Are MHS and DHE in breach of contract?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by boggy_loggy, Nov 18, 2006.

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  1. MHS are constantly failing tenants and DHE seem to be simply playing each party off angainst the other. Of course we the tenants are over a barrel as we have no influence over stopping rent payments.

    Most recently when i quoted JSP 315 to DHE regarding an entitlement, i was told by the senior management at DHE that JSP 315 was now aspirational and tenants could no longer expect their full entitlements or service.

    Furhtermore, the MHS debacle continues with missed appointments, significant delays to repairs etc. The complaint process is impotent. I have elavated complaints to level 3 and now have a total of 12 apology letters, yet still the system is hopelessly inefficient?

    Therefore are MHS/DHE in breach of contract to us the tenants, and can any legal action be taken?

    ((Not sure if this has been done before, but the senior customer care manager at MHS can be contacted on 0151 728 1628 - to bypass talking to the call centre workers ref complaints))
  2. As tenants you may have more rights but unfortunately your are a license holder and could well have less rights than you imagined.

    The split of 12 months ago within DHE which separated propman from housing was a disaster for the the organisation. Plans are now being finalised which will see yet another restructure, the third in 18 months.

    JSP 315 is guide or aspiration and has been for a number of years now.

    I don't believe there is any contract in place however you may wish to look in Section 82 of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act. If, long shot, you can get legal aid or no win no fee then find a solicitor specialising in housing. Some links below

    You could always complain direct to the CE Vice Admiral Dunt 1
    st Floor Zone D, St George's Court, 2-12 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SH, why complain to MHS about MHS ? Go straight to the top.

    Section 82 Info

    Solictor 2

  3. Not sure about the breach of contract angle, difficult to see how they could be - if you posted more information it might help but performing contractual obligations in a slip shod manner may not necessarily equate to being in breach of them.

    As is customary with most JSP publications, they are written for the soldier, but carry little or no legal weight. They can certainly be used as evidence of contratual or licence breach but it is up to you to prove it. What is it precisely that is causing concern. Missed appointments and delays are probably not sufficient - unless it had been expressly agreed between you and the housing office, and you suffered some loss as a result of their failure to keep their end of the bargain.

    Unfortunately a licence to occupy is not the same as a lease, and this is especially relevant where repairs are concerned. The principal difference being that in this respect, the housing mananger can say that the house is habitable and fit for purpose - it may not be the best, but we cannot afford to repair it. So either put up with it or move out.

  4. So either put up with it or move out???? Do you work for the DHE? Are you saying that we should all move out of our MQ and buy a house near the barracks so that we can sell up and move on the next post? Or shall we all move back into the barracks and send the family back to the parents?

  5. It is important to remember that the "devolved institutions" that were once the preserve of military control/administration, become less and less concerned with families/continuity/education/living standards etc etc, proportionally to the increase in distance that they remain influenced by the MOD.

    For instance MOD control was devolved to local miitary control, then to DHE as an agency of the MOD, and perhaps in some cases on to sub-contractors or other agencies whose primary concern is the management of housing. The MOD/Military is an institution which measures its success by activity - whereas a housing sub-contractor will measure his success by profit - and he will not make profit by pandering to the whims of his customer, unless they pay more for the extra support/activities that are called into question.

    Therefore the argument hangs on the standard of service that the housing manager is expected to provide as outlined in the licence to occupy, and whether his actual provision of service has fallen below that standard.

    Have you read your licence or did you just sign it? I read mine and it operates under a very wide discretion, and when it comes to profit making you can guarantee that such discretion will not operate to the advantage of the occupier.
  6. I read everything I sign, 29 years service so far has at least taught me that. I fully understand that the DHE are only out for their own profit, you only need to take a look at Bovington (my next post). They have sold off the new houses and retained the rubbish for the military. The first quarter I had as a trooper was better than the one they are trying to put me into now as a WO.

    The simple fact is once again the soldier is getting the crap. I am not overly concerned for me I am coming to the end of my time but somebody should be help accountable.
  7. BC,

    Although it is too late to be of any use to you the SFA (MQ) situation has now risen swiftly to the top of the mil agenda and lots of pressure is being applied, at the highest levels, to DE (HD) and MHS, in an effort to sort things out.

    As for accountability, we are probably past that stage now. Many of the problems we are now seeing have been hidden for years by DE (HD), and only kept under control by micro-management at the local level by DE (HD) staff. Repairs/maint run down by DE (HD) over the last 2 or 3 years in order to minimise the amount of funding passed to MHS, and MHS not fully appraised of the true condition of the SFA estate prior to handover of the contract.

    Couple this with the fact that the estate has been generally underinvested for years, and the less than effective system put in place by MHS, and you end up with the current unsatisfactory situation, whereby we are not only not getting the standard of housing we deserve, but are also faced with a non-customer facing repair organisation.

    How can you help? Continue to put the pressure on DE(HD) and MHS by reporting unsatisfactory service through your UWO, HIVE or SSAFA. Fix won't be quick, and will require some extra investment, but it is absolutely critical that we keep applying this pressure.

    In addition, if repairs to your house have not been completed within a reasonable period then apply to your local DE (HD) office to have the property temporarily downgraded which will reduce your rent. There's nothing like losing rental income to focus the mind on the problem.

    Sorry I am unable to give you better news but we are where we are.

  8. My sympathies are with everyone in this particular boat, on the grounds that even our civvie neighbours are now being sympathetic about our lack of heating or hot water (3 weeks and counting, and like others, I've lost track of the number of hours/apologies/mutually exclusive explanations in the course of this particualr battle)

    An ex-military pal (OK, sold-out-to-the-city war shirker if you prefer) advises me that the answer is to fax them a letter detailing all the shortcomings and failures, all the lies and fraudulent practices, all the incompetent contractors and idle operators (probably not a 1-page document then) in your particular case, with a footnote to the effect that copies of it will be faxed/emailed to your local paper, MP, etc if you haven't heard a convincing explanation of what has gone wrong and more importantly how they're going to fix it by 1700 hrs that day.

    It seems that while mucking soldiers around is their bread and butter, losing their contract or being held up to public humiliation outside the wire seems to flick their (no doubt highly serviced) switches.

    Blackmail? Or loss of patience?

    Good luck...

  9. Althought little know, I've been told it's possible to arrange to pay for your MQ from your bank account instead of through your wages - in effect meaning you can threaten and indeed stop paying for it as you could if you wre a civvy waiting for essetial repairs.
    I'm still without any insulation in the attick after waiting more than 12 months. Does anyone know if I can claim money back due to exessive heating bills? I'm currently trying to keep the place warm with MFO boxes in the attick!
  10. DOn't forget after the change over to MHS a lot of jobs that were asked for before hand were cancelled. In my area some were cancelled others weren't with no explination, we weren't even told about it, I only found out after doing a little digging myself so to speak.