  • Be aware of potential deployments or temporary duty assignments that may affect the tenant’s occupancy 
  • Communicate effectively, as military tenants may have unique communication needs during training or deployment periods 
  • Familiarize yourself with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which provides certain legal protections to military members 

Can military tenants terminate their lease early due to deployment? 

Yes, military tenants may be able to terminate their lease early without penalty under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) if they receive orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) or deployment of a certain duration. However, specific requirements and notice periods may vary when it comes to military orders to break lease, so it is important to consult the SCRA and seek legal advice if necessary. 

What happens if a military tenant breaks their lease? 

If a military tenant breaks their lease without proper justification, they may be subject to the same consequences as any other tenant. This may include forfeiting their security deposit or potential legal action to recover unpaid rent or damages. However, if the tenant breaks the lease due to military orders or deployment, they may be protected under the SCRA, and different rules may apply. 

Can I increase the rent for military tenants? 

As a landlord, you have the right to increase the rent for rentals for military tenants, subject to any local laws or regulations governing rent increases. However, if the tenant is receiving a housing allowance through the military, an excessive rent increase may result in the tenant no longer being able to afford the property. It is advisable to consider market rates and be mindful of affordability for your tenants. 

Are there any benefits or assistance programs for landlords renting to military tenants? 

While there are no specific benefits or assistance programs exclusively for landlords renting to military tenants, some states or localities may offer incentives or resources for landlords participating in affordable housing programs. Additionally, participating in the military rental market can provide a steady tenant pool and consistent demand in areas near military installations. 

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