First SFA!!!!! HELP

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by TC1989, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. So here it is. im gettin married this year and moving into SFA. ive jus accepted the offer from HASC.
    Next step is to arrange a visit then move-in date. my question is about how and when do i need to arrange my electricity and gas supplier as well as phone line etc as ive only ever lived in SLA and have no experience with this sort of thing ive got roughly 16 weeks before the "required" move in date and we are in the Hampshire area any advice or help on first time SFA would be amazingly helpful

    Thanks in advance
  2. I should imagine that it will be the same as civvy street private rentals in that its done by yourself on the day you move in. I know that used to be the case when all you had to worry about was the phone, back then it was a case of march in then off to a phonebox to ring BT to get a phone sorted.
  3. For gas and electricity you will take on the existing supplier on move-in - you can then change immediately to whichever supplier you wish. For the telephone, if you call BT prior to move-in, and give them your future address, they will set up the appropriate account, and give you the telephone number, in advance.
  4. I was originally in the Hampshire area Tri-Service SFA patch a few years back & all the Utililties were meter'd so on your March in speak to the DHE rep on completion.

    PM me if neccessary.
  5. Ok thanks im sure it will all be straightforward just my wife to be is a little anxious about it all, as am i knowing from experience how well "organised" the army can be at times. We are going to be very close to basingstoke dont know if any one has any specifics on SFA around that area or what the quality of Grade 4 type b housing is going to be like.
    As i mentioned earlier imagine that i have never moved into a house and it is completely unfurnished what advice do u wish some one could have given you when taking over and moving into SFA.
    Any info that may even seem minor to you will be no doubt be a a help to us

    Regards TC
  6. Try and get a Senior from work to go to the march in with you (I used to do this with my new lads on their first MQ) If you notice anything stained, broken, marked mention it on march in and also put every little mark, fault on 14 day report you will be given...doesn't matter how trivial. You will definately notice the different way the housing rep does a march in to the march out so if need be take photo's of stains on carpets and broken items....I normally have at least 5 A4 paper of faults. If grade 4 it means it is not good quality but you will pay a pittance in rent, Ive had a couple grade 4 MQs and they can be ok. As said you go with your current gas/electric suppliers at first then shop around, make sure you get the correct readings on march in and TELL the supplier your self as it has been known that people have paid for when it was empty when readings dont get done correctly by DHE. Seeing its grade 4 I would be wary about getting phone and internet arranged to be put in on days around march in JUST INCASE the MQ is in poor state and you turn it down. Ive had 13 march outs now and never been billed, Ive had a few where they were going to as there memories of what it was like on a march in fades and its then up to you to prove it so document everything.
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  7. Good advice from T_I - as a squadron commander, I always used to get a troop senior to go for "first timers". Don't just list things, take photos too and remember to switch on the date/time function so you can prove when it was taken. Sending copies with your "14 day report" can also be useful. Grading is a complicated equation but all sorts of things add up to a Grade 4: so it may not be entirely due to poor quality - the number of electric points may be low, the distance from amenities might be high and so on. I don't know the SFA in Basingstoke at all but you might be pleasantly surprised - especially as you'll be paying minimal rent.

    I may be reading too much into it but I hope the fact that its unfurnished is at your own request - I lived in my first few MQs with army furniture and it was perfectly functional as a starter pack.

    Good luck anyway, I hope you have as many good times in your SFA as my family has had in ours!
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  8. Utilities
    Housing should tell you who the suppliers are when you move in
    But sometimes they are wrong, so check it straight away and then make your own nominations.
    The previous occupier could have their own supplier, and in theory are meant to return to the default supplier when they leave, but it does not always happen and unless housing are told otherwise they don't know who supplies the property.
    (There was an office in housing that paid for vacant houses and had access to the national grid database to confirm suppliers, but that has gone back to ASUs and they do not have access to that information unless the house is empty for a while and the ASU gets the vacant bills before you move in. Housing officers doing the handover to you don't check suppliers with the ASU)
    In certain circumstances a house may have been used as something else, e.g. an office or extra mess accommodation and could be on a commercial utillity contract. That has to be reverted to domestic supply - but only happens if people are notified. If that happens and a commercialy priced bill turns up then contact the ASU

    In the South there are some locations that are connected to the camp supply and not directly to the national grid. If this is the case your supplied is the MoD and billed by the ASU*. You cannot opt for a different supplier if this is the case, but you get to pay discounted bulk contract prices as bought in by the MoD. This would be billed on an AFN1571, you sign it then it isdeducted from pay. If you are on the national grid then you pay suppliers as per the rest of the population.

