Leases With Active Military Personnel: Termination and Eviction Implications

August 31, 2005 Published Work
Reprinted with permission from the June 2005 issue of Real Estate Finance

The current war against terrorism and post-war involvement with Iraq warrants a quick review of the recently enacted Service Members Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 501, Pub. L. No. 108-189,117 Stat.2835 ( effective Dec. 19,2003). This Act is a restatement, clarification and revision of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 , 50 U.S.C. App. Section 501(collectively the "Act"). The general purpose of the Act is to temporarily suspend certain legal proceedings and transactions which might "...adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their military service." (Section 2 of the Act). Among these transactions are commercial and residential leases which may be materially affected by the Act. This article will briefly address the implications of two sections of this Act with respect to termination and eviction rights under residential and commercial leases with an active military service person or his/her dependents.