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UPDATE (MAY 22) – COMPENSATION FOR MISSED APPOINTMENTS AND FAILED MOVE IN

The SFA Compensation Scheme will continue under the FDIS Accommodation contracts and will be administered and funded by the suppliers when they are at fault. Requests for compensation can be raised through this page.

In April 2017 the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) launched a compensation scheme in the UK to cover missed appointments and significant issues at move-in for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA).

 

Please note that claims must be made within 14 days of the issue occurring. Once an application is received, the DIO Compensation Claim Team will then consider the claim and the claimant will be informed whether this has been accepted or rejected. If accepted, this will be in the form of High Street Vouchers – please be aware that no alternatives will be offered; if rejected, then the reasons for this will be explained. There will be no appeals process.

 

For full information/to apply for this scheme, please click here.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018
Updated on: 3rd May 2022

For enquiries about loss of entitlement to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) resulting from retirement, redundancy, discharge or estrangement, please contact the Loss of Entitlement Team by telephoning 01904 418000 or 94510 8000. Please note their phone lines are only operational between 9.00am – 12 noon and from 1.00pm – 3.00pm.

 

They are contactable via email throughout the whole working day at DIORDAccn-LOETeam@mod.gov.uk

 

 

If you believe that you will lose entitlement to SFA in the future, or find yourself in this situation, advice is available from a variety of sources. As well as the Joint Service Housing Advice Office, other sources of information and advice are: service charities; families federations; housing advice centres; and local authorities.

 

Base Port Agreement

If you are occupying SFA in one of the three Base Port Areas (Portsmouth, Plymouth or Faslane) then you can retain your SFA on assignment to a new Duty Station, but in advance of your assignment date you must log onto the e1132 form (application to occupy SFA) via the Defence Intranet. You need to click the button ‘retain current SFA on posting within the Base Port Scheme’. This should be done within 14 days of receiving your Assignment Order and should be done on each assignment in order for your retention expiry date to be amended. Your occupancy data is updated and your continued entitled occupation can be confirmed for allowance purposes or for disturbance if moving at a later date.

 

What happens in the background is that the stock management system then recognises you as part of the RN/RM and therefore able to remain in your Port Area. If you don’t inform the ‘system’ that you wish to remain it thinks that there is not a match between your assignment location and SFA location which prompts the system to issue you with a Notice to Vacate. You need to be aware that if you occupy Substitute SFA (SSFA) in one of the Port Areas retention will be granted, but you will be expected to move to SFA if and when there is suitable availability within that Port Area.

 

If you are serving away from a Base Port area and you are then assigned away from the area then you should apply for SFA at your next place of duty. There are exceptions to this regulation, however, you must apply for a retention.

 

There has to be explicit reasons to retain that are recognised under the regulations and you will need to provide appropriate supporting documentation at the time of the application. A number of retention criteria require Chain of Command support particularly for welfare or medical reasons when, in the first instance, the Local Service Commander will consider the case in consultation with appropriate medical, welfare (RN FPS and Divisional system), educational agencies and Pinnacle Service Families. If agreed, retentions will be granted for a period of up to 12 months (you can re-request prior to expiry if the circumstances continue to persist) and confirms continued entitled occupation for allowance and disturbance purposes.

 

If a retention request is unsuccessful it does not form any kind of bar to future use of SFA, but it may be that if you wish to stay in a particular location (other than Port Area) for a period of time beyond assignment dates, then housing options outside the SFA estate will need to be considered such as rental or purchase. There are schemes for Tenancy Deposit Loans (DIB201516) which enables personnel to receive an advance of pay for rental properties or the Forces Help to Buy Scheme for assistance to buy into the property market. More information can be found here.

 

Tri-Service SFA and SSFA accommodation regulations are contained in JSP464 Volume 1 parts 1 and 2 here or via DII. Retention is fully covered in Chapter 7, Paragraph 0725 and includes guidance for all retention criteria.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018
Updated on: 27th April, 2022

In general terms, Service personnel who are either married or in a Civil Partnership are entitled to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) within a ten-mile radius of their place of work.

