Unit move FAQs

Overview

Are you moving as part of a unit move?

Whilst each unit move will have its own specific details, AFF has put together a generic list of housing FAQs to help you understand what will happen in the run up to, and during, your move.

Allocations for a unit move are done through your welfare team, not Amey.

Your Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) will be your first point of contact, so whether you have problems cleaning your SFA or you have an issue or requirement which needs to be taken into account for housing allocations, talk to them so that they can take your needs into consideration and get you the help you need to make your move as smooth as possible.

There are a number of welfare organisations who can advise you, and don’t forget that your local AFF Regional Lead is also there to help if you have any concerns.

Contents

01   Definitions

  • Proxy: someone who attends a move-in/move-out and acts on your behalf if you cannot attend. Only Service personnel or a spouse can be nominated as a proxy – during unit moves, the proxy will be someone from the Unit Welfare Team.
  • Housing Officer (HO): the person responsible for the local estate and who carries out the move-in and move-out appointments.
  • Pinnacle: the contractor, working on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), who is responsible for organising allocations, repairs, maintenance, move appointments, and the provision of SFA furniture.
  • Back to back move – when the period of time between a move out and a move in is less than 15 working days.
  • 14 day observation report: this if for you to record any defects found in your SFA within 14 days of moving in. As a general rule of thumb, use it to record anything you don’t want to be charged for at move-out (dents in walls, broken tiles etc.) Don’t use it to record issues which need to be repaired – these should be reported to the Pinnacle helpdesk.
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02   How is housing allocated for a unit move?

The welfare team will work out how many families are moving, and how many and what type of SFA are needed to accommodate families. If you have any particular needs, make sure that you let the welfare team know well in advance to that they can take these into consideration. This list is sent to the Pinnacle Home Services team who identify SFA to fulfil the requirements of the unit. Once provisionally allocated, this list is sent to the welfare team who will then allocate them to the families and will notify you of your address.

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03   Can I change my allocation?

Given the high number of moves and the availability of SFA, it will be difficult to change your allocation. All relevant information should have been given to the Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) at the start of the allocation process, however, if family circumstances have changed then make sure that you discuss this with your welfare team so that they can try to help you.

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04   Who is our main point of contact during a unit move?

Your welfare team will be your main point of contact during a unit move and they will be able to contact Pinnacle for you if necessary.

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05   What cleaners can we use?

Each area will have different arrangements and you will be advised of these by your UWO.

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06   Will there be enough HOs to do all of the move-ins and move-outs?

Yes – Pinnacle has committed to recruiting extra HOs or using those from other areas that have capacity to help out with unit moves.

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07   Do we have to have a pre-move-out (PMO) appointment?

Yes, this is an important appointment.

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08   What happens at a PMO appointment?

The HO will go through the house with you and discuss what needs to be done to bring the property up to move-out standard. The HO will give you a breakdown of charges for the issues identified and if you haven’t sorted them by move out you will be charged that amount. This is a very useful time for the HO as it gives them the opportunity to assess if the SFA needs painting or new carpets so that this can be planned to coincide with move-out. See the Pinnacle website for more details.

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09   Who can we use to do a proxy move-out or move-in?

During unit moves, many SFA will be handed over at different times to your moving dates and the proxy will be a member of the welfare team.

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10   Do we need to get our proxy to see the house before we move out?

Yes, it is advisable to get the welfare team to visit your SFA before you leave so that they can agree that all works detailed at the PMO have been done and that the SFA is clean.

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11   What happens if the proxy agrees with us that it is clean but the HO doesn’t?

The welfare team will be responsible for bringing the SFA up to move-out standard.

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12   Could I be charged on move-out?

So long as you rectify any issues identified at the PMO, and leave the SFA clean as per the Pinnacle tick sheet, you will not be charged at move-out.

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13   What happens if I get charged on move-out?

You will be sent a letter detailing the charges and telling you how to challenge them if you don’t agree. There is a strict timeline for challenging the charge, so make sure you respond within this timeframe otherwise the charges will be taken from your soldier’s pay. See ov.uk/defence-infrastructure-organisation-service-family-accommodation#moving-out for more details.

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14   If a family moves out and the SFA fails, will it all be sorted before the next family moves in?

The regional suppliers (Amey in Central and North and VIVO in the SE and SW) will have enough staff to be able to do emergency works and cleaning so that the SFA is ready for move-in.

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15   How will a proxy move-in be done?

The proxy will attend the move-in with the HO, and the HO will go through the move-in process with them as usual. See the Pinnacle website for more details.

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16   Do we need to do a 14 day report?

Yes, if you identify issues during the first 14 days it is very important to complete a report as it identifies issues with the SFA on move-in so that you aren’t charged for them on move-out. Remember that, unlike a 14 day report abroad, in the UK it won’t generate repairs so anything which needs repairing (like a leaking tap) needs to be reported to the Pinnacle National Services Team on 0800 031 8628 option 1. See the Pinnacle website for more details.

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17   Does a 14 day report generate repairs?

No. To report repairs, call Pinnacle on 0800 031 8628.

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18   What information will we be given at move-in if a proxy took over the SFA for us?

Your proxy will give you the keys and show you, amongst other things how the boiler and cooker work, where the fuse box is and where the stop cock is and the gas box etc.

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19   Who do we report issues to if we aren’t happy with the cleanliness or condition of our SFA?

Report all issues to Pinnacle on 0800 031 8628  option 4 – log a complaint and make sure that you get a reference number. See the Pinnacle website for more details on how to contact them.

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20   How do we challenge the grading of our new SFA?

If you feel that your SFA is not at the correct grade for charge on move in you have 28 days to challenge the grading from receipt of the grading letter. For more information, see gov.uk/government/publications/combined-accommodation-assessment-system-the-new-accommodation-charging-system-explained.

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21   What will happen if the SFA has an uninhabitable fault at move-in?

Depending on the severity of the issue, you will either be put up in a welfare house (if available) or a hotel by Pinnacle and your removals delayed or put in storage until the issue has been resolved; if there are suitable unallocated SFA in the area, you may be given one of these instead. Properties are prepared and inspected in advance to avoid this situation, but if an issue did arise your UWO and HO will liaise closely with you to resolve this as quickly as possible.

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22   How do I complain if I am unhappy with the service provided and what is the process?

In the first instance, telephone Pinnacle on 0800 031 8628 option 4 or use the online complaints form. The  DIO SFA website outlines the complaints process, which should be followed to ensure complaints are recorded and investigated properly.

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23   Do I need to change my plugs to the country specific fitting?

Yes. AFF has received reports of families not correctly converting their plugs for UK use. In one instance, a supplier operative cut the plug off an appliance that had a two pin plug fitted as it was being dangerously adapted using a match stick.

Pinnacle will not ignore this type of practice. Aside from possibly resulting in electric shock or fire, it may also invalidate your home and contents insurance.

Adapting your appliances for in country use:

  • For the short term on arrival you can use a conversion plug. They can be fitted easily, quickly and safely, and will make the appliance safe for use in the relevant sockets.
  • Check that the type of conversion plug you use is suitable for the plug and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when fitting it.
  • Do not use travel adaptors long term. They are not a suitable or safe alternative for continuous use.

What is a fuse and why is it important?

It is a safety device fitted in all UK 13A plugs and EU conversion plugs which protects the cable from taking too much electric current and overheating; it will cut off an electrical current in the event of a fault. Lack of fuse protection increases the risk of fire in EU conversion plugs.

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