Service Family Accommodation

A guide for Service families about applying for, maintaining, moving in and out of and living in UK Service Family Accommodation (SFA).


The provision of good quality homes for Service personnel and their families is an important priority for the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) manages around 49,000 homes in the UK on behalf of the MOD and is also responsible for planning for future requirements and targeted improvement programmes.

DIO operates four Regional Accommodation Maintenance Services (RAMS) contracts which provide statutory and mandatory checks, repair and maintenance services and the preparation of allocated homes for Service families. Amey Community Ltd manage the Northern and Central regions and VIVO cover the South East and South West.

On behalf of DIO, Pinnacle Group Ltd operate our UK National Service Centre through the National Accommodation Management Services (NAMS) contract. This provides a single point of contact for requests from families living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) including raising repairs and maintenance issues, the allocations of homes and conducting move-in and move-out appointments. Contact details can be found on the Pinnacle Service Families website. Pinnacle also provide DIO with consolidated management information, which DIO uses to manage the four regional contracts directly.

Example image of Service Family Accommodation shows a modern semi detached house with garage and shared front garden of green lawns.

Service Family Accommodation in Buckinghamshire (MOD/Crown Copyright).

The Customer Service Charter SFA Customer Charter (PDF, 1.32 MB, 4 pages) is DIO’s commitment to Service personnel and their families to provide decent living standards and excellent customer service. We are committed to improving the condition and standard of the Service Family Accommodation (SFA) estate; sustaining improved levels of maintenance and repair performance; and enhancing customer service.

Latest news for SFA residents

Update 17 March

Included in this issue of Families First:

  • Update on how DIO and its suppliers are tackling damp and mould

  • Performance update
  • Key dates to note
  • Current and future SFA investment
  • Useful links

Families First - Issue 4 (PDF, 700 KB, 2 pages)

Update 7 March

While DIO continues to routinely collect information about the standard of Service Family Accommodation, it is important to us that we have the fullest possible picture of the condition of our Service family homes. This will help us to achieve maximum future investment in our Service Family Accommodation and ensure that spending can be targeted where most needed.

We would really welcome your view and experience of living in a Service family home, it is key to us gaining a more comprehensive understanding of our Service Family Accommodation. If you live in SFA, you should have been contacted with a link to complete a short survey. If you haven’t received a survey link, this is available on the ‘DIO Service Family Accommodation’ Defence Connect group or via Families Federations.

The survey closes on 27 March and the results will be used to help inform and focus future investment decisions on areas that are important to you.

Please note data from this survey should not be used to report individual repairs, these should continue to be raised via the National Service Centre.

Update 6 March

Included in this issue of Families First:

  • Update on how DIO and its suppliers are tackling damp and mould

  • Performance update
  • Key dates to note
  • Current and future SFA investment
  • Useful links

Families First - Issue 3 (PDF, 910 KB, 2 pages)

Update 13 February

Included in the latest issue of Families First:

  • Performance update on Accommodation contracts, with a focus on tackling damp and mould
  • Key dates to note
  • Current and future SFA investment
  • Useful links

Families First - Issue 2 (PDF, 780 KB, 2 pages)

Update 27 January

DIO has introduced a new Service Family Accommodation newsletter, Families First - Issue 1 (PDF, 446 KB, 2 pages), to provide families with important information about their homes.  

Families First will include updates on the measures DIO and its suppliers are taking to address contract performance and where DIO is investing money to improve the accommodation estate.  

The newsletter will initially be published bi-weekly and hosted on GOV.UK and Defence Connect.

Update 12 January

Compensation for loss of heating

In the event of a loss of heating, compensation will be issued to families to cover increased energy costs caused by the use of temporary heaters. It has been agreed that £20 per day can be claimed by families without heating, backdated to 7 December.

Families can now submit their claims via the dedicated form on Pinnacle’s website.

Update 16 December

Heating failures

The recent cold weather has led to some families being without heating and hot water, and we are immediately implementing the following measures in response:

  • Following their call to the National Service Centre, families will be contacted by a qualified engineer to support the swift diagnosis of faults and enable remote fixes if possible.
  • The numbers of heating engineers have been increased across all regions.
  • Access to temporary heaters for families without heating is being improved, with the aim of heaters being made available as soon as possible and within 24 hours.
  • Increased use will be made of temporary accommodation e.g. hotels, to support families with vulnerable people or where some form of heating cannot be restored in a reasonable time.
  • Compensation will be issued to families to cover increased energy costs caused by the use of temporary heaters.

Update 13 December

Update for families on Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts performance

The level of service many families have experienced so far under the new Accommodation contracts is not what they expect or deserve. DIO and its suppliers Pinnacle, VIVO and Amey are all committed to improving performance for families.

DIO has consistently challenged performance, and a huge amount of work has been undertaken to identify the causes and make the improvements needed.

In September DIO directed each of its suppliers to put in place Rectification Plans – owned at Board level - to achieve sustained improvements in contract performance. The key areas of service improvement targeted through the plans are:

Preparation of homes for Move-In

The pass rate for preparation of homes for move-in has improved since July and August but we still have some way to go to meet the contracted Acceptable Level of Performance of 95%. Considerable effort is being made to hit, sustain and then exceed that level.

Repair and maintenance response times

VIVO and Amey have increased staff numbers and taken on additional sub-contractors in order to schedule and plan tasks, complete repairs more quickly, reduce the repairs backlog and achieve more repairs on the first visit to homes.

