Stiffed by the DHE or an ingrate?

#1
Chaps,

Perhaps you could give an opinion on an issue relating to a married quarter. When posted to my current unit, I naturally applied for a quarter there. I was told there was none available, and would be housed at a nearby RAF base. I was quite happy with this, it's only 4 miles away. The added bonus was as a WO2, I was offered an officer's quarter, 3 bedrooms, garage, nice garden. I noticed however that I am being charged £5 per day for this quarter instead of the £1.75ish I usually pay.

I feel that I am being upgraded, then charged for the upgrade. I am grateful for having a nice house, but its not as if I applied for it - I was put there due to lack of accommodation at my first choice.

Any advice gratefully received.
 
#3
That still works out to be a maximum of £155 a month, you ungratefull sh1t.

I'm sure that you can afford it, on a W02's pay. Want to compare it to what my Mortgage costs?
 
#4
I am afraid I fail to see not only what you are complaining about, but even why as a WO2, you do not understand the system. The Army quartering charges are simple, though sometimes might be seen to be unfair. You simply pay for the number of bedrooms your house has, along with a grading that takes into account, condition of the house, locatiopn , local facilities etc. Your rate of £1.75 a day could be any number of combinations, but there is an exact rate of £1.75 a day for a Grade 4 Type A (1 bedroom) quarter, but type A's are quite rare so I dont think this is you. However, the same Type A quarter at Grade 1 is £4.80 a day. WHat I find hard to believe is, as a WO2, you have always been in type 4 quarters your whole career and have never had these fluctuations before. The fact it is an Officers quarter is irrelevant, you are lucky enogh to get it at a soldiers rate. An officer in the same quarter would pay more. (£9.80 to be precise). Likewise unless the official Soldier Quarters at your new duty station were all grade 4, you would still have been paying more if you had one of those.
 
#5
They only charge you £5 a day for a 3 bedroom house?! 8O

This is less than you pay for one room in a grotty student house and about half the price of a council flat!

"Real world calling Rose and Pose...over"
 
#6
clownbasher said:
They only charge you £5 a day for a 3 bedroom house?! 8O

This is less than you pay for one room in a grotty student house and about half the price of a council flat!

"Real world calling Rose and Pose...over"
Before I left and bought my own house earlier his year, I was paying around £100 a month for my 3 bedroom house in Winchester :) The stupid thing is, the row of quarters opposite me were some of the ones sold off by Annington, half were Rented for £750 a month, the other half were being sold for around £200K. The cheap housing benefits the forces have is one thing that a lot of guys fail to appreciate or even if they do, they dont add the average difference between their rent and civilian rent/mortage to their salary when comparing to a civillian job. You might be able to get paid £5000 more in a civilian job, but you pay out more than that in housing/mortgage costs
 
#8
I think Gordon Brown should be advised to tax serving personnel on the difference between their payments and a mortgage for a property of equivalent value - based on a 100% mortgage naturally. It is clearly a benefit in kind...come on Mr Rose and Pose, get into the real world because you soon will have to!!
 
#10
I'm going to be a t0sser and defend roseandpose - well to an extent anyway!

Remember, his (rent) money is going down the drain when it could be better spent on a mortgage - I'll bet mrs roseandprose probably pines for her own house but is following him around (hopefully so that he can do his job properly?).

But, what would you prefer - a grotty dive at £1.75 a day or something more upmarket at a fiver? If you feel strongly enough then wait until a rundown hovel becomes available.
 
#11
whistler said:
I'm going to be a t0sser and defend roseandpose - well to an extent anyway!

Remember, his (rent) money is going down the drain when it could be better spent on a mortgage - I'll bet mrs roseandprose probably pines for her own house but is following him around (hopefully so that he can do his job properly?).

But, what would you prefer - a grotty dive at £1.75 a day or something more upmarket at a fiver? If you feel strongly enough then wait until a rundown hovel becomes available.
Sorry, but this goes back to my first point and there is really nothing to defend. Its simply a matter of luck/fate as to where you are posted. If roseandpose's previous posting most of the quarters were grade 4, then most likely all of the quarters in that location were grade 4, as the army tends to do things eithr all together or not at all. It would be very unusaul for 1 house in an area to be a different grade to the one next door. Plus as I have said before, some of the things taken into account when deciding grading are things like location, distance to local services etc. SO It may well be one posting you are stuck in the wilds, in a pretty run down area and pay grade 4. Next posting, same type of quarter, but in a better area, closer to civilisation, better amenities, so you pay grade 1 (or something in between). So waiting "until a rundown hovel becomes available" is probably not an option anyway. Its a fact of life associated with postings and nothing to do with "being upgraded" without being asked.
 
