Background

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides a wide range of legal protections for military members that are not available to the general public. The SCRA covers all active members of the military service and starts on the date of entry into active duty and finishes within 30 to 90 days of discharge. 

The SCRA can delay or suspend financial or civil responsibilities to avoid taking advantage of active military citizens while in active duty and away from home.  

Protections offered by the SCRA: 

  • Prevents landlords from evicting unless the rent is more than $3,851.03 per month for 2019 
  • Stops foreclosures without a court order 
  • Residents vehicles cannot be repossessed without a court order if they have made a deposit or at least one payment before they joined 
  • Landlords cannot take residents to court for civil proceedings including hearings on divorce or child support 
  • Prevents owners of self-storage facilities from selling residents belongings for overdue rent without a court order 

As a landlord, you might wonder if you can evict a resident with active military status. Wrongfully evicting a resident protected under SCRA can cost you dearly, leading to fines and even jail time. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary steps before pursuing an eviction. 

Landlords who wish to evict SCRA-protected service members should start with the verifying of military service. If his or her service affects the ability of the service member to pay the agreed rent amount, the court may do one of two things. First, the court could suspend the eviction proceedings for 90 days. However, the court sometimes imposes longer or shorter terms. 

Another option they can exercise is to adjust the lease obligation to preserve all parties’ interests. 

Anyone who intentionally participates in, or even attempts to engage in, an eviction or distress of property leased by a SCRA-protected service member or dependent without first confirming military service and obtaining a court order may face fines or imprisonment or both. 

 

Help with Verifying Military Service 

ClickNotices provides a quick and efficient way to verify which residents are active military status. When using other verification services, you need to manually enter the name, address, and additional information of a resident when using other authentication services in order to find out if they are active military. We make this process much simpler for you by taking the resident’s information and automatically running the check at time of order for a filing, as opposed to having to enter it manually. Not only does this save time, but it also guarantees it goes through the information of every single resident and to prove, without a doubt, the resident’s eligibility for SCRA benefits. 

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to learn if your residents are service members who are entitled to SCRA protections. Our SCRA Verification Feature can help you stay in compliance with this law.