Amey has increased its internal resource by 15 staff and its sub-contractor capacity by 60%. VIVO has increased its resource by an additional 88 staff and taken on seven additional subcontractors.  This has resulted in some reduction in average response times, but these are not yet at acceptable levels and a considerable backlog remains to be cleared.

VIVO and Amey are running community engagement events through their regions. At these events VIVO or Amey managers and operatives will discuss any concerns with families, complete any repairs that they can on the day, and work with supply partners to complete any outstanding gas safety inspections. If the supplier is unable to complete a repair on the day, it will book an appointment for a convenient time. These events are communicated to families via local social media channels, WhatsApp groups, emails, posters and leaflets, so please look out for upcoming events.

Missed appointments

Missed appointments have significantly reduced since the summer and we will continue our efforts to reduce these further.


Pinnacle is significantly increasing staffing of the National Service Centre’s Customer Solutions team, which deals with complaints and compensation, from 14 to 56 staff. A dedicated Customer Service Manager has also been appointed to resolve complex or urgent issues and complaints. Most complaints relate to outstanding repairs and maintenance tasks, and Amey and VIVO are working to resolve outstanding tasks that require completion in order to speed up the resolution of complaints for families. When VIVO complete a repair in a home relating to a complaint, they are also using that opportunity to complete any other works that the family raise during the visit.

The backlog of complaints has now begun to reduce, but efforts will continue to drive numbers of open complaints down and fixing this process is an absolute priority.


Pinnacle has revised the process for families to be able to contact it to ensure issues can be addressed far more quickly. Instead of emailing families can now go directly to the department they need to contact:

For applications, allocations and requests:

To send in any medical/OT reports for the case managers to review:

To discuss retention enquiries or to send in supporting evidence for retentions:

For queries relating to existing repairs or to raise a new repair, use Pinnacle’s Repairs form or contact

To discuss or book statutory gas or electrical inspections:

To raise or discuss complaints, compliments or compensation:


Pinnacle has created a dedicated compensation handling team to help speed up the processing of claims.  This has already resulted in a significant reduction in time it is taking compensation requests to be responded to. Pinnacle has also introduced local drop-in surgeries.  There remains a delay in some families receiving their compensation, but this is being addressed through the increased resource.

National Service Centre call wait times

Families are having to wait too long on the phone to speak to a customer service advisor. Pinnacle is increasing resource in the NSC and this is already having a positive impact on call wait times with a steady reduction in the last two weeks, and this trend is continuing.

Enhanced care for families placed in temporary accommodation

Pinnacle now has a dedicated resource to provide hypercare specifically to support families who require a hotel stay. It is also improving training for its initial call handlers so that they are better aware of when and how this support can be accessed.

Go Beyond Team

DIO has set up a new team to ensure that the FDIS Accommodation suppliers deliver the best possible service for military personnel, in line with the FDIS Families First vision. The Go Beyond team will focus on continuous improvement beyond the minimum contracted level, to realise the full potential of the FDIS service that families should be receiving.

Winter planning

Contingency plans are in place over the winter period and suppliers have increased resource and supply chain support to minimise any impact to service families. Over the festive period, the National Service Centre (NSC) will be open 24/7 to respond to emergency and urgent repairs.

DIO will publish arrangements for families who require additional assistance beyond that provided by the NSC, so please keep checking this site for updates.

Update 3 November

Compensation for emergency accommodation stays

Families may be entitled to compensation if you experience inconvenience such as missed appointments, total loss of heating or cooking facilities, or having to move into emergency accommodation if a major repair needs to be carried out in your home. More information on the rates and types of compensation can be found here.

In the case of emergency hotel stays, families can claim compensation to cover subsistence, including food. The rate of compensation in this instance is a £25 voucher per person (13 years or above) per night and a £10 voucher per person (under 13 years) per night. Pinnacle will administer the compensation automatically on behalf of Pinnacle, VIVO or Amey.

Once details such as the number of people, ages and email addresses have been agreed by the family and Pinnacle, compensation will be sent to you via email within five working days.

Compensation is paid in the form of Love2Shop vouchers. The e-vouchers can be used at a wide range of retailers and now includes supermarkets including ASDA, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. The full list of retailers where vouchers can be redeemed can be viewed here.

Installing smart meters in SFA homes

If you would like to install a smart meter in your home or change the existing smart meter, you can make a request directly to your utility supplier. You don’t need to seek permission from DIO. There is also no need to remove the smart meter when you move out of your SFA home. Please leave the digital display unit for the next family to use.

If you live in a home where your electric and/or gas is supplied by the MOD, you cannot request to change the meter. However, DIO is planning a programme of meter replacements to these homes to be delivered when other significant electrical works are also carried out in the SFA.

Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) Surveys

CAAS surveys of your home are important and we are grateful for your cooperation in allowing these surveys take place. DIO will write to you in advance to inform you when a survey needs to take place. It is important you allow the surveyor access to your home. If the date of the CAAS survey isn’t convenient for you, please rearrange at the earliest opportunity using the contact details in your letter. We can then agree a time that works for you.

CAAS surveys are important as they ensure service family homes are safe for occupation and that the correct CAAS Band charge is being applied. The data gathered at CAAS surveys will also identify what works are required at that address and will inform future upgrade and improvement programmes.

Further information about CAAS.