#12
This post merely serves to underline an issue that is long overdue for resolution.

Currently the AFPRB take into account the low rates of rent that we pay when they decide on the next pay rise. It is in effect seen as a benefit in kind. However, like many other military benefits it is not taxable because of the unique status of members of the Forces. As to some of the posts made by obviously jealous posters, if they want cheap rent then put on a uniform, risk your life for your country and accept conditions of service that move you and your family at short notice.

Personally I think that we should pay market rents and be paid the appropriate wage that takes that into account.

As to the original post - why shouldn't he question the cost. As a WO2 he probably has more commitments than many others (older children/wife etc) and potentially less disposable income. He can't be charged more than his rank entitlement but if it is more than his previous quarter then I am afraid that's life.

And to head off some of the replies; I know plenty of singlies who prefer to stay in their downgraded accommodation to save money - it's natural to want to do so - so leave roseandpose alone and look deeper at the whole issue (and I don't know him/her).
 
#13
Percy said:
As to some of the posts made by obviously jealous posters, if they want cheap rent then put on a uniform, risk your life for your country and accept conditions of service that move you and your family at short notice.
That's precisely the point. I'm well aware of the trade-off, and why the "perk" of cheap accommodation is there - but R&P seems to fail to appreciate the perk for what it is, and unaware of its real value.

For the record, I also think that in many cases people in the Army already get a fair rate of pay for what they do, and that the current level of pay coupled with "perks" such as the reasonably-priced accommodation is the best way to structure the package.
 
#14
Percy,

In some respects I agree with you. (even though I am no longer serving so it doesn't affect me). The whole thing does need looking at, but it is far more complex than simply paying people more and charging market prices. For a start I am sure many would question the standard of Army Quarters. So if you are going to charge market prices, you would expect reasonable standards, which for a lot of quarters and sinlge accomodation, simply isn't there. Case in point is my previosu example of the quarters opposite me, that were sold/rented off by annington homes. This only happened a few years ago and occured during my tenancy: When they kicked the guys out of the quarters (compulsory moving some of them), they then had to spend months upgrading them and refurbishing thenm, before hey could put them on the market. This of course was paid for by Annington, as they were going to make the profit on the sales/rents. but do you think for one minjute that the MOD would find the extra costs to imporve all their accomodation? (I say extra costs because the extra money gained from the increased rent, you have asked to be placed on wage increases, not improving the housing)
 
#15
Charging troops market style rents would be an almost impossible system to implement and the potential anomolies thrown up would be endless. How many troops would volunteers for a posting in SE England? "Ahh Gnr Smith, I'm pleased to tell you that you and Mrs Smith have been posted to Woolwich..."

What happens where your posting is in X place but your quarter in Y? You get posted to Wiltshire part of Tidworth, get "Wiltshire money", but your quarter is in much more expensive Hampshire? It would be a complete nightmare, as would taxing it as a benefit in kind; how much would you pay? would it be determined on where you live or where your Unit is? I can see RAOs and FSAs really wanting to spend a large part of their already busy days dealing with queries about this....


NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

As to the original post, if it was the only choice I reckon he should pay for what he would have had. If he chose this place over somewhere else then pay up. Me and Mrs B would quite happily live elsewhere (bigger) and pay the difference.
 
#16
Some interesting replies, but I think we are finally there.

I was under the impression that this particular board was read by RAOs and alike who knew the regulations and could tell me the score as to whether I am paying the correct rate. The answer seems to be that I am, and I'm happy with that.

As to the others, I am afraid that I am not responsible for the costing and budgetry measures relating to military quarters. I am of course well aware that market rent is astronomically higher, and that is something that I will have to deal with when I buy my own place. On the other side of the coin, I do not get to benefit from any rise in property prices, and other smaller penalties such as moving every two years, limited scope for home improvement, constant changes of schools etc etc. My post was a simply pay/allowance query, not whether the military accommodation charging system is right or wrong.
 
