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Servicemen's Relief Act

July 28, 1991

Recently you published a letter from a California Assn. of Realtors staff attorney regarding how the Soldiers and Sailors Relief act affects a tenant's lease obligations. That letter set the rent at which soldiers and their families are protected from eviction at a maximum of $150. That is no longer the limit.

On March 18, 1991, President Bush signed amendments to the Act. These amendments directly affect those military families which still have members called to active duty.

The protection provisions relating to eviction now apply to all residential tenancies in which the monthly rent is $1,200 or less. No eviction can be made without a court order.

The court can stay eviction proceedings against the dependants of a person in military service for up to three months. The new amendment protects families from eviction during this three-month period. The court can also make any order that it believes is just. It could order the rent reduced, or even that past-due payments be forgiven.

Any military member facing eviction at present (many of our citizens are still serving) should make their landlords aware of their right to stay proceedings. A call to the nearest active duty military installation will provide the family member with access to military legal counsel to assist them in making an application for judicial assistance.

DOUGLAS C. MICHIE, Cpt, JA, CAARNG, Cayucos

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