Update 5 October

Pre-move-out appointments

We encourage families to book your Pre-Move-Out (PMO) appointment at least one calendar month before your potential Move-Out date.  This will allow sufficient time to prepare your home to the Move-Out standard.  It will also help to ensure that the Housing Officer can identify any potential works that need to take place in your home before a new family move in. The booking of PMO appointments is predominantly via the e-1132 system on a self-serve basis. We thank you for your co-operation.

Gas and Electrical Statutory and Mandatory Inspections

It is a legal requirement to undertake gas and electrical safety checks in your home to reduce the potential for a carbon monoxide incident or an electrical fire, and to keep you and your family safe from harm. If gas appliances are not serviced regularly, they can lead to leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.  This is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly with no warning as you can’t see it, taste it or smell it. In extreme circumstances, faults can also cause major explosions.

If your property is due a gas or electrical check, you will be contacted by Pinnacle or your regional contractor (VIVO or Amey) to inform you when the inspection will take place. It is extremely important that you respond to the email to advise if the appointment date and time is not suitable and to rearrange a convenient time.

It is vital for your safety that you allow the Regional Accommodation Maintenance Services contractors (VIVO or Amey) access to your home to carry out these vital safety checks.

Please help us keep you safe by being present when your appointment is booked, or by rearranging the appointment with Pinnacle. There is an escalation process followed by Pinnacle to address not being able to access homes involving unit welfare teams and chain of command.

Update 12 August 2022

Safety Notice Regarding Checking Window Restrictors in SFA

The safety of families living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Substitute Service Families Accommodation (SSFA) is a top priority. With warmer weather meaning more windows will be open in homes, we would like to remind families to check that all window safety catches/restrictors are working correctly.

If restrictors are not working or windows can be opened more than 100mm when restrictors are engaged, then please report the fault to the National Service Centre immediately on 0800 031 8628 to ensure a repair is carried out. If you live in SSFA, please contact Mears on 0800 032 4547.

Please note that window restrictors must not be disengaged for any reason where children or vulnerable members of your household are at risk from falling.

For more advice about preventing accidents in your home visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.

Impact of increase of cost of living for Service personnel and families living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA)

The UK energy market has recently seen an unprecedented rise in electricity and gas prices and domestic customers across the country have witnessed a 54% annual increase in the average energy bill with further rises expected later in the year. The Energy Bills Support Scheme will deliver a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households, including SFA on a civilian fuel supply, to help with energy bills from October 2022.

The MOD’s People Policy team is currently reviewing how the global increase in the cost of living will impact Service personnel and their families living in service family homes. Although DIO do not lead on the policy or determine the energy costs, we want to keep Service personnel and their families updated. Please keep checking this page for updates.

This update provides information for families living in SFA where they pay energy bills direct to a civilian supplier, families who live in homes on an MOD fuel supply and families who live in homes on the Fuel Subsidy Scheme. It also covers homes with oil heating systems.

SFA on a civilian fuel supply

Many families will receive and pay for their electricity and/or gas direct from a civilian energy provider. These families will receive the government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme of £400 which will be administered through their electricity provider as a credit on their electricity bill from October 2022 onwards. The OFGEM Energy Price Cap applies to these costs. The Energy Price Cap is intended to limit how much suppliers can charge consumers for utilities.

SFA on the Fuel Subsidy Scheme

Families living in homes on the Fuel Subsidy Scheme (FSS) pay the MOD direct for their gas and electricity, or electricity only, via JPA. DIO procure both gas and/or electricity for these homes via the commercial market rather than the domestic market. Even with the recent increase in Fuel Subsidy tariffs, the saving from paying commercial rather than domestic rates is currently greater than the government’s £400 grant. Therefore, although they are not eligible for the Energy Bill Support Scheme, families in FSS homes will not be disadvantaged.

SFA on an MOD Fuel Supply

Families living in SFA on an MOD fuel supply are billed via a 1571 voucher rather than having the charges deduced automatically via JPA like with FSS. Again, these families will not be eligible for the government’s £400 grant but they, too, will not be disadvantaged as they pay less than the Ofgem cap, even taking into account the £400 grant.

The MOD’s People Policy Team will continue to review SFA on the MOD fuel portfolio and FSS that are not eligible for the government’s £400 grant – or any subsequent support - to ensure they are not disadvantaged. Please keep checking this site for updates.

DIO Utilities has put together a frequently asked questions list which provides further information regarding the rise in electricity and gas prices: DIO Utilities Energy Prices FAQs (PDF, 139 KB, 2 pages)

Assistance for families living in Service family homes with the extra costs of oil-fired heating systems

The government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme will be administered through electricity providers, so all families using civilian electricity providers should see the £400 grant as a credit on their electricity bill from October 2022 onwards. This is intended to provide support for all utilities costs despite the fact it will go into families’ electricity accounts, so will help to offset the increase cost of oil or gas depending on the fuel the home uses.

However, we recognise that oil costs are also high. To ensure families who live in oil heated homes are not disadvantaged, the MOD’s People Policy team are looking at ways to support these affected. We will update this page as soon as the policy is released.

The MOD note that minimum deliveries for oil are generally 500 litres which means that sometimes on Move-out families can leave several hundred litres of very expensive fuel for the next family. To ensure families are not disadvantaged and are reimbursed, a copy of the invoice from the last time the tank was filled should be provided to the Pinnacle Housing Officer at the Move Out and the credit will be applied at that rate via JPA. Conversely, where there is less oil remaining in the tank than at move in a debit will be applied. If the invoice is not available, the refund/charge will be made based on the current UK Average Home Heating Oil Prices according to the website.

