18 April, 2009

Family Quarters

Who Handles My Housing?
The Defence Estates Housing Directorate run the allocation of Married Quarters housing. This is known as Service Families Accommodation or SFA, though lots still talk about their 'quarter' The large DEHD website with helpful leaflets is here.

website Web site: Defence Estates

houseMaking The Grade
There is a four tier grading system, known as 4TG, in order to set standards for each scale of property. It is tri-service and you can appeal against a grading if unhappy. Temporary re-grading can occur if you lose a major facility (i.e. heating) for more than a week.

The charges for DE housing are set by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (not DE) and are based on a grade as judged by a board of officers at unit level. You are told the grade on allocation and may appeal within 3 months if you don't agree.

Grades run from 1 to 4. Grade 1 is the highest. Things looked at include size, number of fixtures (e.g. plug sockets) and other facilities (extra showers, etc). Location comes into it as well. A lower grade may be given if a house is a long way from shops, banks or bus stops.

Taking Care Of Your SFA
A good page of Defence Estates Housing Tips is below.

website Web site: Defence Estates

broken windowIf Damage Occurs
If you think some part of your SFA is damaged or not working call your local DE Officer (you will probably know them as they would have helped you check everything when you moved in). They (or DE) will have left contact phone numbers in your SFA. Holes in fences, tiles off roofs, broken radiators, anything like that. If you can't find the number call your local HIVE. Local HIVE numbers can be found below.

info More Information: Local Information HIVE

DE insurance covers damage to the structure and fabric of a property. If your personal possessions are damaged and DE are at fault, you can put in a claim for loss or damage through the MOD Claims Branch. See your local Defence Estates Housing Directorate Officer.

If damage is a result of your own accident or negligence, you will need to claim on your own home contents insurance policy. So it's important to have one! They are not very expensive and can stop a minor home drama turning into a major money mess! If DEH think you have damaged your SFA then you may be held responsible. Another good reason for home contents insurance! Once again talk to your local DEH Officer. Remember there are only certain DIY things you can do in a SFA without direct DEH permission.

website Web site: Defence Estates

alarmSecurity In The Home - FIRE! Be Alarmed!
A key home lifesaver is a SMOKE ALARM. There should be one fitted as standard by DEH. But you need to TEST IT now and again (there is a button on the front which sounds the alarm) and give it a good once over with the vacuum cleaner to get the dust out. It beeps when the battery needs changing. Also you can take a look at this fire safety website and what the Fire Service call their Fire Code.

website Web site: Fire Service - "Fire Code"

To The Ramparts!
You may not be able to pull up the drawbridge on your quarter but there are precautions you can take to maximise your physical security. Don't forget, you never know who might be listening, be aware of who you are telling about your planned absences from home.

info More Information: Home Security

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