 

If you are occupying SFA in one of the three Base Port Areas (Portsmouth, Plymouth or Faslane) then you can retain your SFA on assignment to a new Duty Station, but in advance of your assignment date you must log onto the e1132 form (application to occupy SFA) via the Defence Intranet. You need to click the button ‘retain current SFA on posting within the Base Port Scheme’. This should be done within 14 days of receiving your Assignment Order and should be done on each assignment in order for your retention expiry date to be amended. Your occupancy data is updated and your continued entitled occupation can be confirmed for allowance purposes or for disturbance if moving at a later date.

 

What happens in the background is that the stock management system then recognises you as part of the RN/RM and therefore able to remain in your Port Area. If you don’t inform the ‘system’ that you wish to remain it thinks that there is not a match between your assignment location and SFA location which prompts Pinnacle Service Families to issue you with a Notice to Vacate. You need to be aware that if you occupy Substitute SFA (SSFA) in one of the Port Areas retention will be granted, but you will be expected to move to SFA if and when there is suitable availability within that Port Area.

 

If you are serving away from a Base Port area and you are then assigned away from the area then you should apply for SFA at your next place of duty. There are exceptions to this regulation, however, you must apply for a retention.

 

There has to be explicit reasons to retain that are recognised under the regulations and you will need to provide appropriate supporting documentation at the time of the application. A number of retention criteria require Chain of Command support particularly for welfare or medical reasons when, in the first instance, the Local Service Commander will consider the case in consultation with appropriate medical, welfare (RN FPS and Divisional system), educational agencies and Pinnacle Service Families. If agreed, retentions will be granted for a period of up to 12 months (you can re-request prior to expiry if the circumstances continue to persist) and confirms continued entitled occupation for allowance and disturbance purposes.

 

If a retention request is unsuccessful it does not form any kind of bar to future use of SFA, but it may be that if you wish to stay in a particular location (other than Port Area) for a period of time beyond assignment dates, then housing options outside the SFA estate will need to be considered such as rental or purchase. There are schemes for Tenancy Deposit Loans (DIB201516) which enables personnel to receive an advance of pay for rental properties or the Forces Help to Buy Scheme for assistance to buy into the property market. More information can be found here.

 

Tri-Service SFA and SSFA accommodation regulations are contained in JSP464 Volume 1 parts 1 and 2 here or via DII. Retention is fully covered in Chapter 7, Paragraph 0725 and includes guidance for all retention criteria.

 

Updated on: 27th April, 2022

PLEASE READ!

As of 1 April 2022, your new point of contact is now Pinnacle Service Families. This page is currently under review. In the meantime, please click  here for further information.

WALKAWAY SCHEME - UPDATE (NOV 21)
23rd November 2021 – Message from DIO:

Preparation for FDIS – The WalkAway Scheme – Update

 

The current National Housing Prime (NHP) contract, which provides management and maintenance services for SFA, is due to be replaced in March 2022 by the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) contracts.

 

As part of FDIS development, it was agreed that the present Amey Walkaway Scheme should not be included within the new arrangements. It was thought this approach would better align with wider Government policy aimed at supporting the development of local enterprises to deliver such services. Therefore, as we move towards FDIS in service date of 1 March 2022, and to allow the managed closure of the Walkaway Scheme, Amey will not accept requests from families for that service for any move-out appointments after 31 January 2022.

 

Those families who have already booked the Walkaway Scheme for move-out dates beyond 31 January 2022 will receive a cancellation notice and a refund. In addition, if Service families have had to delay their move-out appointment due to operational reasons, such as moved deployment date, Amey will be unable to provide the Walkaway Scheme for any date that falls after 31 January 2022. This again will result in a cancellation and refund. Please note, however, that Amey will not be able to action refunds after the end of March 2022.

 

The Walkaway Scheme mailbox will remain open until 14 February 2022 to help with any ongoing queries.