In addition, DIO is working to deliver alternative solutions that heat the home with greater efficiency to provide both energy and cost savings to families. This will focus on the 1200 homes that have oil heating systems. This financial year, DIO is looking to replace oil boilers to 520 homes using a combination of Air Source Heat Pumps and Thermal Energy Storage solutions. These systems will reduce carbon emissions, as well as reducing utility costs for families, but in most cases works will also need to upgrade the thermal efficiency of the homes through a combination of replacement doors, windows and/or insulation.

The current plan to install alternate heating solutions to all homes will take into account government carbon emission reduction strategies as well as reducing the reliance of oil-fired boilers by the end of 2023 so that families can benefit from greater heating efficiencies and reduced utility costs.

DIO is also planning to fit external wall insulation to 989 homes this year to improve the energy efficiency of many of our least efficient homes – including those with oil heating systems. If families experience any issues such as draughty windows/doors, cold radiators or damp, please report these to Pinnacle on 0800 031 8628 to ensure that homes are as energy efficient as possible.

For further information regarding the cost of oil, the Army Families Federation has created a useful Q&A document.

Delivery of the council tax rebate for Service personnel

This FAQ document CILOCT Rebate for Service Personnel FAQ (PDF, 115 KB, 2 pages) explains the £150 council tax rebate for families living in SFA.

Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS)

The National Housing Prime (NHP) contract, which provided management and maintenance services for SFA was replaced on 1 April 2022 by the Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) contracts.

For further information about the new contracts, who they have been awarded to and to understand what these changes may mean for Service personnel and your families please read the FDIS Accommodation Guidance Note (January 2022) Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation (ODT, 23.5 KB).

On 11 January 2022, the Army Families Federation hosted a Facebook Live event with DIO’s Head of Accommodation to answer questions from families about the new Accommodation contracts. Responses to all the questions raised can be viewed at Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts Facebook Live event: Your questions answered (PDF, 275 KB, 17 pages).

You can also watch a recording of the Facebook Live.

Project Speed: additional government funding to improve service families accommodation

On 17 July 2020 the Defence Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer jointly announced £200-million of new Government funding to improve accommodation for Service personnel. These exciting improvement works have been taking place over the past 18 months throughout the UK SFA estate. For details of these improvements and how these works will be carried out please read the Fiscal Stimulus update guidance (October 2020) (PDF, 162 KB, 5 pages).

122-million investment will deliver 800 properties, improving 2,700 properties, increase energy efficiency, improvements to lived environment for example 16 roads, solar panels and replacing 20 older play parks.

Fiscal funding infographic. DIO Crown Copyright 2022.

Entitlement for SFA

To be entitled to apply for a SFA home, Service personnel must:

  • be aged 18 and over
  • be married or in a civil partnership or who have permanent custody of children
  • have at least 6 months to serve

Service personnel who are in an established Long-Term Relationship (LTR(E)) are also eligible to cohabit in surplus SFA homes, when available. An LTR(E) will be defined by specified criteria and recorded as such on Joint Personnel Administration (JPA).

SFA is at Service personnel’s duty station or within a set radius; although you may be eligible to apply for surplus SFA at other locations.

The type of home you are entitled to is usually dependent on your rank for officers and family size for other ranks. When you apply for SFA, Pinnacles Home Services Team will allocate you a home using the preferences you have expressed and based on your entitlement or eligibility, competing requirements, and service agreements.

Full details on entitlement and eligibility for UK SFA are available in:

Full details on entitlement and eligibility for overseas SFA and SSFA are available in:

SFA costs and charges

Charges for service family accommodation (SFA) homes for Service personnel are set by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body. The current SFA accommodation charges are available on the Defence Intranet.

To access the accommodation charges, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

Pay queries

If you have a standard query about your pay in connection with SFA charges, please contact the Pinnacle Service Centre on 0800 031 8628, providing full details (such as your service number) about why you believe that charges have been applied incorrectly so this can be investigated.

CAAS challenges

If you wish to challenge or appeal against your charge as a result of the Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) then the correct procedure is set out on the CAAS challenges page on the Defence Intranet.

To access the dedicated CAAS Intranet page, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

Full details on ‘grade for charge’ are available in:

Applying for and allocation of SFA

e-1132 form

If you are entitled, you will need to complete and submit an application for SFA. All Service personnel who have access to the Defence Intranet are expected to complete their application online using the e-1132 form. To access the form, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

The e-1132 form system allows you to:

  • track the progress of your application
  • view available homes that match your entitlement
  • register your top 3 preferences
  • book your ‘move in’ (once an offer for a home has been made and accepted,)
  • where appropriate book your ‘move out’ appointment
  • electronically signing your licence to occupy.

MOD Form 1132

For Service personnel who do not have access to the Defence Intranet, a paper version of the MOD Form 1132: application to occupy Service Family Accommodation (SFA) is available in JSP 464: tri-service accommodation regulations (TSARs) Part 2, Chapter 4. Exceptions to using the online system are normally for personnel who are on operations and do not have access to the Defence Intranet.

Pinnacle Home Services team

If you have an allocations enquiry, the Pinnacle Home Services team at the National Service Centre is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4.30pm.

You can call them on: 0800 031 8628 Select Option 2 (or +44 (0) 161 6053517 if calling from overseas).

Alternatively, you can email the team:

For more information about the SFA application process, please visit the Pinnacle website

Substitute accommodation

Once in possession of a Non-availability certificate (NAC) you will be able to advance your e-1132 or E1154 application to the DIO Substitute Accommodation team.

