A property management company operating across Hampton Roads settled a federal lawsuit following a complaint alleging it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
McGowan Realty LLC, doing business as RedSail Property Management, agreed to pay $13,225.65 to settle a complaint that it and one of its landlord-homeowners imposed early lease termination charges and additional rent on a Virginia Beach-based Navy sailor who received permanent change of station orders, according to an announcement from the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney's Office. The agreement comes after a 14-month legal battle in U.S. District Court.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows a service member to terminate a residential lease early if the military member receives permanent change of station orders or enters military service during the term of the lease. If the tenant terminates a lease pursuant to the relief act, the landlord may not impose any early termination fee or rent beyond the effective termination date.
The sailor had received orders to a new duty station located around 12 miles from his Virginia Beach residence, according to court documents. The sailor paid $3,408.55 in early termination charges and additional rent to RedSail, a Newport News-based property management firm that operates across Hampton Roads and surrounding cities. The full termination fee was given to the homeowner.