1. Not all leases have a military clause, but even if it does, you usually still have to give 30 days notice to vacate.
  2. At the end of the lease, it may be extended automatically month-to-month, so you still have to give notice 30 days in advance of actually leaving.
  3. If your orders changed prior to graduation, and you signed a lease based on the original orders, the Navy should pay for the original lease.
  4. Check your local Legal Assistance Office or Housing Office about leases.  Each state has different laws about terminating leases early based on changes in military orders, or for personal reasons.
  5. A longer lease is usually cheaper (they can’t raise the rent on you), but you may have less flexibility to terminate early.
  6. Ensure you know what utilities are included as part of your rent:  water, electricity, sewer.
  7. Make sure you know what repairs you are responsible, and which ones you are not responsible for and should notify the rental agency first.
  8. Ensure you know if parking is included in your rent, and whether it is covered, secured, or outside.
  9. Ensure you know if there are any additional fees:  building association fees, community fees, etc.
  10. Know what the rules are for reserving or using elevators for moving.
  11. Walk through the unit with a representative of the rental agency and note the appliances and fixtures in the unit (washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, ceiling fan, etc.).  This includes keys.
  12. Walk through the unit with a representative of the rental agency and note any damage to the unit or missing items prior to taking possession of the unit.
  13. Verify you know what condition it needs to be in when you depart (do you have to paint or is that considered “wear and tear”?)
  14. Know the rules about hanging pictures, etc. on the walls and doors and use of hardware.
  15. Be sure you know who to call and what their hours are for emergencies (power outage, flooding, etc.).
  16. Ensure you understand the policy about visitors (where can they park), and whether they can stay overnight and for how long.
  17. Rule of thumb:  Your rent or mortgage should be no more than 25-30% of your AFTER TAX pay.
  18. Find out if there are storage areas available as part of the complex.
  19. You may not want to live in on-base housing.  It will cost your entire BAH and COLA, which you can otherwise use to rent or purchase a home.  Living in base housing means you are renting from the military.
  20. You may choose to set up an automatic deduction from your bank account to pay your monthly rent or mortgage.