 

It is intended that FDIS will provide signposting to local services for any families who wish to make their own arrangements to have their homes cleaned to the move-out standard after 1 March 2022.

 

Please note that the closure of the Walkaway Scheme from 31 January 2022 does not remove the requirement for families to prepare their SFA to the appropriate move-out standard. DIO will continue to charge for those damages or deficiencies not classed as fair wear and tear. Families should contact their Accommodation Officer if they require any more information on this issue.

UTILITY BILLS - UPDATE (FEB 22)
22nd February 2022 – Message from DIO:

SFA Utility Bills

As more small energy suppliers enter administration, it can sometimes be challenging for DIO to engage with the replacement supplier, appointed by Ofgem, when a family moves out of their SFA.

To avoid DIO incurring unnecessary costs, families must ensure they take a meter reading at the Move-In appointment and at the Move-Out appointment. Families must also inform their energy supplier of their final meter reading at Move-Out and supply a forwarding address.

Families are responsible for utility bills from the date of Move In until the date of Move Out, unless the home falls under an MOD fuel supply arrangement. Families can choose to remain with the existing suppliers to their SFA or negotiate their own utility provider for gas and electricity.

Families entering into private agreements with utility providers must ensure that the contracts include a caveat enabling them to terminate the agreement by giving 28 days’ notice of ending the agreement and 48 hours’ notice of termination.

DIO’s Industry Partner is permitted to provide some personal details to utility providers within GDPR guidance when families fail to settle their utility bills on Move-Out. However, families should remember it is their responsibility to notify their suppliers that they are leaving a property. We thank you for your continued support with this issue.

Visit the Amey Defence Services website for details on moving out of UK SFA, arranging a pre move out appointment and find out details about the Walk Away Cleaning Scheme.

 

Move out

Your move out will be attended by an Amey Defence Services Accommodation Officer who will inspect your SFA to determine if it meets the agreed move out standard.

If the standard is not satisfactory and there are deficiencies or damages that are not considered to be fair wear and tear, or you have failed to clean the property properly, a charge will be raised by the Accommodation Officer and you will be invoiced accordingly.

In this instance an appropriate Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) action will be taken by the Amey Defence Services Occupancy Services team to cease accommodation charges on that property from the date of your move out.

For more information, please click here.

 

Removal services

Agility Logistics Limited (Agility) is the MOD approved service provider for removals and is part of the Global Removal Management Services (GRMS).

 

Charges for damage and deficiencies for SFA and Substitute SFA recovery from pay

When you move out of UK Service Family Accommodation (SFA) or Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA), you may be liable for charges for damages or deficiencies that are not classed as fair wear and tear or because you have failed to prepare the property to the correct standard, for example cleanliness.

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) can take these directly from the pay of serving personnel. Any payments taken depend on the size of the charge and individual monthly income (using MOD guidelines to ensure that deductions do not exceed a set limit of pay).

If you consider that you are not responsible for the charges, or part of them, for example that the damage is the result of fair wear and tear, you are able to dispute the charge raised using the Disputed charges form’.

 

Full details on moving out of your SFA and recoveries from pay are available in:

JSP 464: Tri-Service accommodation regulations (TSARs)Part 1

JSP 754: Recoveries from pay (available on the Defence Intranet only)

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018
Updated on: 27th April, 2022

The Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) is a charging system for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on 24th October, 2014.

 

What factors will be assessed?

CAAS considers the condition, scale and location of the property, using modern, objective assessments that aims to apply fairly and equally to all. The condition of the property is the most important factor – homes that have not been improved will be significantly cheaper – but other factors will also have a significant impact e.g. 10% discount may apply, in consideration with other weighting factors, if your broadband connection is slower than the national average.

 

More information

To find out more about CAAS and the methodology for determining the accommodation charges for SFA and SLA, please click here.

 

CAAS Challenges

If you receive a letter to say that your banding has changed and you disagree with this, you will have 28 days in which to challenge it.