#17
Maj_Boothroyd said:
As to the original post, if it was the only choice I reckon he should pay for what he would have had. If he chose this place over somewhere else then pay up. Me and Mrs B would quite happily live elsewhere (bigger) and pay the difference.
Even that is laced with potential problems. At the end of the day, many areas have overspill quarter ares for when they are full. How are you going to police this "he should pay for what he would have had" part? Does it work both ways? i.e. If the original quarter area was more expensive than where he is now does he still pay the higher rate if he chooses to live in a cheaper are? If someone retains a quarter because tehir current location is cheaper than where they are posted to, do you force them to leave or do you make them pay the higher rate they would have paid at new duty station. You mentioned higher work rates for FSA Admin staff etc, well lots of increased monitoring and admin needed there if you are going to go down that route :)

I feel the current system is in terms of when and what you pay (the matter of how much is open to much further debate). Essentially, your entitlement to a particular quarter is based on your family size. If you want more rooms, you pay for them. If you get put into a quarter of bigger than your entitlement without asking, then you dont pay the extra. Therefore in this situation roseandpose is not paying for an officers quarter, he is paying for a quarter of the type he is entitled to, and the grade of the actual quarter he is in. If he is paying more than that, then he has room for complaint, as he did not request it. But essentially this simply boils down to a question of the GRADE of the accomodation, not the type. The grade, as previosuly discussed, varies from location to location, and moving from location to location is a factor of army life.

As an aside, I occupied my first quarter in 1982 and vacted my last one in late 2004, so have moved grades many times. You take the rough with the smooth.
 
#18
IT_GEEK said:
Percy,

In some respects I agree with you. (even though I am no longer serving so it doesn't affect me). The whole thing does need looking at, but it is far more complex than simply paying people more and charging market prices. For a start I am sure many would question the standard of Army Quarters. So if you are going to charge market prices, you would expect reasonable standards, which for a lot of quarters and sinlge accomodation, simply isn't there. Case in point is my previosu example of the quarters opposite me, that were sold/rented off by annington homes. This only happened a few years ago and occured during my tenancy: When they kicked the guys out of the quarters (compulsory moving some of them), they then had to spend months upgrading them and refurbishing thenm, before hey could put them on the market. This of course was paid for by Annington, as they were going to make the profit on the sales/rents. but do you think for one minjute that the MOD would find the extra costs to imporve all their accomodation? (I say extra costs because the extra money gained from the increased rent, you have asked to be placed on wage increases, not improving the housing)
I couldn't agree with you more. The whole DHE (DE) Annington Homes piece is an absolute disgrace. The inability to even maintain the estate to a legal (my opinion) standard is one that should be challenged at every opportunity. Paying market rents would encourage that.

Other comments highlighting difficulties in achieving market rates are, I am afraid, entirely indicative of why we find ourselves in such a complicated situation regarding pay and allowances - the 'it's too difficult' brigade win every time. For instance we pay LOA for living in Germany - to my mind it is probably more appropriate for London - think outside the box it can be done.
 
#19
Percy said:
Other comments highlighting difficulties in achieving market rates are, I am afraid, entirely indicative of why we find ourselves in such a complicated situation regarding pay and allowances - the 'it's too difficult' brigade win every time. For instance we pay LOA for living in Germany - to my mind it is probably more appropriate for London - think outside the box it can be done.
As regards London - RRA(L) anyone?

I am not per se going to defend LOA, we all know its nice and most people getting it have shiny new/newer cars than those over here, which may lead others to say "well they are obviously getting to much". Those that take that line are missing the point of LOA. It is not just to compensate for the cost of living in a particular location (becasue once again, many would say its chaeper to live in many of the overseas locations), the key point is, that it is to help you have a lot of simlar things you have over here in the UK. Greatly simplyfying it (before someone leaps down my throat), its to allow you to shop in the NAAFI, because, why should you be denied or have to pay more for a tin of Heinz Beans, just because they dont sell that brand in Germany (and I dont know if they do or not, but hopefully you see my point). Where the guys overseas make the money is when they are quite happy to do without the more expensive "British" items and live off the local economy. But one of the points of LOA is "you shouldn't have to if you dont want to"

I stress, a great simplification, and I know LOA takes a lot more into account
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#20
RoseandPose

Surprisingly nobody has suggested that you read JSP 464, the Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations. Para 323 states "In order not to disadvantage personnel when SFA above the normal entitlement is allocated for service reasons, the SFA charge is to be that related to a Grade 1 SFA of the Type to which the Service person is normally entitled."

Is that the answer you were looking for?

For the record, I think DHE are complete cnuts.
 

Latest Threads