Military Clause in Your Lease

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.

When Can You Terminate Your Lease?

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.

The Military Clause Should Cover Both of You

Be sure that the military clause covers everyone who signs the lease. Some couples have run into problems when the landlord only lets 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, not just that the clause covers the military service person.

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 these circumstances.

Be aware that if your lease requires certain things to be done when you move out (such as having the carpet cleaned), it still must be done. The military clause does not exempt that requirement.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. My wife signed a lease in indiana for 1 year before we decided to marry… now she stays here with me in Tennessee are we able to break that lease due to her marriage into the military?

  2. My husband is going to boot camp and we live together. However, his name isn’t on my lease but by the time he is stationed I would still have 6 months on the lease to go. Can the military clause apply here to get me out of the lease?

  3. My husband deploys in Jan. I’m trying to see if I could break the lease with his deployment letter on the 1st of Nov since its 2 months away.

  4. So I have a fiance and she has a lease we’re about to get married is she able to break the lease when we get married cause we where wanting to get a bigger place

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