JUNE 15, 2021 – Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) companies at all Department of the Navy (DoN) installations have fully implemented all 18 rights contained in the Tenant Bill of Rights as of June 1.
“The team did tremendous work with our privatized housing operators to arrive at full implementation of the Tenant Bill of Rights across the Department of the Navy’s installations,” said Todd Schafer, the acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN) for Energy, Installations and Environment (EI&E).
“Ensuring the implementation of the tenants’ rights is an important step in our long-term plans to continue to improve transparency and communication for Service members and their families who live in public-private venture housing.”
The MHPI Tenant Bill of Rights was created under the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that Service members and their families who reside in homes and communities on Department of Defense (DoD) installations receive quality housing and fair treatment from the MHPI companies that operate and maintain privatized housing.
The universal lease framework, a key common document across the DoD, will begin to be rolled out for renewing or prospective new tenants over the next several months.
“We have privatized housing on 57 Navy and 19 Marine Corps installations. These installations are not only a workplace, but a home to many of our Sailors, Marines, DoN civilian employees and their families,” said Schafer. “We owe it to our personnel to ensure access to safe, quality, and well-maintained homes.”
The Department commits to providing the full benefit of the following 15 rights by May 1, 2020.
- The right to reside in a housing unit and a community that meets applicable health and environmental standards.
- The right to reside in a housing unit that has working fixtures, appliances, and utilities and to reside in a community with well-maintained common areas and amenity spaces.
- The right to a written lease with clearly defined rental terms to establish tenancy in a housing unit, including any addendums and other regulations imposed by the Landlord regarding occupancy of the housing unit and use of common areas.
- The right to a plain-language briefing, before signing a lease and 30 days after move-in, by the installation housing office on all rights and responsibilities associated with tenancy of the housing unit, including information regarding the existence of any additional fees authorized by the lease, any utilities payments, the procedures for submitting and tracking work orders, the identity of the military tenant advocate, and the dispute resolution process.
- The right to have sufficient time and opportunity to prepare and be present for move-in and move-out inspections, including an opportunity to obtain and complete necessary paperwork.
- The right to report inadequate housing standards or deficits in habitability of the housing unit to the Landlord, the chain of command, and housing management office without fear of reprisal or retaliation, including reprisal or retaliation in the following forms: (A) unlawful recovery of, or attempt to recover, possession of the housing unit; (B) unlawfully increasing the rent, decreasing services, or increasing the obligations of a Tenant; (C) interference with a Tenant’s right to privacy; (D) harassment of a Tenant; (E) refusal to honor the terms of the lease; or (F) interference with the career of a Tenant.
- The right of access to a Military Tenant Advocate or a military legal assistance attorney, through the housing management office of the installation of the Department at which the housing unit is located to assist in the preparation of requests to initiate dispute resolution.
- The right to receive property management services provided by a Landlord that meet or exceed industry standards and that are performed by professionally and appropriately trained, responsive and courteous customer service and maintenance staff.
- The right to have multiple, convenient methods to communicate directly with the Landlord maintenance staff, and to receive consistently honest, accurate, straightforward, and responsive communications.
- The right to have access to an electronic work order system through which a Tenant may request maintenance or repairs of a housing unit and track the progress of the work.
- With respect to maintenance and repairs to a housing unit, the right to the following: (A) prompt and professional maintenance and repair; (B) to be informed of the required time frame for maintenance or repairs when a maintenance request is submitted; and ( C) in the case of maintenance or repairs necessary to ensure habitability of a housing unit, to prompt relocation into suitable lodging or other housing at no cost to the Tenant until the maintenance or repairs are completed.
- The right to receive advice from military legal assistance on procedures involving mechanisms for resolving disputes with the property management company or property manager to include mediation, arbitration, and filing claims against a Landlord.
- The right to have reasonable, advance notice of any entrance by a Landlord, installation housing staff, or chain of command into the housing unit, except in the case of an emergency or abandonment of the housing unit.
- The right to not pay non-refundable fees or have application of rent credits arbitrarily held.
- The right to expect common documents, forms, and processes for housing units will be the same for all installations of the Department, to the maximum extent applicable without violating local, State, and Federal regulations.