To access the E1154 form, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

For E1154 applications, when all parts have been completed please email your form to

Your application will then be sent to the substitute accommodation contractor (Mears Group).

Substitute accommodation contractor

Mears Group provide all substitute accommodation for both substitute service family accommodation (SSFA) and single service substitute accommodation (SSSA). Mears provide in occupation management for the whole of the substitute accommodation portfolio including repairs and maintenance.

From 1 April 2022, substitute accommodation will be delivered under a new contract, the Rented Living Accommodation Project (RLAP). Under RLAP, Mears Group will continue to provide all substitute accommodation for both Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA) and Single Service Substitute Accommodation (SSSA), including the occupation management of the substitute accommodation portfolio, repairs and maintenance.

In occupancy management

Service personnel occupying a substitute accommodation property should contact Mears for all occupation queries including out of hours emergencies on the following telephone number 0800 032 4547.

The phone line is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00pm (except bank holidays).

Alternatively you can email

Further information about substitute accommodation (such as temporary accommodation if the required by date is not met, expenses claims and claim form, payment of bills and a frequently asked questions guide) is available on the Defence Intranet.

Service personnel can copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

Additional needs and disabled adaptations (ANDA) requirements for SFA

If you are moving to a new SFA home, please provide details of any special requirements for your home at the point of application using the e-1132 form or the MOD Form 1132, enclosing any reports from the appropriate professional source, such as your occupational therapist. It is important that the Pinnacle Home Services team is made aware of special requirements at the earliest opportunity.

If you require adaptions to your current SFA home, or your medical requirements have changed and you need some further adaptions to your existing SFA, you will need to contact the National Service Centre who will record your request and ask you to provide a Medical Report and/or Occupational Therapist’s report in order to progress your request.

You can read more ​in ​the Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations (TSARs - JSP 464 Volume 1 Part 2 Chapter 6 Annex C​).

Moving in

When you accept an offer of an SFA home you should arrange a ‘move in’ appointment using the e-1132 system.

At the agreed date and time, a Pinnacle Housing Officer will meet you at the home and show you around.

They will give you the opportunity to:

  • familiarise yourself with your new home, its fixtures, fittings and appliances
  • read electricity/gas meters and measure levels in oil tanks
  • take possession of the keys
  • identify who is responsible for any repair or maintenance queries
  • confirm that there is a valid Gas Safety Certificate in the SFA
  • complete and sign the move in documentation

You are required to inspect the home to ensure it meets the Move In standard as outlined on the Pinnacle website, signing to agree or otherwise that this standard has been met.

You can give your spouse/civil partner, or a service colleague written authority (known as a ‘Proxy certificate’) to sign the inventory on your behalf if you are unable to attend the ‘move in’ appointment. Please note that the ‘move in’ can only take place during normal working hours.

If you are moving from one SFA home (not substitute SFA) to another, you have 2 weeks to hand it back, provided you do so within this time you will only be charged for one home. If you exceed this period you may be charged for both properties.

Housing guide

Service personnel and their families moving into SFA home should read the guides available on the Pinnacle website, which contains important information about the services offered and the responsibilities of customers.

You will also be provided with a copy of the SFA 14 day observation report by Pinnacle at your Move In.

Licence to occupy insurance

When you live in a SFA home you should ensure that you have adequate insurance. In addition to arranging contents insurance to protect your personal possessions, the MOD strongly recommends (in accordance with JSP 464) to take out ‘Licence to occupy’ insurance. This specialist insurance covers your potential liability incurred as a result of damage to your SFA home caused by you or your family and would provide you with cover up to the required £20,000.

The Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP) “Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP)” website provides details of insurers who can supply this insurance and includes websites and telephone numbers for a range of relevant insurance companies. If you are unable to find relevant information on the websites available, we suggest that you call the insurer using the telephone numbers which are also provided. If you already have Kit insurance with one of these specialist insurers, it may be worth checking if you are already covered, as some insurance policies include Licence to Occupy insurance.

Maintenance and repairs of SFA and SSFA

Pinnacle and their partners Amey and VIVO are responsible for keeping your home maintained in the United Kingdom. VIVO cover the South East and South West and Amey cover North and Central regions.

This comprehensive service is free to Service Personnel and their families, who generally have little responsibility for the maintenance of their SFA homes - some examples of your responsibilities are listed below, see looking after your SFA.

However, families are responsible for looking after their homes and protecting it from damage, and damage caused may be subject to charges.

National Service Centre

You are required to report any defects to your home in the UK to the Pinnacle’s National Service Centre, which is open 24 hours, 365 days a year:

Freephone: 0800 031 8628, select Option 1 (for calls made within the UK, mobile users may incur charges). If you can from overseas please telephone: +44 (0) 161 605 3517

You can also talk to someone about maintenance/repairs by visiting Pinnacle’s website.

SSFA repairs

Mears Group Limited manage SSFA and SSSA.

For reporting faults to substitute homes, you can telephone 0800 032 4547 or email

The phone line is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00pm (except bank holidays).

Emergency repairs outside office hours including weekends and bank holidays you can telephone Mears Emergency Contact Centre on 0800 032 4547.

