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Armed Forces: Accommodation

Volume 711: debated on Monday 1 June 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the allowable rental on central London properties for military personnel serving in the Ministry of Defence main building on Whitehall for whom service accommodation is not available. [HL3922]

In recognition of the highly mobile nature of service life, it is Ministry of Defence (MoD) policy that service accommodation is provided for all entitled service personnel as part of their terms and conditions of service. In cases where no suitable service accommodation is available, substitute accommodation is sourced from the commercial rental market via the MoD accommodation agency contractor in order to meet this obligation. Substitute accommodation is normally provided within the same radius/travelling time from a place of work as service accommodation.

Different arrangements apply to single and family accommodation. Where the provision of substitute service single accommodation (SSSA) is required an indicative rental ceiling is applicable. Strict criteria also govern entitlement, property specification, furnishing, and standard.

Indicative rental ceilings are set by the MoD in conjunction with the contractor and reviewed regularly. The indicative rental ceilings as at 1 January 2009 are set out in the table below:

Indicative Monthly Rental Ceilings For SSSA effective from 1 January 2009





Rear Admiral/Air Vice Marshal/Major General or above



Commodore/Brigadier/Air Commodore or equivalent



Captain/Colonel/Group Captain or equivalent



Commander/Lt Colonel/Wing Commander/Lt Commander/Major/Squadron Leader or equivalent



All other junior officers



Warrant Officer/CPO/Staff Sgt/Flt Sgt or equivalent



Leading Rating/Corporal and below


Substitute service family accommodation (SSFA) broadly equates to a service person's equivalent entitlement to service family accommodation (SFA). Because of the unpredictability of the commercial rental market there is no indicative rental ceiling. Approval is required by defence estates, which is provided in accordance with a locally determined average of rents to ensure value for money. Occupants of SSFA pay daily charges for comparable SFA of a similar size/type.

Rental payment is made directly by the MoD to the contractor who then pays the landlord. Individuals may occupy properties in excess of their entitlement by payment of a personal contribution towards the rent.

Separate arrangements apply to a small number of official service residences.