Under ordinary circumstances, tenants do not have the right to terminate their lease early because of a new job or job relocation. One exception is military personnel who can end their leases if certain criteria is met.

If a tenant enters the military after inking the lease and they receive permanent change of station orders, or if their expected deployment will be 90+ days, the tenant has the right to terminate the lease with 30 days’ notice, without penalty.

That according to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which broadened and tweaked the Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA). The aim of the legislation is to provide protections for men and women in uniform that are called to active duty, essentially postponing or suspending certain civil obligations to allow military personnel to devote their full attention to duty and alleviate stress on their families.

When duty calls, service members must deliver formalized notice to the landlord – oral notice is not sufficient. Pay close attention to the effective date of termination – this is a big deal. Reach out to Bornstein Law if you have any questions in this regard.

Bornstein Law pays homage to our service members and urges Bay Area landlords to be deferential in cases when a tenant must serve a larger purpose. Moreover, it’s the law.

While military deployments are a justifiable exit to a lease, more commonly at Bornstein Law, we encounter what we dub “runaway tenants.”. Broken leases and abandonments are an unfortunate reality of doing business for Bay Area landlords.

Understanding the permissible purposes for terminating a lease and knowing what you can or cannot do when a tenant runs away is crucial information for landlords, but these weighty subjects are best approached with the seasoned real estate attorneys of Bornstein Law.

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