Is Proof of Military Service Required While Renting Your House?
Oftentimes, huge organizations and institutions will verify a customer’s military service before taking legal action against them. Sanctions for noncompliance by persons who interact with servicemembers are also included in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Property managers, in particular, need to be aware of their obligations under the act and the frequent background checks that must be conducted on all prospective renters.
One Michigan landlord resorted to eviction after tenants stopped paying rent and removed their belongings. However, one of the residents was currently enlisted in the armed forces.
Neither a court order nor a check on the tenants’ military status was sought by the landlord, as is required by law.
The SCRA violation charge against him has been downgraded to a class A misdemeanor as part of his plea deal. The judge then handed him a sentence of six months in prison, followed by a year of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and a $15,300.28 restitution payment.
The SCRA’s expansive interpretation lends credence to the penalty’s harsh appearance. In recent years, enforcing the SCRA has proven increasingly challenging for the Department of Justice. Those who serve our country are a prime target for predatory lending schemes.
The courts may impose monetary fines as part of the settlement process for several SCRA enforcement cases. This case exemplifies the willingness of the courts to apply criminal law in appropriate circumstances.
According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, a landlord cannot evict a member of the armed forces or a member of their immediate family without a court order.
- The primary residence of a service member or family member.
- Paying less than $3,851 monthly is possible (as of 2019).
Before evicting a tenant covered by the Service Members Civil Relief Act, landlords must verify the tenant’s military status (SCRA). If a servicemember’s ability to pay the agreed-upon rent is substantially impaired due to military service, the court can do one of two things.
The first stage is to temporarily halt the eviction process for up to three months. However, the court has the discretion to issue suspensions of varying lengths.
One alternative is to revise the lease terms in a way that safeguards both parties.
Anyone who actively or even attempted to assist in the eviction or distress of property rented by a member or dependent of the armed forces without first verifying military duty and obtaining a court order is subject to sanctions, jail time, or both.
The SCRA’s provisions against eviction for servicemembers are treated very seriously by the judicial system. Renters who have tenants in the military might benefit from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service. It’s cheap, takes only a few minutes, and provides legally binding proof that may be used in court that your order was placed.