    * Technically utilities staff are no longer part of the ASU but still sit in ASU offices. This will change later this year, except for the Aldershot ASU as they are sub contractors. Hampshire mostly comes under the Aldershot ASU, but parts border into the Bulford ASU

    Meter readings
    Take a photo of the meter / meters when you move in. The housing officer is responsible for notifying the supplier you have moved in and your readings, but make sure you note it and have a photo in case the reading is not believed.

    As mentioned above you say the SFA is unfurnished. Is that what you want?
    You can have furniture from the MoD or buy it yourself, and it's no longer 70s furniture
    If you need or want it you can also get a temporary loan 'Get you in pack' with pots & pans, bedding etc. This is designed for families who have their belongings in transit. As newlyweds then hopefully your wedding presents (and your new wifes planning) cater for all of that.

    In your dealings with housing you tell them if you want furniture and what furniture you want. But they don't supply it and pass the request to ASU. It can be a good idea when you have your move in date to ring the local ASU warehouse and confirm they have your list of requirements. (If you touch the border and come under Bulford ASU then the warehouse will be Tidworths and they work for me)

    If you take furniture then there is a standard list for each type of house with points against each item of furniture up to 100% furnished. There is no longer a set entitlement, it is just a guide, e.g. 2 arm chairs & a sofa. You can now have any number of items you want, e.g. 4 armchairs and no sofa, the only limit is how much can be fitted in the house, before you get too creative its best to look in the house or a similar one and the furniture available.
    You could get more then 100 points on furniture through this.

    The furniture you take affects your rent, and there are 3 furnishing states - unfurnished, part furnished and fully furnished. These are triggered by the points levels. If you want only part of it then check with the ASU how it affects your points. You dont want to pay fully furnished rent if you are just 1 point over the threshold.

    While you are living there you can add or remove furniture, contact the ASU warehouse

    When you expand your family note that baby items have zero points - dont overdo it at Mothercare when you can get a cot, playpen, highchair, stairgate etc for free

    Move in / out with regard to furniture
    Housing are responsible for the property, ASU are responsible for the furniture
    Old fashioned march in / march outs (should) be a thing of the past.

    The housing officer needs to know the state if the house as you go in, and as recommended have someone more senioir and experienced present for your first SFA.
    If the house is damaged on move out housing bill you for repairs

    ASU used to have an ASA (Accommodation Services Accountant) looking over your furniture. If its in fair condition then no bill, if you've damaged or 'lost' it then expect a bill - but nothing below £50 as its a waste of admin effort - and you will have already been paying for hire of the furniture in your rent.

    The ASA no longer exists, but the senior member of the furniture delivery van crew will deal with the condition of the furniture and will identify anything that will be billed. You have the right to disagree and dispute.

    Another advantage of MoD furniture is when you move you just give it back and ask for furniture in the next house. No packing or removals.
  9. Thanks Again this is all very helpful the property bieng unfurnished was our choice, as we mentioned above the intention to to furnish the property with part wedding gifts and and part from our "furnishing" budget. so hopefully that should be more than enough to get us going. it does seem abit daunting as this is all admin ontop of arranging the final wedding plans and me arriving at the brand new posting just weeks before hand. But all the advice im sure will come in handy. Ill be sure to have my camera handy and ask the "boss" at the new place when i meet him about a senior being present on the move in.

    Thanks again,
  10. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    As others have said the digital camera is a god send for those renting. I've only rented twice in civvi street and each time took over 100 photos and supplied several pages of notes to the rental company.

    I'd suggest taking general room photos - whole room from all 4 walls, because then you can add notes on them to detail the specific problems (which you also take photos of) in context. Don't ever think - oh it's not too bad I'll not bother photgraphing it - what you think is minor suddenly becomes a brand new carpet and repaint on leaving the property.

  11. on a more serious note you also need to take some photos of the missus around your new MQ to publish on ARRSE, wedding dress optional....good luck with your wedding and move.
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