Private Finance Initiative housing

The telephone numbers for reporting faults to PFI housing are:

PFI housing Telephone Regions covered
Cosford/Shawbury PFI 0345 111 0000 (office hours) or 0845 0500 900 (out of hours) Market Drayton, Donnington Wood, Telford
Wattisham PFI 0203 603 9472 Pinewood, Thorington Park, Ipswich, Redhill, Aldham Mill Hill, Hadleigh
Yeovilton PFI 0300 777 7837 Broadsword Park, Ilchester, Yeovil
Portsmouth PFI 01275 378 481 Emerson’s Green (Bristol), Long Ashton (Bristol), Stoke Park (Bristol), Paxcroft Mead (Trowbridge), , Trowbridge, Seafield Park (Fareham) ,
Portsmouth 2 PFI 01275 378 481 HMS Daedalus (Lee on Solent)
Lossiemouth PFI 0800 917 8732 Lossiemouth, Elgin
Central Scotland PFI 0800 288 8771 Paisley, Dreghorn and Longstone (Edinburgh)

For reporting faults to leased properties, Bulk Lease Hires, (not covered by the Annington Homes Ltd (AHL) sale agreement in 1996), please contact:

Area Telephone
Bardney (Nr Coningsby, Lincolnshire) 0800 027 2057
Ashford 0800 988 2433
Brecon, includes Honddu Court 0800 988 2433
Brize Norton, includes Carterton/Witney/North Leigh 0800 988 2433
Darlington, includes West Park/Devonshire Court 0800 988 2433
Dover, Whitfield 0800 988 2433
Folkstone 0800 988 2433
Gloucester: includes Tewkesbury, Kingsway, Hucclecote 0800 988 2433
Hawkinge 0800 988 2433
Leeming Bar (North Yorks) 0300 555 5561
Salisbury: includes Amesbury, east Anton, Tidworth, Andover, Saxon Rise, Collingbourne, Archers Gate, Saxon Gate 0800 988 2433
York, Accomb 0800 988 2433
Nuneaton 0800 988 2433

Looking after your SFA home

You are responsible for keeping your home in a reasonable condition during the time you occupy SFA, and protecting it from damage. In addition, you need to take care of:

  • changing domestic fuses and light bulbs
  • taking precautions to prevent damage to the SFA by fire, frost, the bursting of water pipes and the blocking of drains
  • clearing any sink or bath blockages
  • routine testing and cleaning of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms
  • resetting of electrical trip switches due to faulty bulbs
  • ensuring that all repairs are reported to the relevant maintenance helpdesk as they occur

Pinnacle has a range of customer information available on their website.

Example of service family accommodation showing 2 military personnel walking past 3 blocks of housing, all of which are 3 storeys high. There is off road car parking and speed bumps.

Service Family Accommodation in South West London (MOD/Crown Copyright)

Moving out

Moving home can be a very busy and stressful time, so we want to make your move as easy and stress free for you and your family as possible.

Visit the Pinnacle website for details on moving out of the UK SFA home and arranging a pre move out appointment.

Pre-move-out appointments

We encourage families to book your Pre-Move-Out (PMO) appointment at least one calendar month before your potential Move-Out date.  This will allow sufficient time to prepare your home to the Move-Out standard.  It will also help to ensure that the Housing Officer can identify any potential works that need to take place in your home before a new family move in. The booking of PMO appointments is predominantly via the e-1132 system on a self-serve basis. We thank you for your co-operation.

Move out

Your move out will be attended by a Pinnacle Housing Officer who will inspect your home to determine if it meets the agreed move out standard.

If the standard is not satisfactory and there are deficiencies or damages that are not considered to be fair wear and tear, or you have failed to clean the property properly, a charge will be raised by the Housing Officer.

An appropriate Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) action will be taken by the Pinnacle Home Services team to cease accommodation charges on that property from the date of your move out.

Removal services

Agility Logistics Limited (Agility) is the MOD approved service provider for removals and is part of the Global Removal Management Services (GRMS).

Charges for damage and deficiencies for SFA and Substitute SFA recovery from pay

When you move out of UK service family accommodation (SFA) or substitute service family accommodation (SSFA), you may be liable for charges for damages or deficiencies that are not classed as fair wear and tear or because you have failed to prepare the property to the correct standard, for example cleanliness.

DIO can take these directly from the pay of serving personnel. Any payments taken depend on the size of the charge and individual monthly income (using MOD guidelines to ensure that deductions do not exceed a set limit of pay).

If you consider that you are not responsible for the charges, or part of them, for example that the damage is the result of fair wear and tear, you are able to dispute the charge raised using the stage 1 disputed charges form’.

Once the stage 1 dispute has been completed and formally closed, should you disagree with the charges raised and stage 1 decision, you may submit a stage 2 dispute to the appropriate DIO Accommodation Manager responsible for the property using the stage 2 disputed charges form.

Full details on moving out of your SFA and recoveries from pay are available in:

Loss of entitlement

For enquiries about loss of entitlement to SFA resulting from retirement, redundancy, discharge or estrangement, please contact the Loss of Entitlement Team by email:

If you believe that you will lose entitlement to SFA in the future, or find yourself in this situation, advice is available from a variety of sources. As well as the Joint Service Housing Advice Office, other sources of information and advice are: service charities; families federations; housing advice centres; and local authorities.


The MOD and its industry partners aim to provide the highest possible standard of service to those entitled Service personnel and their families who live in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and Substitute Service Family Accommodation (SSFA) homes in the UK.

On occasion when those standards are not met through either significant defect(s) at move in and/or missed appointments, our industry partners will recognise this by paying compensation, through High Street vouchers only, to offset any inconvenience caused.

Full details about the scheme and how to claim are published on Pinnacle’s website.