You must base your challenge on factual errors and make it in writing via letter, email or using the template on DII.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018

If you are not happy with the level of service you have received from the maintence contractor you can make a formal complaint. The complaint process is split into 3 stages, as outlined below.

 

Stage 1 – Pinnacle Service Families

Complaints

You must file your complaint within 28 days of the incident. The National Service Centre team will investigate and aim to resolve or respond within 10 working days in accordance with JSP 464 (vol 1, part 1).

 

Stage 2 – Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)

If your complaint has been formally closed at stage 1 and you are not satisfied with the response, you can then escalate your complaint to the DIO Customer Services Team.

You can do this in 3 ways:

  1. Online: by completing the online stage 2 complaint form, which for security reasons is only available on the MOD Intranet. To access the form, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet: http://defenceintranet.diif.r.mil.uk/libraries/3/Docs1/20150612.1/DIO-SD-Accn-Stage2-Complaint-Form.xsn
  2. Email: by emailing the DIO Customer Service Team setting out your stage 2 complaint so that you include:
  • the stage 1 complaint reference number;
  • your name and telephone number;
  • the SFA address relating to your complaint;
  • why you are not happy with the result of your stage 1 complaint;
  • what desired outcome or remedy you are seeking.

Any emails not containing all of this information will not be accepted by the Customer Service Team. Please send your email to: DIOSDAccn-Stage2NOREPLY@mod.uk.

  1. by writing to the DIO Customer Service Team setting out your stage 2 complaint ensuring you include the information highlighted above.

Customer Service Team
DIO Service Delivery Accommodation
Ground Floor, Mail Point No. 4
Swales Pavilion
RAF Wyton
Cambridgeshire
PE28 2EA

If you make a stage 2 complaint, DIO will have access to your stage 1 complaints details and records, so you do not need to re-submit the full details of your complaint.

DIO will acknowledge it within 3 working days and provide you with a reference number. An investigation will then be carried out, however there is no standard response time due to the need to further investigate complaints that vary in nature and complexity.

 

Stage 3 – Independent Housing Review Panel

Following the closure of a stage 2 complaint, a request for a Stage 3 policy review can be submitted:

  • Online: Through the electronic form available via Stage 3 Complaints Form for MoDNet users.
  • Email: Non MoDNet users can submit their complaint via the ACRP shared inbox: people-accom-acrp-stage3@mod.gov.uk
  • Letter:

Accommodation Complaints Review Panel Secretariat, People Accommodation,
Ministry of Defence,
Floor 6, Zone N,
Main Building,
Whitehall,
London,
SW1A 2HB

 

Posted on: 3rd July, 2017
Updated on: 27th April, 2022

Message from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO):

 

Sub-letting of Service Family Accommodation

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has initiated a long-term project to sub-let empty Service homes that are not currently required.

As well as the normal management margin required to ensure properties are available for families where we have sufficient homes, DIO has retained some additional properties until the future needs of Defence are fully known.

This approach gives us flexibility to manage the requirements of the Front Line Commands. However, empty properties do no generate any income, and instead draw revenue away that could otherwise be invested elsewhere in the estate.

The needs of Service personnel and their families has been considered throughout this project, therefore entitled and eligible Service personnel continue to take priority for SFA and should apply for accommodation as they normally would.

Where there is no requirement from Service families, empty properties will considered on a site by site basis in consultation with local commanders, for sub-let to private tenants – who will be subject to credit and reference checks. This will be on a short term arrangement, so we could return homes back to MOD control if a requirement emerges.

Overall, our planning has been to implement this project without disadvantaging Service personnel, whilst maximising revenue from rental receipts from empty properties that are currently not required.

 

Questions and Answers 

Why are these properties being sub-let?

The current size and cost of the Defence estate is not sustainable, including the cost of maintaining empty Service homes. The MOD and DIO are undertaking a number of initiatives to address these issues. In addition to other initiatives such as disposals, a sub-let project has begun with the aim of generating income through short term lets, whilst providing flexibility to meet the future needs of defence.

