Response Categories
Q.Following the DIO review completion anticipated in 09-2018 I’m curious for the updated response promised to a question posed in 06-2018 re: march out standards particularly during drawdown.
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We leave Losekestr. in Sennelager 07-2019 and advice is still unclear about the requirements. I ask to prevent wasting money on the MQCS or time and effort achieving a ‘pristine clean’ with 3 young children if in actuality ‘hygienically clean’ is what is required and perhaps it’s not filtered through yet.
A.

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.

Q.I live on a small patch of houses, rented from German landlords (as opposed to Federal housing) in Bad Lippspringe. I am now the last person in my street and all the houses, bar none, have undergone serious renovation on handover. This includes, in all cases, the carpets being ripped up and the walls painted. If we are under no obligation to repaint or re-carpet these houses, must we be still be held accountable for their condition on march out, or can the rules be relaxed?
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A.

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.

Q.There has been lots of chit chat on social media sites surrounding the JSP ruling regarding the age of young persons and the right to live with their parents in SFA.
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Regardless of what happens in BFG, Carillion Amey adhere to the JSP ruling that young persons over 18 are only allowed to live in SFA providing they remain in full time education. What measures are BFG taking in helping rebasing SFA occupants understand the JSP ruling regarding age of young people and their right to occupy SFA?
A.

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.

Q.I've been my granddaughters carer since my daughter joined(single parent) this way she doesn't have any child care concerns and can focus on her duties, the three of us reside in SFA in the UK.
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Her next posting is Germany. She's over the moon and hopes we can have the same arrangement at her new unit. This area is very grey, people aren't sure if I can accompany her being her mother but this would mean her daughter couldn't either due to childcare requirements, if possible please can you advise?
A.

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.

Q.With the upcoming drawdown and families marching out of quarters, will there be a standard that the quarters are to be left in?
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I only ask as we paid for the MQCS in Hohne and our quarter was never reoccupied (and still remains empty) therefore we have asked ourselves what was the point? It is a lot of money for families to spend before an already expensive move across the water and if the quarters are to remain empty it really is chucking money away. Standards need to be lowered if staying empty.
A.

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.

Q.Why can't known married quarters retain the phone connection to speed this process up?
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I have just arrived in the garrison in the last few weeks and have found it difficult to set up an internet provider for my home. I have been told it will take about 4 weeks or maybe longer for this to be installed. My neighbours are having the same issue. They company has told me the issue is with switching the phone line back on. - Name and Address Supplied
A.

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.

 

Q.Why is it not possible to be granted a bedroom for children that have joined one of the services?
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I appreciate that this would need to have a age cut off point but there are service children who at 17 join up. If parents of these children are then posted they are not entitled to a room for that child. As single soldiers these children then come home on leave and are left with no bedroom. Surely we should be looking after our own. - Kerry Shay
A.

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.

Q.Why do Babcock only attend appointments in Bad Lippspringe on Thursdays only?
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One of my busiest days is a Thursday, I leave my house at 0720hrs and do not return home until 1800hrs.
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
A.

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.

 

Q.The new MQ Cleaning Scheme has an option that allows for premium service with the title "full clean" yet when soldiers come to March out we are been told that the service doesn't cover certain type of cleaning, for example carpets will not be vax clean only hoovered. My question is why is the details of the service not written somewhere in clear terms when it it costing a staggering €332 or a representative from the cleaning company to come and explain to users what to expect?
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– Name and Address Supplied
A.

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.

Q.Lack of response from DIO/general housing dissatisfaction. I am currently trying to engage with DIO over the fact that I am housed in a very small quarter - there are six in my family. I was advised to contact DIO in Bielefeld by letter - this was sent over three weeks ago and I have not received a response. This is not the level of service I would expect. I would also like to know why much smaller families - 1 or even no children, are being housed in large 4 and sometimes even 5 bed houses?
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A.

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.