(a) The Secretary of Defense may carry out a program under which the Secretary of a military department agrees to indemnify a landlord who leases a rental unit to a member of the armed forces against a breach of the lease by the member or for damage to the rental unit caused by the member. In exchange for agreement for such indemnification by the Secretary, the landlord shall be required to waive any requirement for payment by the member of a security deposit that the landlord would otherwise require.
(b)(1) For purposes of carrying out a program authorized by subsection (a), the Secretary of a military department, to the extent funds are provided in advance in appropriation Acts, may enter into an agreement with any landlord who agrees to waive the requirement for a security deposit in connection with the lease of a rental unit to a member of the armed forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary. An agreement under this paragraph shall provide that—
(A) the term of the agreement shall remain in effect during the term of the member's lease and during any lease renewal periods with the lessor;
(B) the member shall not pay a security deposit;
(C) the Secretary (except as provided in subparagraphs (D) and (E)) shall compensate the landlord for breach of the lease by the member and for damage to the rental unit caused by the member or by a guest or dependent of the member;
(D) the total liability of the Secretary for a breach of the lease or for damage described in subparagraph (C) may not exceed an amount equal to the amount that the Secretary determines would have been required by the landlord as a security deposit in the absence of an agreement authorized in this paragraph;
(E) the Secretary may not compensate the landlord for any claim for breach of the lease or for damage described in subparagraph (C) until the landlord exhausts any remedies available to the landlord (including submission to binding arbitration by a panel composed of military personnel and persons from the private sector) against the member for the breach or damage; and
(F) the Secretary shall be subrogated to the rights of the landlord in any case in which the Secretary compensates the landlord for breach of the lease or for damage described in subparagraph (C).
(2) Any authority of the Secretary of a military department under this section shall be exercised under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
(c)(1) The Secretary of a military department who compensates a landlord under subsection (b) for a breach of a lease or for damage described in subsection (b)(1)(C) may issue a special order under section 1007 of title 37 to authorize the withholding from the pay of the member of an amount equal to the amount paid by the Secretary to the landlord as compensation for the breach or damage.
(2) Before the Secretary of a military department issues a special order under section 1007 of title 37 to authorize the withholding of any amount from the pay of a member for a breach or damage referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary concerned shall provide the member with the same notice and opportunity for hearing and record inspection as provided an individual under section 5514(a)(2) of title 5. The Secretary concerned shall prescribe regulations, subject to the approval of the President, to carry out this paragraph. Such regulations shall be as uniform for the military departments as practicable.
(d) In this section, the term “landlord” means a person who leases a rental unit to a member of the armed forces.
(Added Pub. L. 100–456, div. A, title VI, §621(a)(1), Sept. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 1982.)
Section 621(b) of Pub. L. 100–456 provided that: “Section 1055 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on October 1, 1988.”