 

How many houses could be sub-let under this arrangement?

An initial 2,300 homes could be made available under these arrangements.

 

Will Service personnel and their families be affected?

All of our planning has been to ensure that families are not affected. We:

  • Have chosen sites where there is adequate surplus accommodation that is not required.
  • Plan where possible to release houses in groups rather than individual properties so they can be managed more effectively.
  • Have considered security.
  • Will consult with local commanders and other stakeholders so we understand any local issues.
  • Aim to ensure that Service families are not disadvantaged.

Where additional revenue is going?

Revenue raised by this project will be returned to DIO as part of its overall running and investment in the estate – therefore it will be targeted to where it is needed most to meet the needs of defence.

 

How has security been considered?

Specific security issues will be considered at each site. Furthermore every potential private tenant will be subject to credit and reference checks.

 

Has the Chain of Command been consulted?

The Chain of Command and other stakeholders will be consulted and their feedback will be taken into consideration. Service families in each area will also be informed.

 

Who is going to get these houses?

The properties will be available on the open private rental market, with potential tenants subject to normal credit and reference checks.

 

Will it affect Service families’ access to housing or the maintenance service?

Service families will continue to get Service homes and the normal contracted response repair times will continue to apply. We will monitor this performance as we do now.

 

Will the properties be improved for the private tenants?

These properties will not be improved, but they will be prepared and checked for maintenance and safety prior to occupation, just as they are for Service families prior to move in. Investment for improving Service homes will continue to be targeted at homes occupied by Service families.

The NFF welcomes your thoughts/feedback, please email us on contactus@nff.org.uk or call 023 9265 4374.

 

Posted on: 26th April, 2017

PLEASE READ!

As of 1 April 2022, your new point of contact is now Pinnacle Service Families. This page is currently under review. In the meantime, please click  here for further information.

When you need something repaired
Housing Repairs (Housing team)

You have several options for reporting repairs in your home:

To raise a new, non-urgent repair, click here.

 

The website and the Customer Service Centre are available 24 hours a day, all year round. Your local (as above) Customer Service Centre hours will vary according to their location and the number of Service families they serve.

 

If something goes wrong…

If you want to register a complaint with Amey Defence Services, please phone 0800 707 6000 (option 5) to speak to their Customer Solutions Team.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Amey Defence Services, please phone us on 023 9265 4374 or email contactus@nff.org.uk.

 

Language line

If English is not your first language, Amey Defence Services’s Customer Service Centre offers a translation service. Just say your language when you call. Their advisor will be able to transfer you to someone who can talk to you in your own language.

 

Requesting a repair

Amey Defence Services will work with you to identify the specific details of the fault.

To ensure the repair can be completed efficiently, you will need to tell their advisor:

  • your address and contact details;
  • as much information as possible about the problem;
  • if the fault is with a piece of equipment (such as a boiler or cooker), details of the type and model.

 

Making an appointment

You will be given a job reference number and you will be sent written notification of your appointment (by post or email if requested).

If you need to change the appointment, please contact Amey Defence Services via their website or Customer Service Centre before the appointment date, quote your job reference number and they will arrange a new date and time.

You or a member of your family (who must be over 16 years of age) will need to be at home at the time of the repair appointment. If the repair is on the outside of the property, e.g., roofing, fencing works etc., they may not need you to be available.

Please ask their advisor about this when making your appointment.

 

Posted on: 26th October, 2016
Updated on: 1st August, 2019

UPDATE: Please note that this page is being reviewed. For further information, please visit Pinnacle Service Families website.

Investment and Action Plan to tackle damp and mould in SFA

DIO is planning to invest £73m this year on replacement windows, doors, roofs and upgrades to thermal efficiency and ventilation to reduce the occurrence of damp and mould in homes. Read the news story here.

Posted on: 26th October, 2016
Updated on: 27th April, 2022

PLEASE READ!

