An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsroomNewsArticle Display

Article - Article View

Use SCRA to break lease due to separation, discharge, retirement

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Now that permanent change of station season is well underway, many service members have come face-to-face with an unexpected move or PCS.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows personnel to break a lease to PCS, which is why there is usually a military clause in most lease agreements. Getting out of a lease due to discharge or retirement, however, is a relatively new legal concept, and many landlords simply don't realize it's available.

The clause protects service members as long as they separate or are discharged under honorable conditions and can help even if it is not specifically included in a lease.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act states that you can "terminate the lease at any time after - the date of [your] military orders" (the soonest is 30 days after you give the landlord a printed copy of your orders). SCRA goes on to state that those orders have to be for a deployment of 90 days or more or if the member "receives military orders for a [PCS]."

There's no definition of PCS within SCRA, which is why your landlord may not let you out of your lease if you have separation orders. But, the Department of Justice and each of the military services interpret PCS as including "[d]ischarge, resignation or separation from the Service under honorable conditions," and are therefore protected through SCRA.

This interpretation exists because the definition of PCS in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations includes discharge, resignation or separation from the service under honorable conditions. For the full definition of PCS, see JFTR, Appendix A, page A1-32, part (b)(3)(e).

For more information or assistance, call the legal office at 556-4871.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui