Does Transfer of Air Force Lieutenant Automatically Terminate Lease?

Question: We recently purchased an apartment building near Luke Air Force Base. One of our tenants is an Air Force lieutenant who is being transferred to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He still has four months remaining on the lease, but says that after he moves he will no longer have any obligation to pay the remaining four months of the lease. Do we lose the rent for the remaining four months on the lease because the tenant is being transferred to another Air Force base?

Answer: Yes. Under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, a service member is allowed to terminate a lease if there is a transfer of the service member to another permanent duty station such as your tenant’s transfer to Eglin Air Force Base. In addition, there are protections for service members relating to default judgments, evictions, and foreclosures. Therefore, you are not entitled to collect the remaining four months of rent.

Note: If the Arizona Association of REALTORS® standard residential lease was used, a military transfer is specifically a basis for termination of the residential lease. (See lines 221-225.)

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