New cohabitation rules for those in a long-term relationship

On 1 April 2019, the MOD’s policy on cohabitation in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) changed. 

Now, if your soldier has served for four or more years and can demonstrate they’re in a Long-Term Relationship (LTR), then they’ll be eligible to apply to cohabit with you in surplus SFA, where it’s available

Soldiers eligible to cohabit won’t hold entitlement to SFA and so, if there is no surplus SFA at their place of work (i.e. within 50 miles of their posting location), they won’t be able to access SFA or Substitute SFA (a hiring). 

Soldiers with PStatCat2 – primary parental responsibility – can also apply in accordance with this policy. 

What is cohabitation? 

The MOD defines cohabitation as a soldier living with their partner, who is not their legal spouse or civil partner, in an LTR. 

What is classed as a long-term relationship (LTR)? 

The MOD has a list of criteria defining an established LTR. You will need to be able to provide enough evidence of your established relationship of 12 months or more. This time frame was set by the Service People Policy Group (SPPG).  

Suitable evidence includes at least three of the following items: 

  • Mortgage or tenancy documents showing joint ownership or rental of a property 
  • A birth certificate of a natural child showing the names of both partners 
  • Proof of adoption of a child showing the names of both partners 
  • Proof of joint responsibility for a child 
  • Joint bank account  
  • Proof of financial support to the other partner, including the transfer of funds home to a partner overseas (i.e. for Foreign & Commonwealth families) 
  • Proof that both partners’ names are on the Electoral Roll at a shared address 
  • A Council Tax bill for the same property in joint names 
  • Loan documentation of major assets such as homes, cars or major appliances in both partners’ names 
  • Utility bills in both names   
  • Life Insurance that shows a partner as the beneficiary  
  • Two separate utility bills (one in each individual’s name) that evidences the same address. 

If you’re struggling to provide the evidence needed, then your soldier can register your relationship with their unit HR, so you can qualify after a 12-month period following that registration. Click here for more details on how the registration process works.

Your soldier can also present their case to chain of command if they don’t yet have the evidence listed. 

How are children recognised? 

Children will still need to be registered as part of your soldier’s PStat Cat. Children can be registered at the same time as an LTR when applying. If the children are solely of the non-serving partner and not the soldier, then your soldier will need to prove an established relationship.

Will we be entitled to allowances? 

No. Cohabitation doesn’t entitle you to any additional allowances other than what your soldier is entitled to according to their PStat Cat. 

Cohabitation is an extension of eligibility, not a widening of entitlement. 

PStat Cat 2 soldiers already in SFA 

If you now wish to cohabit, you’ll need to submit evidence of your LTR to your unit HR. You’ll then need to inform DIO that you wish to cohabit and register your partner and any children who’ll be living at the property.

Want to know more?

Download Cohabitation for SP in Surplus SFA – FAQs


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