A soldier, presumably on paternity leave for a visit to his geobachelor wife and two-week-old newborn daughter, was told by her South Carolina landlord that he couldn't stay in the apartment past the seven-day visitor window dictated by her lease, according to Fox News.
Sgt. William Bolt is stationed in Missouri, he said. After a six-month separation he traveled to South Carolina, where his wife, Lily Bolt, is a student at Clemson University, and stayed with her as any service member home on leave would, Fox said.
The problem? Bolt's name isn't on the lease. And the lease says visitors (and their vehicles) are welcomed for only seven days. The landlord, according to Fox, said Bolt had to leave or his wife's rent would be doubled as a penalty and his car would be towed.
So Bolt took the problem to Fox. And they spoke to the landlord, they said.
Usually how this goes is that the TV station speaks to the person who has done something that seems kind of ridiculous, and that person says "you're right that was ridiculous" and changes their tune.
Not this guy, whose name is Chuck. This guy told Fox that he "enforces the rule for all his tenants."
Bolt said even though his visit is now over he is worried that the landlord will raise his wife's rent as retribution. He said they are hoping they can sit down to rework the lease to make the next visit not as complicated.
Clemson isn't a military town, so I suppose it is possible that Chuck never had to deal before with a two-week R&R or other kind of visit from a service member whose name wasn't on the lease. And who knows why the couple didn't just put Bolt's name there to start with. In this house both my and my service member's name is on every contract so I can safely take advantage of the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SMCRA), which allows those on orders to break certain contracts, such as a housing lease.
And perhaps this stringent enforcement of the visitor policy would be more understandable if they lived in, say, Manhattan, and parking was at a crazy premium.
But they don't. They live in South Carolina.
We don't get to hear the landlord's side of the story, and it's certainly possible that there is more to this. Or ... he is just not very nice.
On the one hand, you could say this story is a perfect example of military members acting entitled to special treatment. Why shouldn't the service member and his spouse be subject to the same rules as everyone else?
On the other hand, you could say that this is a great time for a little compassion -- service member or not.
Have you ever dealt with a situation like this? What did you do?
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force.