Making a complaint/customer service

DIO Accommodation and Pinnacle are focused on providing the best service we can to service personnel and their families. However, sometimes things go wrong so below is guidance about the correct process if you wish to make a complaint.

We also welcome your positive feedback where something has gone right.

Whatever the problem, we will endeavour to sort it out as quickly as possible. We value your feedback and monitor complaints to help us focus on improving our service in those areas.


DIO Accommodation value our people and would appreciate your positive feedback. Where our people have gone over and above to assist you, please let us know. We would love to hear your experience so that we can recognise where our job has been done well.

Please email any compliments to:

CAAS challenges

CAAS challenges are handled in 2 stages (and are separate from the SFA complaints process below).

If you wish to challenge or appeal against your charge as a result of the Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) then the correct procedure is set out on the CAAS challenges page on the Defence Intranet.

To access the dedicated CAAS Intranet page, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

Please note: The Stage 2 complaint form highlighted below cannot be used for CAAS challenges.

SFA complaints

Complaints are handled in 3 stages, with the aim of making sure that the majority can be fully investigated and promptly put right. If you are dissatisfied by the response at any stage, you will be given the opportunity to go to the next stage.

Complaint submission timings

To effectively deal with complaints, it is necessary for them to be considered as close as possible to the date of the matter arising. Therefore, complaints are to be submitted within the timings detailed below. Complaints submitted outside these timings will only be considered if there are clear extenuating circumstances, such as deployments, training etc. Accepting complaints outside of these timings will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Stage 1 - Submission within 28 working days of the incident
  • Stage 2 - Submission within 28 working days from receipt of the Stage 1 response
  • Stage 3 - Submission within 28 working days from receipt of the Stage 2 response

*If the complaint is related to a culmination of events/matters, then it should be submitted within 28 days of the last event.

Full information about SFA complaints can be found in JSP 464: tri-service accommodation regulations (TSARs) Volume 1, Part 1, Chapter 6

Stage 1

If you are dissatisfied with our service please call Pinnacle’s National Service Centre on 0800 031 8628 or visit the Pinnacle website.

Once you have registered a complaint, a Pinnacle representative will contact you, and give you a reference number for your complaint. They will explain how the process works and keep you regularly updated on the progress of your complaint.

Stage 2

If your complaint has been formally closed at stage 1 and you are not satisfied with the response, you can then escalate your complaint to the DIO Customer Services Team. You can do this in 2 ways:

  1. Interactive form: by completing the stage 2 complaint form, which for security reasons is only available on the MOD Intranet. To access the form, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:

2.Email: by emailing the DIO Customer Service Team setting out your stage 2 complaint so that you include:

  • the stage 1 complaint reference number
  • your name and telephone number
  • the SFA address relating to your complaint
  • why you are not happy with the result of your stage 1 complaint
  • what desired outcome or remedy you are seeking

Any emails not containing all this information will not be accepted by the Customer Service Team. Please send your email to:

If you make a stage 2 complaint, DIO will have access to your stage 1 complaints details and records, so you do not need to re-submit the full details of your complaint.

DIO will acknowledge it within 3 working days and provide you with a reference number. An investigation will then be carried out, however there is no standard response time due to the need to further investigate complaints that vary in nature and complexity.

Stage 3

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at stage 1 and stage 2, you can escalate your complaint to the Accommodation Complaints Review Panel by writing to or

Accommodation Complaints Review Panel
People Accommodation
Ministry of Defence
Floor 6, Zone N
Main Building

Further independent advice

You can also seek independent advice through your:

  • local service welfare organisations
  • Unit Welfare Officer
  • RAF Community Support Officer or Unit Families Officer
  • Families Federations representatives
  • HIVE

Alternatively, there are civilian organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau, service charities or housing advice centres who can help.

Downgrading or compensation

Pinnacle and DIO do not have authority to pay compensation or loss of earnings. We may temporarily downgrade accommodation charges where a major loss of amenity has occurred. Permanent downgrading can only be approved by a Board of Officers.

UK SFA Customer Survey

A monthly telephone survey of randomly selected customers is conducted by Opinion Research Service (ORS) on behalf of the MOD. The aim of the research is to help MOD better understand the views of service personnel and families living in UK service family accommodation (SFA) and substitute SFA (SSFA).

Although customers do not have to take part, we encourage them to respond to this short survey as your opinions will be used to measure how DIO is performing and identify ways of making further improvements to the housing service that matter to you. Answers are treated in the strictest confidence and only used for research purposes.

If you have any queries about the survey, or would like to follow up a call, please phone ORS on 01792 535322. Please note that ORS only deal with SFA customer survey related issues.

The results of the survey are issued to key DIO accommodation stakeholders on a quarterly basis: DIO accommodation customer satisfaction tracker survey

The Combined accommodation assessment system (CAAS) for service homes

The CAAS for Service Family Accommodation (SFA) is the method of setting charges in the UK and overseas and replaces the 4 Tier Grading (4TG) System (except Germany). CAAS is a fairer and less subjective system than the 4TG System, and ensures that charges for SFA are set in accordance with modern, nationally recognised standards (utilising the Department of Communities and Local Government Decent Homes Standard. Where charges increase there will be transitional protection that will set a maximum cap for the increase in any single year.

The Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) will be updated on 1 October 2020 to bring CAAS charging in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in line with England by introducing a location assessment based on access to local services. This step has been included in policy for England since 2016 and means that all Service Family Accommodation (SFA) in the UK will be charged using the same measure. This will deliver a fairer application of the UK Location Factor to all SFA across the UK. For more information please visit the Combined Accommodation Assessment System: the new accommodation charging system explained page.

