Veteran fighting landlord to break lease

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A combat war veteran and his family are in a fight with their landlord, who they say is refusing to let them break lease under a federal law that protects military families during a deployment.

During his first deployment, Abe Karroum was fighting for the Army in Iraq. This time, he’s with the Army National Guard deployed to Virginia for training until March. 

To save some money during the deployment, Abe’s wife, Olivia, and the couple’s two-year-old son moved out of their Scottsdale apartment and in with Olivia’s parents.

“I don't want to be alone in a big house while he's gone, I need some help and save some money, and they're not letting us do that,” said Olivia Karroum.

Valley based Arrow Property Management isn't letting the Karroums break lease, even though there's a federal law that allows military families to do just that during a deployment.

The Service Members Civil Relief Act provides a number of protections for active duty military personnel and includes a provision that allows military members to break a lease if their deployment is longer than 90 days.

So far, the Karroums have provided Arrow with Abe's deployment documents and emails from  the military's legal branch, Judge Advocate General, confirming the Karroums qualify to break a lease under the law. 

However, in emails given to 3TV by Olivia, Arrow has questioned Abe’s deployment status and refused to acknowledge JAG’s judgment on the issue. The company is demanding Abe and Olivia finish paying the $3,200 left on their lease.

In one email, Arrow responded to Abe with: “This is not as cut and dried as you make it to be.”

“[Abe is] very frustrated and very hurt because he feels that a lot of times people… he feels frustrated with the way people will treat veterans,” said Olivia.

Statement from Arrow Property Management:

"As a military family we respect all that our Servicemebers do, and have done for our Country.

We have not denied this tenant, or any tenant their rights granted to them under Arizona or Federal Law. Any statement to the contrary is a material falsification."