Recently the Department of Defense released the updated Tenant Bill of Rights that is effective as of August 1st, 2021. The Department of the Air Force is implementing the last four housing rights out of 18 by the end of the 2021 Fiscal Year. What does this mean for you and your family? What is it and how does it affect you? Let us break it down below.
New Air Force Housing Tenants Rights – What You Need To Know!
The Tenant Bill of Rights ensures safe, quality, and well-maintained housing wherever Airmen and their families want and choose to live.
Previous to the Update
Before there was very little recourse available to tenants in privatized housing on base. The companies in charge of maintaining the privatized housing had no industry standard and it could change from installation to installation. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, with the new rights for housing tenants, there is a universal lease and a clear path towards dispute resolution.
Military Housing Tenant Bill of Right Changes
The implementation of the new housing rights gives the power back to you, the tenant.
You will now have the right to withhold rent when a serious issue occurs in the house. This gives the companies and landlords incentive to fix the issue swiftly.
Another provision of the bill states that privatized housing will provide a maintenance history of seven years to new tenants before a lease is signed, or within five business days to an existing tenant’s request.
“If tenants feel their rights are not being met, they should start by communicating the issue directly to the landlord,” said Yvonne Brabham, Air Force Housing Division technical director.
If the landlord continues to ignore the complaint your next step should be contacting the military housing office. They can provide resources like a resident advocate. The MHO can also escalate the issue within both the military chain of command and the landlord’s management structure. If you feel the issue is still not being resolved at the local level, you can contact the Air Force housing section’s toll-free hotline at 1 (800) 482-6431 and AFCEC will investigate the problem.
Military Tenants Bill of Rights Resources
Have upcoming PCS orders? Or perhaps you are ready to trade renting for buying a house? Make sure you don’t get charged for costly move-out fees and get your deposit back with our in-depth guide What Can a Landlord Charge For When You Move Out?.
This is a great thing for new and existing tenants. When problems can be fixed at a local level issues tend to get solved much quicker. Tenants seeking assistance with housing issues should continue to engage their military housing office, installation leadership, or chain of command. This new focus on protecting and expanding the rights of tenants in the Air Force will have a positive outcome and will raise the standard of housing in the military.
Looking for more trending content? There is no better time to read our blog Military BAH Rates: Everything You Need to Know.