Yesterday a military spouse asked this question:

As you can see there were hundreds of responses but our lovely moderator Genia posted the following:

I then took it upon myself to see if I could locate the regulation and found the following:

Reference for these regulations will not be found in an AR, but in the manual for courts martial. Military Rule of Evidence 313-315 covers inspections and searches

As for off post housing, military commanders have no authority to authorize a search or inspection. See military rule of evidence number 315. It states explicitly who may authorize what searches. Competent military authority is limited to authorization of searches of military property. Civilian owned property located off of a military installation requires a civilian search warrant.

Official Regulation:

Rule 315. Probable cause searches
(a) General rule. Evidence obtained from searches
requiring probable cause conducted in accordance
with this rule is admissible at trial when relevant and
not otherwise inadmissible under these rules.
(b) Definitions. As used in these rules:
(1) Authorization to search. An “authorization to
search” is an express permission, written or oral,
issued by competent military authority to search a
person or an area for specified property or evidence
or for a specific person and to seize such property,
evidence, or person. It may contain an order directing
subordinate personnel to conduct a search in a
specified manner.
(2) Search warrant. A “search warrant” is an express
permission to search and seize issued by competent
civilian authority.
(c) Scope of authorization. A search authorization
may be issued under this rule for a search of:
(1) Persons. The person of anyone subject to military
law or the law of war wherever found;
( 2 ) M i l i t a r y p r o p e r t y . M i l i t a r y p r o p e r t y o f t h e
United States or of nonappropriated fund activities
of an armed force of the United States wherever
(3) Persons and property within military control.
Persons or property situated on or in a military installation,
encampment, vessel, aircraft, vehicle, or any other location under military control, wherever

You can read the regulation in full at  under rules 313-315 pages 12-15.

I am sure there are different scenarios but these are the official regulations regardless.

For the record I am no lawyer and all information should be verified with the proper official and authority on the situation!




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7 Comments on Can The Army Inspect My House If I Live Offpost?

  1. Absolutely not. They have no right to enter your private residence. If this ever happened to us I would have my lawyer right there to inform them of that. People need to be informed and know their rights and be steam rolled by Big Army or USAF, etc. etc. Don’t be taken for a ride people.

  2. I am currently having the same issue for the same reason with my husband and his command. We own out home, and like you said we have nothing to hide, however I feel this is completely wrong. I am at my wits end with this company and the mockery they are making of the army and it’s values. Never in my life have I seen such a lack of distrust and consideration for soldiers and their families. It’s also become a concern that if we refuse to allow them to invade our privacy, my husband fears that this may ruin his career and his chances of promotions or recognition in this Unit. I also know that those doing the inspections are only following the order given by their command and feel it is completely unfair to put an NCO in this position. I am honestly thinking of calling IG though I know my husband would not agree with my doing so.

  3. I am a disabled veteran and my wife left me after I became disabled for another Soldier (She is still a service member) . But I can’t contact my children or even write a letter because she moved to Ft.Hood and refuses to give me a number or address. But she has always had an issue with hoarding and not properly kid proofing her house. I only want to know my children are safe and given a working phone number for my children so I can at least be able to tell them I love them.
    Not knowing is the worst part. I honestly don’t mind if the bed isn’t made or the trash isn’t taking out. I need assurances that my children are living in a safe house. I am lost without access to my children.

  4. It is true, you do not have to let them inspect your home. However, the Soldier’s supervisor carries a responsible for their well being, therefore, they may ask for a house visit to ensure good quality living. I understand requirements better than most because I was a housing inspector when I was in the Army, and had to know the rules and regulations in this matter. In my tenure, I noted several situations with Soldiers, when I was tasked to inspect off post homes, where landlords mistreated, and overcharged members; some had no hot water for more than a week, awaiting repairs; and families with babies at home had no milk or food, living from pay check to pay check. These Soldiers did not know where to get help, and received continued landlord abuse. All Soldiers will not go to their supervisor and ask for help. Home visits can help and are suppose to benefit families, not get in your business.

  5. While in Germany we had what was called off post housing. The off post housing was owned by the military. I believe if this is the set up, than you are open to an inspection. I believe if you have a lease that is independent of the military then the rule stated above about a search warrant would be required. What I learned in the military is that you really want to be strategic on what fights you take on.

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