When does SCRA come into play in a rental situation?

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When does SCRA come into play in a rental situation?

My husband is currently deployed. I’m having trouble with my landlord not taking care of yardwork as stated in lease (which has expired 5 months ago and has gone month-to-month). There are lots of bugs and mosquitoes around which could be a health hazard. Does the landlord have the right to give me the ultimatum and make me sign a restructured lease or move out? Are we covered under SCRA since my hubby is deployed?

Asked on August 11, 2011 Idaho

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act doesn't protect you from bugs and mosquito issues; that would be your state attorney general or HUD on ensuring the premises is habitable. As to your lease, you don't have a written lease since you are now on a month to month verbal lease. A verbal lease may not be the type of lease under the SCRA. If it is covered, you cannot be kicked out but can give notice to leave under your situation by giving written notice. The notice from you must be given under tight deadlines and I believe the day you give notice, you can only terminate the lease 30 days after the next month the rent is due. So if you give notice January 1 and the rent is due the first of each month, then 30 days after the next month's rent due date of February 1 would be March 2, when the lease could terminate. In this situation, you are looking at the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act but since you don't have a written lease, you actually may not be protected. Consider entering a lease; at least you would have many more laws developed for your advantage.


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