Presentation on theme: "Presented by: Chelsey M. Golightly. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535, provides a wide range of protections for individuals."— Presentation transcript:
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 App. U.S.C.A. § 535, provides a wide range of protections for individuals entering the military, individuals called to active duty in the military, and deployed servicemembers. The SCRA is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and to relieve stress for family members.
The SCRA affords protection to individuals: Entering the military, Called for active duty, or Deployed for service. The SCRA applies to: Outstanding Credit Card Debt Mortgages Pending Trials Taxes Telephone Service Contracts (added in October 2010) Motor Vehicle Leases Real Estate Leases
A servicemember and his/her dependents may terminate a lease for a residential, professional, business, agricultural, or similar use, so long as: The lease was executed by the individual entering military service, or During service, the servicemember executes the lease and receives orders for a permanent change of station, deployment, or to support a military operation, for at least 90 days.
Written notice of termination to the landlord or his/her agent Oral termination is not sufficient. A copy of the military orders that activate duty, permanently change station, or require deployment Notice may be given by: Hand delivery, Use of a private business carrier, or US mail, with sufficient postage and return receipt requested.
Monthly rentals: the termination becomes effective on the next rental cycle, 30 days after the notice is received. Ex: if the rent is due on the first day of each month, and notice is mailed on August 1, then the next rental payment is due and payable on September 1. Thirty days after that date would be October 1, the effective date of termination. All other leases: the termination becomes effective on the last day of the next month after notice is received. Ex: if the lease requires a yearly rental and proper notice of termination is given on July 20, the effective date of termination would be August 31.
The SCRA does NOT extinguish liability from unpaid rental amounts or charges that accrued prior to the effective date of termination. Any unpaid amounts are to be paid on a prorated basis. A landlord may NOT charge an early termination fee, however, he/she may charge for: Unpaid taxes, summonses, or other obligations, including reasonable charges for wear and tear. Conversely, any rent paid in advance shall be refunded no later than 30 days after the effective date of termination.
A landlord cannot withhold or attempt to interfere with personal property once the lease is lawfully terminated. The landlord: Must return the security deposit and Cannot withhold personal property as a claim for accruing rent or unpaid charges. A landlord can challenge the termination, but ONLY before the termination date stated in the notice.
When terminating a lease for a premises, it MUST be in writing with a copy of the military orders attached. Proper notice MUST be given to the landlord. A servicemember remains liable for any unpaid rents that have accrued prior to the effective termination date. A landlord may NOT charge an early termination fee and MUST return any rent paid in advance and any security deposit.