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New Florida law helps military renters

by Capt Eric Pellenbarg
6th Air Mobility Wing JA

A recent change in Florida law has made it easier than ever for military renters to terminate their leases not only when they PCS but now upon deployments in excess of 60 days. In addition, Florida Statute 83.682 eliminates the damage provisions of earlier statutes which forced service members to pay landlords up to one month's rent as a penalty for termination. There are several specific situations in which the new statute applies. Keep in mind that all terminations require you provide your landlord with at least 30 days notice and a copy of your orders. Terminations are permitted in the following situations:

1. If you PCS more than 35 miles from your current residence;

2. If you are discharged from active duty (no mileage requirement);

3. If you are an activated reservist and forced to rent a residence more than 35 miles from your home of record, you may terminate when your activation ends;

4. If you receive deployment orders in excess of 60 days; and

5. If you sign a lease and receive a change of orders prior to moving into the new residence.

A terminating renter is only liable for the pro-rated rent up to the effective date of termination, so make sure to put your landlord on notice as soon as you receive orders and know you will be leaving to avoid excess rental payments.

Finally, remember that the provisions of this statute may not be modified by a lease, so landlords cannot write themselves out of complying with the law. If you have any questions regarding your rights when terminating a lease, call the Legal Office, 828-4422 to schedule a legal assistance appointment with an attorney.





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