Ask the Commander - Responses
DIO will implement three march-out standards, the one applied to you will depend on what property you are in and what the standard of your SFA is at the time of your pre-move out advisory visit. The different types of properties are those categorised as having a follow on use as part of the Future Defence Presence, a hiring or a Federal property. It is important to follow advice from your Housing Estate Manager who will let you know exactly what is required. The standard for pet cleaning is the same regardless of which type of SFA you live in.
Please contact your local housing office if you have any further questions or require specific advice.
As we approach drawdown, the HQ BFG team is working with DIO to ensure that we not waste time and money in bringing properties to a higher standard than is necessary for either reoccupation or hand-back. For properties that are rented from German landlords, the standards and criteria will be specified within the rental agreement or lease and must be met to ensure costs are not charged by the landlord.
It is important to liaise with your Housing Estate Manager (HEM) and make early arrangements for a pre-move out visit, as they will explain the standards required for your property. The HEM can also discuss the standards with the landlord to see if there is scope for variation from the contract.
It should be noted that those occupants with pets are still required to have a pet clean carried out on their carpets.
To summarise the rules, the type of property you are entitled to is usually dependant of your rank for officers and family size for other ranks. When you apply for SFA, the CarillionAmey 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. However, when children no longer qualify as dependant they can continue to reside in the SFA as non-dependant adult children but will no longer qualify under the size of family criteria for the purposes of SFA allocation.
HQ BFG meets regularly with Units and Welfare Teams to discuss rebasing issues and SFA differences have already featured heavily in these discussions. I recognise the importance of this engagement and we will continue to raise awareness around important issues as we approach rebasing and drawdown. One final point I would like to reinforce is that there is also a responsibility on individuals to understand the entitlements to their specific circumstances, as this varies from person to person.
I would advise that your daughter contact her receiving Unit HR department to discuss her personal circumstances. There is provision in Germany for Service Personnel to be accompanied by permanently resident close relatives. Your daughter will need to apply to the Dependant Status Review Panel prior to her arrival. They will review her case and provide advice on conditions of residency accordingly. This can be done as soon as she has received her Assignment Order.
The policy on this subject is contained within SI BFG 3217 Para; 2.13 which your daughter can obtain through her receiving Unit HR department.
I would like to reassure you that your daughter will receive advice and support during the application process which should take no longer than 2 weeks.
I agree with your logic regarding properties that are destined to remain empty. We are continuing to work closely with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to define future housing requirements and therefore enable them to assess whether properties are likely to be reoccupied before drawdown.
I have also asked the HQ BFG team to work with DIO to review their policy regarding the cleaning standards for those Quarters that will not be reoccupied, in an attempt to ensure that individuals do not expend money or effort unnecessarily. For the moment, until clarity is achieved, the cleaning requirement remains valid.
The review should conclude in early September and I will write to you again once I have been informed of the outcome.
The setting up of a telephone line and internet connectivity when moving into service family accommodation is a personal choice. It is not possible to facilitate maintaining open telephone lines within empty service family accommodation at public expense.
A 17 year old child who has joined the Armed Forces is no longer considered to be a dependent child because they are not in full-time education, nor are they financially, physically or mentally dependent. As a member of the Armed Forces, they have their own entitlement to Single Living Accommodation or the equivalent as their primary home.
There is no automatic entitlement for non-dependent adult children to be housed in the parents’ SFA. Subject to availability and where circumstances permit, the applicant may be allocated a larger SFA on payment of the appropriate charge for the type of SFA occupied.
All other days are nowhere near as chaotic as this one but they will not give me an appointment on any other day. Surely there must be a way around this? We have a duty to maintain the upkeep and safety of our properties by reporting things but i am hitting a dead end here. - Name and Address Supplied
I have engaged with DIO who have apologised for the difficulties you have experienced in booking a convenient appointment for repairs. They have confirmed that while Babcock engineers are routinely in Bad Lippspringe on Thursdays and that this is the preferred option for scheduling appointments, where this is not convenient, repair visits can be arranged at any time during normal routine repair hours (Monday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm, and Friday, 8am to 12 noon).
Customers should contact the Helpdesk on 0800 888 4242 to arrange a date and time suitable to them. If there are problems making arrangements, customers should request the assistance of the Community Liaison Officer who will liaise directly with the maintenance team to make a convenient alternative appointment.
I have discussed your question with DIO and can confirm that, to provide better clarity in the future, the Married Quarter Cleaning Scheme options will be retitled “Clean to March out Standard“, rather than “Full Clean”.
The scheme itself is unchanged and covers whatever (non-specialist) cleaning is necessary to achieve the required March Out standard; in some cases vacuuming will be all that is necessary to bring the carpets to the required standard and in others, carpet shampooing may be necessary. The Married Quarter Cleaning Scheme is design to provide occupants of Service Families Accommodation with a degree of flexibility but with a fixed price determined by the property type. It enables occupants to March Out without the worry of having to meet the required standards.
Occupants are of course free to clean their own quarters or utilise the services of other cleaning companies, subject to the required March Out standard being met.
I understand that your correspondence with DIO remained unacknowledged or answered for a period of three weeks and this is clearly unacceptable. DIO have assured me that in future holding responses will be issued where an immediate answer cannot be provided.
As you have withheld your identity, I am unable to comment on your specific circumstances. If you have not received a response to your letter, please contact your Station Commander who will be happy to assist you further.
I can confirm that all DIO allocations are made in accordance with MOD policy and I will not comment on your views on the entitlement of others.