Substitute SFA


Moving to South East England in the Summer and have been told that I will probably get Substitute SFA (Hiring). I understand that the contract to find a property is now with HCR. Any advice or tips etc from anyone who has recently gone through a similar process would be very gratefully received.
Had some good and bad experiences with HCR.

Get anything they say in writing and if you have to use the telephone make a note of who you talked to and what was said.

When we went through this service we were only given the choice of one of three places, however you used to be able to find somewhere yourself and hand it over to HCR for it to be taken on by HCR.

See if this is the case (you will need to know how much they are willing to pay for your entitlement) and if you can try and do some of the legwork yourself then you are the one who makes the compromises over location/quality of life etc not them.

It is not all doom and gloom, first place we were given was excellent in all respects except for an oil fired Aga in a kitchen not much bigger than a phone box, had to turn it off in the summer as the temperature in the kitchen reached 40+ degrees. No alternative cooker and HCR and the letting agents said tough you didn't object when you took it over. So if there is anything you are concerned about ask before accepting. Plus side was that we did not have to put the central heating on at all even during the winter.

Second place not so good, we were turfed out mid tour as the landlord wanted his house back (he was in the Army and was returning from an overseas posting, so check who the landlord is as they have to give only about 30 days notice of wanting their house back). Despite giving HCR as much notice as we could they then were slow in finding somewhere for us to move to and we nearly ended up on the street, they tried forcing us into unsuitable accommodation , but we dug our heels in and eventually got somewhere that was OK. Decoration was not good so asked them to negotiate a partial redo which they managed.

Problems on moving out we were then short toured and they got in a cock stand as we did not give them the requisite notice to move.

Overall OK but need to keep a close watch on them and what they are doing.

Best of luck


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