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HOW TO RENT OUT YOUR HOUSE TO MILITARY TENANTS: A LANDLORD’S GUIDE


By Breasia Williams

As servicemembers and their families move frequently due to different work assignments, it is not uncommon for landlords to receive applications from a large number of them. This is because servicemembers move every two years, on average. For landlords, this high demand for housing may be appealing. However, there are important things to know when renting to military personnel. This how-to guide will share the exact steps you need to take to successfully rent out your house.

Related read: Ship Your Car - The Ultimate Guide For PCSing With A Vehicle

How To Rent Out Your House To Servicemembers

In this guide, we're showing you how to rent out a house to members of the military. You may be surprised to find out that renting out your house to servicemembers is very similar to renting to those not in the military. However, there is one exception. Servicemembers are protected under some extra rules and regulations that do not apply to non-military members.

These extras include the military Servicemembers Civil Relief Act which provides legal protection to servicemembers in the event that finances adversely affect them during service. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is another extra protection.

Understanding these extras will help you better navigate the process of renting out your house to servicemembers.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act lease termination allows individuals to terminate housing leases without penalty. A landlord should keep this in mind when housing servicemembers and their families.

If a servicemember signs a lease before active-duty service, receives deployment for a minimum of 90 days, or receives permanent change of station orders for a minimum of 90 days, they are qualified to terminate their lease without penalty.

In this case, landlords must return security deposits and relieve tenants of their lease obligations. Additionally, if a tenant is unable to pay rent due to their service, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects them from eviction. For landlords, this can mean lost income.

This possibility should be taken into consideration when deciding how to rent out your house.

Basic Allowance For Housing (BAH)

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a stipend given to service members twice a month to help cover their housing costs. Though this allowance ensures that servicemembers have a reliable source of income, it does not cover the entirety of their housing costs.

Because of this, landlords should still proceed with caution in verifying income and background checks. In addition to understanding military protections, here is how to rent out your house to servicemembers in just a few steps.

Read next: Janet Yamanaka Mello Stole $100M From The Army To Live In Luxury

What You Need to Know About the Renting Process

1. Market Towards Military Audiences

How you market your property can help you figure out how to rent out your house to certain audiences. To reach military audiences, you should consider listing your property on various channels. You can also contact your local military housing assistance office, so they can refer servicemembers to your property.

Once your property is thoroughly advertised, you will need to make the home compelling by catering to the needs and wants of servicemembers. Including furniture in the rental is something that may be appealing due to the convenience that this set-up offers for someone who moves frequently.

Making the rental kid friendly with things such as backyard space for play, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and having house rules for tenants that keep the surrounding areas safe and respectful is also appealing to members of the military. This is because they often move with their families.

Other appealing factors include flexible lease terms, military discounts, and being within close proximity of military bases and locations.

2. Conduct Proper Screening for Military Tenants

Since servicemembers must pass extensive background checks to join, it may be easy to think that landlords will not have to go to great lengths during the screening process. However, it is important to confirm their military status.

There are online tools, such as this one offered by Militaryverification.com to help you.

In addition to a thorough background check, you should request documents that prove prospective tenants can afford to rent your property. These preliminary steps should be taken.

3. Set Procedures to Properly Handle Move-Out

As it is not uncommon for servicemembers to move with short notice, you as the landlord should have safety protocols in place such as emergency funds to make up for lost income or a waitlist for the guarantee of bringing in a new tenant.

Additionally, for convenient and smooth move-outs, you should always be prepared. This includes having items and staff readily accessible for move-out inspections and security funds ready to be returned to tenants.

Conclusion

There are many different things that you can do to attract military families or military tenants to rent out your property.

Be sure to adapt your lease to be flexible for military families. You can also adjust your monthly rent cost to accommodate your area's average BAH rate.

Our nation's military has made great sacrifices for our country, and are always deserving of our gratitude. Consider providing a military discount on your rental listing to show your care and respect.

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