Writing the Lease Termination Letter for Service Members

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Do it yourself, or use the letter we’ve already perfected. Easy guidance for all steps. You’ll be done in just a few minutes, just enter a few details and send it off. Don’t rely on all landlords to abide by the law, be sure of no headaches and a full security deposit return.

Activated Reservists, New Service Members, Current Active Duty Deploying or on PCS Orders

Breaking a lease early for members of the military is sometimes an unavoidable necessity. In this situation a verbal notification is not enough for total assurance that your landlord will comply according to the law. A written letter needs to be crafted to explain your specific situation, reference the laws and regulations that are in effect, and provide the necessary documentation (military orders).

In simple terms, if a tenant is on active military duty and receives either permanent change of station orders or temporary duty orders of more than 90 days, the tenant is liable for no more than 30 days rent after the date he or she provides the termination notice in writing and provides the documents to support this.

We hope our helpful guide and detailed instructions assist you in the writing of this letter. If you just want to use a pre-made letter that only requires you to enter a few fields, just download the Hometitan Service Members Early Lease Termination Letter >

The Law Protecting Service Members & Their Families

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides a number of protections to military personnel. Concerning leases, a member of the military can terminate their lease of a property in any of the following situations:

  • The service member entered the lease before starting active duty
  • The service member (reserve or guard member; active reservist) entered the lease before being recalled to active duty for 180 days or longer
  • The service member receives orders for a permanent change of station orders
  • The service member receives deployment orders for 90 days or more

Once the call to active duty or receipt of orders is received the service member must write a letter to terminate their lease. And the landlord must abide by the following:

  • No demand of any kind of fine or penalty for this early termination
  • If there was a security deposit it must be returned, minus any damages or legitimate repairs within 30 days of the date the lease was terminated
  • If there is any unused portion of any rent that was prepaid to the service member, it must be returned

For Service Members with Month to Month Rentals

With a month-to-month rentals, the termination date is 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due after the date that the letter of termination is delivered to the landlord or owner. If that sounds like a mouthful, here’s an example that should make it more clear:

  1. Rent is due the 1st of each month
  2. You mail your notice and it’s delivered to your landlord on February 15th
  3. Your next rental payment is due on March 1st
  4. you have 30 days from March 1st to reach the effective termination date which would be 30 days later on April 1st


For Service Members With All Other Leases

Lease termination is effective on the last day of the month following the month in which termination letter is delivered.

Here’s an example:

  1. Your lease is a yearly rental
  2. You mail your lease termination notification and it’s delivered on February 15th
  3. Your effective termination date would be March 31st

You would only be required to pay the rent before your lease is terminated and if you paid for the year in advance your landlord must prorate the amount paid and return to you the unused portion.

In these situations the landlord must still abide by the relevant laws concerning the security deposit. If a security deposit was paid this must be returned within 30 days of the termination date. The landlord cannot withhold this refund simply because of the early termination request. A landlord can only withhold all or part of the security deposit if there are legitimate repairs or damages or for other provisions from the lease agreement.

The Structure of the Service members Early Lease Termination Letter

Provide your required statement of notice to your landlord and explain how your military service requirements require you to break your lease early. Make sure to clarify that this must occur without penalty under the SCRA. The following structure and instructions can guide you from beginning to end.

Military Details + The Law + Business Formatting + Professional Tone = SUCCESS

  • Letter Head
  • Certified Mail Return Receipt
  • Date
  • Landlord Name & Address
  • Re: Lease Termination Notification
  • Brief Introduction: which home/unit you are renting and why you are writing(e.g. the need to break your lease, requesting early lease termination, etc.); date you will be moving out
  • Detail which situation you are in: change of station, just enlisted, relocation and deployment
  • State the facts of the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act (the “SCRA”); allowing service members to terminate a residential lease without penalty or fines, when in one of the above mentioned situation
  • State whether this is a fixed term lease or a month to month lease and the date you are giving notice and the date of termination
  • Remind your landlord/owner that under that same Act they must return any unused prepaid rent or other lease amounts (security deposit) within 30 days; provide instructions for its delivery
  • Thank them provide contact information for you or an authorized individual if there are any questions
  • Sign
  • Name, rank, branch of service
  • Add that enclosed is a copy of you orders

The Servicemembers Lease Termination Key Points To Remember

Include Key Dates: Termination date, Notice given date Provide a photocopy of your orders
Refer to Section 535 of the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Specify your reason under this law
Date It Sign It
Make Copies Send it certified mail, return receipt requested
Make sure there are no other state or local laws or jurisdictions that may apply; modify the letter accordingly

If you’d like, we’re always here to help with our own letter. It’s an instant download and requires just a few fields of entry. Notify your landlord of your lease changes and get a smooth lease termination and a safe return of your security deposit.

Try The HomeTitan Pre-Written Termination Notification Letter

Do it yourself with the clear instructions above or use the letter we’ve crafted that has been tested to have great success. We’ve written it to be clear and direct with the law explicitly stated for total protection.