House Moving, Moving House
Whether you are going from one quarter to another or from port to port, you still have to move all your belongings, transfer the bills, and pack the budgie! Here's what you need to consider when you move from one location to another.
A New Location
Sometimes it is difficult to find your way around when you move to a new location. Although you can locate the town centre, you may be at a loss to know where your local shops are, where the nearest chemist is if you need to pop out for some medicine, or even the local "chippie".
Once you have an idea where things are located, there are many sources of local information such as the local council, community centre, local doctors surgeries and libraries. The local Service Community Guide, available through local Service establishments, is also a useful source of information.
More Information: Community News
More Information: Support Groups and Charities
Web site: Hive GB
Web site: Up My Street
Web site: Direct Gov
Utilities and Services
When you move home you will need to let your utility companies (i.e. gas, electricity, telephone) know that:
Remember to take meter readings JUST BEFORE YOU LEAVE your old home, and AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE at your new home. You may be happy to continue with your old supplier, but if you want to shop around for the best deal there are many different companies to look at.
Web site: Uswitch
The Websites of the utility regulators provide information about the service providers you may be considering.
Web site: Gas and electric (Ofgem)
Web site: Water (Ofwat)
Web site: Telecoms (Ofcom)
You may wish to have your mail forwarded from your old address to your new home - this is easily arranged through your local post office, although there will be a small charge.
Web site: Post Office
Having your name on the electoral register will allow you to vote in both local and national UK elections. There are different types of council in the UK, and the type of council you have will depend on where you live. At the general election you have one vote to choose a candidate to represent your constituency in the House of Commons.
You can apply to get your name on the electoral role through your local council and also via "about-my-vote" website detailed below. You can also vote by post for particular elections - postal votes can be sent out to addresses in the UK and abroad.
Web site: aboutmyvote
Web site: The Electoral Commission
Web site: Up My Street
The aim of the Homeowner's Package is to allow an individual to remain in the housing market by reimbursing the eligible claimant for legal costs incurred in the combined sale and purchase of properties when a person is required to relocate due to Service reasons. If your spouse is drafted or appointed, and you sell your house at one area and buy at another, the combined legal costs of buying and selling may be refunded up to a limit, currently £5000. Alternatively, if you let your house as a result of a posting, you may be able to reclaim the legal costs of letting and if necessary the fees for obtaining repossession. Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office to obtain the full rules and regulations regarding the Home Owner's Package.
More Information: Pay, Allowances, & Pensions; Leave & Travel
Housing for Families
Service personnel aged 18 and over, with the appropriate marital status, are entitled to apply for Service Family Accommodation. You will be allocated a Service Family Quarter at your new duty station. Certain circumstances occur which may mean you wish to live away from your duty station; in this case you may be able to apply for surplus SFA in other locations as long as there is surplus stock available.
Defence Estates Housing Directorate (DEHD) will be able to provide you with application forms and all the relevant information you need to know about obtaining SFA.
More Information: Housing - Housing for Families
Web site: Defence Estates (Housing)
To be entitled to SFA Service personnel must be: Aged 18 or over, have completed their initial training and be serving on a regular engagement with the UK Armed Forces, or be a Full Commitment (FC) Reservist as defined in single Service instructions.
For those personnel under 18 years of age the parent unit must accept responsibility for their behaviour until the 18th birthday.
In Marital Category 1, 1C, 1S or 2, explained in Marital Categories for SFA.
Have at least 6 months to serve at the station where they qualify for SFA.
Single Personnel - Pregnant Single Servicewomen (PSS)
PSS are entitled to SFA from 3 months before the expected date of confinement up to the date of birth (at which point their Marital Category will change from MCat 5 to MCat 2 provided they meet the MCat 2 criteria.
Further information can be found in JSP 464 Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations Chapter 3 which is available from your UPO.
More Information: Marital Categories for SFA
Web site: Defence Estates (Housing)
The Service recognises that moving house can be a traumatic experience for many people and can be all the more painful when the move is for Service reasons. To compensate Service personnel and their families for the additional expense incurred, there is a range of support packages available to them.
Disturbance Allowance (DA)
This is paid to compensate for minor forms of expenditure incurred when relocating for Service reasons. Having set up a home at their own expense, married claimants must be moving on an official posting/appointment and the new residence must be one to which they are entitled to move at public expense. There is an additional child element which is paid for each child over the age of 4 years who is in full-time education and who will be changing school. Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office to obtain the full rules and regulations regarding DA.
Removal Expenses (RE)
The aim of RE is to help meet some of the expenses which arise when the requirements of the Service make it necessary for personnel to move their home to or from either a residence at a place of duty (RPD) or a selected place of residence (SPR). Service Personnel will normally have their removals undertaken using the Service Contract Removal Scheme (SCS). It is vital that individuals obtain insurance for the full value of their belongings being transported/stored as loss or damage is not a Service or contractor's liability. Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office to obtain the full rules and regulations regarding RE.
House Buying: Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP)
LSAP is intended to assist Service Personnel over the age of 23 and serving on pensionable engagements/commissions who have not drawn any terminal benefits, given notice or applied to leave the Service prematurely, to enter the housing market. The amount of advance to applicants who have not owned a house in the last 12 months is limited to the lowest of £8500; 182 days gross pay or the difference between mortgage obtained and purchase price plus certain expenses. Interest free repayment is over a period of 10 years commencing 2 years after the date of the advance. However, if an individual has less than 10 years to serve, repayment starts immediately with the balance recovered from Terminal Benefits. Personnel are advised to visit their Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office to obtain the full rules and regulations regarding LSAP.
More Information: Pay, Allowances, Pensions; Leave & Travel