Powers of Attorney and Base Housing
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, as well as Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, like other installations within Marine Corps Installations East, have entered into agreements with private commercial companies that dramatically affect the manner in which their base housing operates.  Quarters are available to service members and their families aboard these installations; however, in most cases, the landlord will be a private company, not the United States government.

Leases and rent payment - In order to obtain privately run base housing, tenants are required to sign a lease. In most cases, rent payment will be made by allotment or electronic funds transfer of the basic allowance for housing (BAH) from the service member to the private company. But what happens if the service member is not present to sign the lease and / or to initiate an allotment or EFT? That’s where the power of attorney comes in.

The service member can sign a power of attorney that allows another person (typically a spouse) to sign the lease on his/her behalf, to accept quarters, and to take any actions that may be necessary to initiate the appropriate allotment for rental payment.


General and Special Powers of Attorney - A General Power of Attorney (GPOA) is a broad grant of authority conveyed from its maker, or Principal;  to the maker’s agent, often called the attorney-in-fact. Historically, this power of attorney has been very popular with service members, especially those about to deploy. The GPOA authorizes the agent to take a wide variety of actions on behalf of the Principal, at least in theory. South Carolina law provides that a person should accept a POA when it reasonably appears to authorize the business the agent wants to conduct, and improper refusal can result in liability [SC Code of Laws 62-8-120). However, the statute also authorizes the person to request certification of the POA or to take certain specified actions that may otherwise cause delay. Further, a person is not obligated to do business with the agent under circumstances in which it would not do business with the principal. As a practical matter, enforcement of a disputed POA can sometimes be difficult or time consuming.

You can obtain a GPOA from the installation Legal Assistance Office that includes all the language necessary to authorize another person to accept base quarters on your behalf and to handle any required allotment process.

A special power of attorney (SPOA) grants only the authority specifically listed. It is therefore less likely to be abused by the agent and may be more readily accepted, but it is less flexible and covers a narrower range of contingencies. You can obtain a SPOA specifically designed for the purpose of accepting base housing and taking necessary action to sign the lease and pay the rent are available at the legal assistance office.


Filling out the POA - The power of attorney is easy to fill out. In the blanks provided near the top of the instrument, the Principal and agent must be identified. Towards the end of the document will be blanks to fill out indicating the date the document was signed and the date it is to expire. The expiration date should be far enough in the future to cover the period of time when the Principal is expected to be unavailable. Regardless of the indicated expiration date, all POAs have no effect upon the death of their maker.

Execution of the POA – To be valid, a POA must be executed in accordance with all the requirements of the applicable state’s law or must be executed in accordance with superseding federal law. In either case, the principal must sign before a person authorized to act as a notary. The Principal must be personally known to the notary or must prove his/her identity through some documentation, such as a military identification card and a driver’s license.  The Parris Island legal assistance office employs notaries familiar with these requirements.



Hours of operation for the Parris Island legal assistance office: M-F 0830-1130 & 1300-1430

                                                                            Walk in hours: T & Th 0830-1030


For further information contact: (843) 228-2559
Marine Corps Installations East