When you enter into a lease agreement, be sure your lease has a military clause in it. This clause differs from state to state but generally allows you to break your lease under certain conditions because your soldier is in the military.
Typical clauses allow you to terminate your lease without penalty if any of the following occur:
1 – Your soldier receives a temporary duty assignment outside of the area for 60 days or more
2 – He separates from the military (ETS)
3 – He is killed in action or missing in action
4 – He receives orders for a permanent change of station (PCS)
Some landlords will let you add a clause that allows you to break the lease if you are offered military housing but this is uncommon.
Be sure that the military clause covers everyone who signs the lease. Some couples have run into problems when the landlord only let the military person out of the lease and would not let the Army spouse out of it. Be sure it is explicitly stated that the entire lease is canceled and not just that the military service person is covered by the clause.
The housing office can help you with this if you are unsure of the wording of your lease. Do NOT sign without this clause. You never know when the Army may decide to move you and you do not want to be stuck with monstrous fees if you have to move. Also, if your spouse is deployed, this clause allows you to break the lease and move back home if you would like.
Most military clauses will require you to give a 30 day written notice. If you do this, you should be able to break your lease without penalty under the circumstances listed here. Be aware that if your lease requires certain things must be done when you move out (such as having the carpet cleaned), this is still required. The military clause does not exempt that requirement.