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Q: “I have a tenant who is requesting an early termination of their lease pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  Her husband is in the military and has received orders to relocate. However, the husband is not named on the lease as a tenant or occupant. Is the tenant able to terminate the lease without penalty under the SCRA?” 

A: The answer here is no, the SCRA does not provide protections for spouses of servicemembers if the servicemember is not on the lease. If a servicemember and his/her spouse are both listed on the lease, then the SCRA protections apply to both spouses; neither spouse could be charged an early termination fee. However, the protections of the SCRA do not extend to lease agreements, whether residential or for motor vehicles, that are entered into solely by a servicemember’s spouse or other family member. In this case, the servicemember is not named on the lease so the spouse can be charged an early termination fee.  

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