Service members and their families often move around because of service orders. Military families move to a different area usually every two years. Thus, there is always a demand for military tenants. Landlords can use this as an excellent opportunity to market their rental property.
Given how military members are regarded as reliable tenants, marketing one’s property to attract military tenants can be lucrative. With the military’s housing support, you’re assured that military renters have the financial capacity to pay rent. So how do you rent your place to active military members?
- 1 How to Rent Your House to Military Personnel
- 2 Pros and Cons of Renting to Military Tenants
- 3 Handling Deployment and Move-out Procedures
- 4 Understanding Legal Considerations
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs
How to Rent Your House to Military Personnel
If you want to rent your property to a military family, follow this guide.
Step 1: Prepare Your House for Military Tenants
If you want to attract military families, you should ensure that the place complies with military housing standards and regulations. You should have a pristine record with the Housing Service Center and pass their inspection.
Given how many service members move, it would be best to furnish your property. Military tenants would appreciate not having to purchase furniture to rent their place.
Many military families have small children. You should ensure that your place is kid-friendly to accommodate them. Installing a pool or kid-friendly closet would be nice to make your place more appealing. You can even install a small swing or playground area in the backyard so the kids can have fun.
Step 2: Set Competitive Rental Rates
Research the standard lease rate within your local military community to market your property to service members and their families. Other military renters within your area can give you an idea of the budget most military families are working with.
When determining your rental property rates, you should consider where your place is located, the size of your property, and the amenities you offer. Service members would perceive your property as high value if found near the military bases. If your place were located near a school or local commercial centers, your property would be appealing even to civilian renters. These factors can help you determine a fair and competitive rental price for the property.
To appeal to military tenants specifically, offering a military discount would be an excellent idea. This incentive can come in various ways, like taking a percentage off their rent or waiving a few days upon moving.
Step 3: Promote Your Property to Military Renters
Once you’ve determined your rental price, you should market your property to many military families. You can explore various platforms if renting to military tenants is your goal.
As a start, you should contact your nearest military housing office to make your place more visible to service members. As a property owner, you should also explore platforms like Zillow or classified ads. Partnering with a local realtor to appeal to more possible tenants would also be ideal.
The key to appealing to military personnel is creating a compelling listing. You should highlight the many military-friendly features your place offers so they can see the value of staying there. If you submit a military discount, you should mention it in your listing.
It would help if you tried to network within the local military community because their members can help you get good referrals. More people would perceive your place as a good off-base housing option if other members of the community had good things to say about you as a landlord.
Step 4: Understanding Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
When listing a property, consider the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) that military members obtain. This stipend is allotted to rental costs. The rate would depend on the service member’s rank, pay grade, location, and number of dependents. It would be ideal if you learned about the local BAH stipend to understand how much local military tenants can afford.
You may also consider participating in the Rental Partnership Program. You’d have to adhere to the rules the military community sets, but you’re assured there will be a steady stream of military tenants on your property.
Step 5: Create A Flexible Military Lease Agreement
If you’re renting your property to military families, you should understand the repercussion of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). You should create a flexible military lease agreement to ensure that your rental property adheres to the SCRA.
How can your contract be more flexible to accommodate military tenants? Add a military clause and an early termination option. Moreover, you should ensure that your contract adheres to local and state laws.
Step 6: Screen Military Renters
Considering the implications of renting to military families, you should be vigilant when someone claims they’re a service member. It would be wise to conduct a background and credit check to ensure that the military member you’re dealing with has the financial capacity to rent your property.
You should bear in mind that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides vital financial protections to service members. Thus, you should confirm their active duty status. You can verify one’s military status by asking for official documents.
Alternatively, you can confirm one’s military status through Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service (SCRACVS). Many property managers and landlords refer to our services when dealing with military tenants. We have access to military databases to confirm active military members. Our service is quick, easy, and effective.
Pros and Cons of Renting to Military Tenants
Accommodating military families have advantages and disadvantages. Service members have a reliable stream of income, so you’re confident they can pay rent. Moreover, military tenants are usually well-connected. This means they can connect you with other military members in the future.
However, there are possible setbacks when you’re renting to military tenants. Many military members vacate properties on short notice. Moreover, the SCRA provides legal protections that may not be ideal for property managers. While military members may receive a housing allowance, it’s no guarantee they’d pay the rent on time. Thus, it would be best to understand what you’re getting into.
Handling Deployment and Move-out Procedures
What happens when military tenants don’t pay rent? Are you allowed to evict them? First, you should verify if they’re on active duty. Only active military members are granted SCRA protections. If you need help in verifying a military tenant’s active duty status, reach out to SCRACVS. We even offer discounts for large-volume searches and we can provide your intel as fast as 24 hours.
If you rent to military members, expect sudden deployment-related moves. Thus, you should have protocols in place to safeguard your interests. You should have everything you need for move-out inspections ready. It would help if you also had their security deposit on-hand.
Before you seek legal action on military tenants for whatever reason, you should try to settle the issue amicably. Evicting active military members can be expensive. Thus, it would help if you were vigilant in your dealings.
Understanding Legal Considerations
One of the most vital legal considerations you should know about is the SCRA. This law states that military members can terminate their lease because of deployment orders. Service members won’t be liable for any penalties, and you can’t evict them without a court order.
Moreover, you cannot discriminate against military families when choosing prospective tenants. The law states you should treat potential tenants equally.
All in all, renting to military tenants can be a lucrative endeavor. If you understand the unique needs of military families, you have a better chance of appearing more appealing to them.
As landlords, this niche market offers attractive opportunities. To learn more about dealing with military members, explore our website.
Can a landlord refuse to rent to military tenants?
No, the law stipulates that there should be no discrimination against military families. You should ensure your property adheres to the law to avoid legal trouble.
Can I rent only to the military?
Fair Housing Laws prohibit landlords from exclusively catering to military tenants. However, you can ensure military members get wind of your property listing.
Does the military pay for a rental?
Service members receive housing allowance. Their stipend may cover a portion of the rent, so it depends on how much you’re charging for rent.