DVIDS – News – Fort Bragg Legal provides information and support for a smooth PCS

FORT BRAGG, NC – It’s summer and for some in Fort Bragg, that means backyard barbecue time, while for others it’s the ever-changing resort season.

As soldiers and families prepare to leave the area, XVIII Airborne Corps Legal Services
The 82nd Airborne Division Help Desk and Legal Support Office are here to help.
PCS legal assistance needs.

“The PCS season brings specific legal challenges for our soldiers and their families and we want to make sure they are prepared,” said Captain Anthony Kratz, chief legal officer for XVIII Airborne Corps. “These tips are by no means exhaustive, and if a soldier feels they have a legal aid problem, we want them to know that the legal aid office is there to help.”

One area where legal challenges persist is the contract and lease review process. It is important to review the contract with the moving company and ensure that all terms are acceptable.

In addition, caution is required when reviewing the lease. The landlord is responsible for informing the tenant of any material problems in the rented property, including defects and invisible repairs.

Finally, tenants should be aware of waivers to the implied guarantee of habitability, which guarantees that the rental is free from major defects that would make life very uncomfortable.

“Tenants should always be vigilant to know whether or not they have waived their service
Members’ rights under the Civil Relief Act,” Kratz pointed out. “SCRA waivers must be made on a separate addendum to the lease agreement and cannot be incorporated into standard lease language.”

The SCRA provides important protections for service members before and during service time. It allows a service member and his dependents to terminate residential and vehicle leases if he receives orders for a permanent station change.

For residential leases, written notice of termination and a copy of the orders must be provided to the landlord. The lease will then end no earlier than 30 days after the next rental payment.

Under the SCRA, landlords cannot charge early termination fees, including repayment of concessions or rent reductions. In addition, the landlord must repay any prepayment of rent within
30 days.

Vehicle leases may be terminated when a soldier receives orders from PCS outside of the continental United States, or lives in Hawaii or Alaska and receives orders outside of those states.

The effective date of termination for vehicle leases is the date of delivery and return of the car in due form, without exceeding 15 days. In addition, the creditor who leases the vehicle must repay the capitalized cost reduction amounts to the service member.

“It’s important for soldiers to know that the SCRA provides far more protections for those materially affected by military service beyond the considerations of the PCS,” Kratz said.
Another legal consideration is the Staff Complaints Act. The Staff Claims Act may cover household property damaged or destroyed during the PCS removal process.

The household property claim process is the submission of the DD 1840 Joint Statement of
Loss or Damage on Delivery and DD 1840R Notice of loss or damage no later than 70 days after date of delivery. These documents constitute official notice to the contracted carrier of the loss and/or damage claimed and initiate the claims process.

“One of the best ways to preserve claims of destruction or damage to moved items is to document and catalog all moved household items,” said Capt. Hayley Boyd, chief of legal assistance for the 82nd Airborne Division. . “Be sure to take photos of every item, especially the most valuable and fragile items.”

A final legal consideration relates to proxies.

“Many soldiers are familiar with POAs because of their experiences with dealing with soldier readiness,” Boyd explained. “However, many are unaware that powers of attorney can be used to delegate authority to another person, known as an agent, to make decisions about property, finances, investments, or medical care for the delegator. .”

If a soldier is not present to sign legal documents such as leases, contracts, or other property documents, he may provide power of attorney to a designated and trusted agent. The delegated agent does not need to be present to sign the power of attorney but must be informed of the delegated powers. Proxies can have an expiry date of up to two years.

“We know how stressful the PCS season can be,” Boyd said. “The legal side of the moving process can be arduous and mentally taxing. We are here to help our soldiers and their families through not only the moving process, but other legal assistance issues as well. »

For assistance in any of these areas or other legal assistance matters, contact either the XVIII
Airborne Corps Legal Assistance Office at 910-396-6113 or the 82nd Airborne Corps Legal
Helpdesk at [email protected]

(History of 1st Lt. Shelby Brown, Legal Assistant Judge Advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps and 1st Lt. Henry Carras, Legal Assistant Judge Advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps)

Date taken: 07.05.2022
Date posted: 07.05.2022 13:27
Story ID: 424347
Location: FORT BRAGG, North Carolina, USA

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