As of 1 April 2022, your new point of contact is now Pinnacle Service Families. This page is currently under review. In the meantime, please click  here for further information.

To be entitled to apply for Service Family Accommodation (SFA), Service personnel must:

  • be aged 18 and over;
  • be married or in a civil partnership or who have permanent custody of children;
  • have at least 6 months to serve.

 

Co-habitation for unmarried couples/ parents

It was announced on 1st April 2019 that all Service personnel, who have more than four years’ service in the Armed Forces and who are in a long-term relationship or have residential responsibility for a child will also be able to apply to live together in surplus SFA at all UK bases where properties are available. However, following a review of the policy, it has been agreed that the 4 years’ length of Service criterion should be removed, to widen eligibility to cohabit in surplus SFA to an increased number of Service personnel. Please refer to this page to find out more about cohabitation and registering long-term relationships.

 

Location

SFA is at Service personnel’s duty station or within a set radius; although you may be eligible to apply for surplus SFA at other locations or request and retain a property under the RN Base Port Agreement.

 

Size of Property

The type of property you are entitled to is usually dependent on your rank for officers and family size for other ranks. When you apply for SFA, Amey Defence Services Occupancy Services Team will allocate you a property using the preferences you have expressed and based on your entitlement or eligibility, competing requirements, and service agreements. Under the Future Accommodation Model (FAM), properties in the confirmed pilot sites will be allocated according to your need rather than your rank. Those pilot sites are HMNB Clyde, Aldershot Garrison (starting from 31st January 2020) and RAF Wittering (starting from 31st May 2020). Please see this page to find out more about the FAM.

 

Further information

Full details on entitlement and eligibility for UK SFA and Substitute service family accommodation (SSFA) are available in:

JSP 464: tri-service accommodation regulations (TSARs) Part 1

Full details on entitlement and eligibility for overseas SFA and SSFA are available in:

JSP 464: tri-service accommodation regulations (TSARs) Part 2

 

How to Apply
e-1132 form

If you are entitled, you will need to complete and submit an application for SFA. All Service personnel who have access to the Defence Intranet are expected to complete their application online using the e-1132 form. To access the form, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet: http://apps01.domis.r.mil.uk/e1132/

 

The e-1132 form system allows you to:

  • track the progress of your application;
  • view available properties that match your entitlement;
  • register your top 3 preferences;
  • book your ‘move in’ (once an offer for a property has been made and accepted);
  • where appropriate book your ‘move out’ appointment;
  • electronically signing your licence to occupy.

 

MOD Form 1132

For Service personnel who do not have access to the Defence Intranet, a paper version of the MOD Form 1132: application to occupy service family accommodation (SFA) is available. Exceptions to using the online system are normally for personnel who are on operations and do not have access to the Defence Intranet.

 

Additional needs and disabled requirements for SFA

If you are moving to a new SFA property, please provide details of any special requirements for SFA at the point of application using the e-1132 form or the MOD Form 1132, enclosing any reports from the appropriate professional source, such as your occupational therapist. It is important that the Amey Occupancy Services team is made aware of special requirements at the earliest opportunity.

If you require adaptions to your current SFA property, or your medical requirements have changed and you need some further adaptions to your existing SFA, you will need to contact the Helpdesk who will record your request and ask you to provide a Medical Report and/or Occupational Therapist’s report in order to progress your request.

Please see the Additional needs and disabled requirements guides for further information.

 

Amey Defence Services Occupancy Services team

If you have an allocations enquiry, the Amey Defence Services Occupancy Services team at the helpdesk is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 3:00pm.

You can call them on Freephone: 0800 707 6000 Select Option 3 (for calls made within the UK, mobile users may incur charges) or using the alternative telephone number: 0151 728 1630.

Or you can email the team: occupancyservices@ameydefenceservices.co.uk

For more information about the SFA application process, please visit the Amey Defence Services website.

 

Posted on: 4th July, 2016
Updated on: 30th January, 2020