Don't Violate the Housing Rights of Military Families

Three Southern California communities recently resolved allegations that they violated the rights of military families under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), according to a joint statement by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Camp Pendleton Joint Legal Assistance Office.

The SCRA provides certain protections to active and reserve service members to alleviate the strains on family and finances associated with frequent moves and multiple deployments. Among other things, the SCRA allows service members to terminate residential leases to comply with military orders for a permanent change of station or for deployment.

In all three cases, the government alleged that the communities charged Marine and Navy families excess rent after their leases were lawfully terminated pursuant to the SCRA. Under the terms of the settlements, the communities revised their final account statements to reflect the lawful lease termination date pursuant to the SCRA. Each settlement provided a financial benefit to a Marine or Navy family. In one matter, a young Marine and his family were excused from paying over $10,000 in fees.

“This Office is committed to vigorous enforcement of the SCRA to ensure that service members receive the full benefits and protections of the law,” U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy said in a statement.

To learn more about the housing rights of military families, see the Coach’s March 2010 lesson, “Complying with Laws Protecting Military Service Members and Veterans,” available in our online Archive.

Source: Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California