What Landlords Should Know About Renting to Military Tenants

Opening up your rental possibilities to military tenants is a great way to expand your options as a landlord and possibly find some of the best tenants you’ll ever have. A significant portion of active-duty military members and military families live off-base, which means that welcoming military tenants could create hundreds of new local tenant opportunities for you. 

When it comes to housing military tenants, there are several benefits to consider and a few drawbacks to keep in mind.

Benefits of Military Tenants

There are several reasons why military tenants might be some of your best tenants and why opening up your property to military families could be a lucrative decision for you as a landlord.

Generally Reliable with Rent and Property Upkeep

Due to their heavily structured lifestyle and remarkable work ethic, many military members make great tenants who are on time with rent payments and conscientious of taking good care of the property. 

Military members aren’t just personally reliable; they have a reliable income as well. Many military members who choose to live off-base during their duty are provided with a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), which is a stipend designed to cover some or all of their rent costs. 

This stipend is automatically included in service members’ paychecks, so landlords can trust that their military tenants receive it every month.

Landlords that rent to military tenants have the right to verify their tenant’s BAH balance by putting in a request for their Leave and Earning Statement (LES). This information is updated each month and includes a detailed breakdown of the service member’s leave status and income, which includes their BAH.

Connections to Future Renters

If your property makes a great home for a military member and is convenient for them while working on-base, they’re sure to recommend it to other service members once they move out. 

By renting to military members and military families, you gain access to a massive network of future reliable renters who may need housing in your specific region, which can be especially helpful if you live in a rural area.

Provide Access to the Rental Partnership Program

Landlords that rent to military tenants can gain access to the Rental Partnership Program (RPP). This program is designed to connect landlords near military bases with service members needing affordable off-base housing. 

When you join this program, your property will be marketed through the RPP site, which will expose it to many more potential tenants. Additionally, you’ll be able to rest assured that your active-duty tenants will have to stay in the area by permanent order until the end of the lease period decided by the RPP.

Drawbacks of Military Tenants

Though there are many benefits to renting your property to military tenants and families, there are some drawbacks that you should be conscious of.

Sometimes Move with Little to No Notice

Though RPP orders will force some active military members to stay in one place for a set amount of time, many service members aren’t under these types of orders. 

Sometimes, military tenants are under the orders of their enlistment, which could mean that they have to move to a new place with very little notice due to a deployment. 

This can be difficult for landlords, as they’ll have to scramble to find new tenants or even lose out on the rent money they were expecting.  

Difficult to Evict

Along with sometimes having to leave their rental housing with little to no notice, military members are very difficult to evict from properties due to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

This act is specifically designed to relieve active military members from the financial burdens of broken contracts, which include rental property leases.

How to Attract Military Families to Your Property

Military members and families are often looking for affordable properties near their base. You can attract these types of renters by adjusting your rent according to local BAH averages or making your payment schedule more flexible. 

Redesigning your lease agreement to be deployment-friendly is also a great way to attract military tenants. You can make your lease length flexible or allow tenants to pay month to month.

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