Update on the installation of Electric Vehicle Charge Points (EVCP) in SFA

Following the pilot in the Southeast region, the EVCP installation scheme is now being rolled out nationwide.

Families whose home has off-road parking or a dedicated garage within its immediate vicinity will be eligible to have an individual EVCP installed. This applies to all SFA including PFI properties as long as the SFA meets the criteria

Where funding allows, DIO will consider estate wide delivery of EVCP. DIO will write to families where this is planned to give full details prior to any works commencing.

If you have, or are in the process of purchasing, an electric vehicle and have not yet requested a charging point please contact the National Service Centre,, to register your interest. There are no costs to families for an EVCP installation, and grant funding cannot be claimed.

Please note, if you install an EVCP without requesting approval, you may incur charges when moving out.

Further detailed guidance on EVCP installations: Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charge Point (EVCP) Installation at Service Family Accommodation (ODT, 9.64 KB)

Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 1617 March 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added the latest issue of the Families First newsletter.

  2. Removed outdated information from 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  3. Added an update under 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  4. Added an update under 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  5. Added an update under 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  6. Updated information on the installation of Electric Vehicle Charge Points (EVCP) in SFA.

  7. Added an update under 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  8. Removed outdated update under 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  9. Added an update for 12 January under 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  10. Updated Overview section.

  11. 'Latest news for SFA residents' updated with information about compensation for loss of heating.

  12. Added an update for 16 December on heating failures.

  13. Added latest news update: Support with emergency and urgent issues regarding your home over the festive period.

  14. Added under 'Latest news': Update for families on Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts performance.

  15. Updated information under 'Assistance for families living in Service family homes with the extra costs of oil-fired heating systems' heading.

  16. Added 3 November updates under 'Latest news for SFA residents' heading.

  17. Updated information under 'SFA on a civilian fuel supply' and 'SFA on the Fuel Subsidy Scheme' headings.

  18. Updated 'Latest news for SFA residents'.

  19. Updated ‘Latest news for SFA residents’ section with pre-move-out appointments and ‘Moving out’ section with pre-move-out appointments. Also updated ‘Latest news for SFA residents’ with gas and electrical statutory and mandatory inspections.

  20. Removed updates from 'Latest news for SFA residents' section that are no longer relevant.

  21. Added update 15 September 2022 - Bank holiday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and arrangements for Service Family Accommodation appointments.

  22. Added updates for 18 August 2022 under 'Latest news for SFA residents' section.

  23. Added updates for 12 August 2022 under 'Latest news for SFA residents' section.

  24. August update added.

  25. Added update latest news section.

  26. Updated content under Latest news for SFA residents.

  27. Addition of council tax rebate FAQ information.

  28. Added new section on 'Missed appointments in South East and South West'.

  29. 'Compensation' section updated.

  30. Updated page content and added SFA Customer Charter.

  31. Page updated with information about forthcoming changes as a result of the new Future Defence Infrastructure Accommodation contracts.

  32. Updated information under 'Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS)' heading.

  33. Updated content under heading: Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS).

  34. Updated: Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation.

  35. Addition of section 'Investment and Action Plan to tackle damp and mould in Service Family Accommodation'.

  36. 'Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS)' updated and FDIS Accommodation Guidance Note updated.

  37. 'SFA costs and charges' section updated with a link to the Defence intranet.

  38. Addition of information on the installation of Electric Vehicle Charge Points (EVCP) in SFA.

  39. 'COVID-19 guidance for Service Family Accommodation' and 'COVID-19 Guidance for Substitute Service Family Accommodation' updated. 'A message for SFA Occupants from Air Commodore James Savage' updated.

  40. Updated: complaints section.

  41. Added new content to heading: Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) and Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation attachment.

  42. Added content under new heading: New accommodation contacts - Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS).

  43. Added content under new heading: Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS).

  44. Edited the section 'Additional needs and disabled requirements for SFA' and added a link to JSP 464.

  45. Updated the 'Entitlement for SFA and SSFA' section with the latest information.

  46. Added COVID-19 Guidance for the MOD Housing Community January 2021.

  47. Updated the COVID-19 guidance as at 7 January 2021.

  48. Added the Substitute Accommodation update, as of October 2020.

  49. Added Project Speed: Additional Government Funding to Improve Service Families Accommodation information.

  50. Added a new update under the 'Coronavirus latest news' heading.

  51. Updated the 'Substitute accommodation' section.

  52. Updated information regarding the reopening of play-parks added.

  53. Added a new notice about the changes to the Combined Accommodation Assessment System.

  54. Added new content under the 'Coronavirus latest news' and 'Statutory and Mandatory Safety Checks and Service Family Accommodation' headings.

  55. Added a Coronavirus update as of 8 June 2020 and new FAQs about the Housing Recovery Plan.

  56. Added a section on the Regeneration of assignments during the COVID-19 crisis.

  57. Added a new attachment entitled FAQs for service personnel in substitute accommodation.

  58. Updated the Frequently asked questions regarding Coronavirus for the MOD housing community.

  59. Added an update on works on the SFA estate during the COVID-19 lock down, as of 22 April 2020.

  60. Updated the frequently asked questions regarding Coronavirus for the MOD housing community.

  61. Added Frequently Asked Questions regarding Coronavirus for the MOD housing community.

  62. Updated the Service Family Accommodation Coronavirus with new section named 'Works on the SFA estate during the Coronavirus crisis'.

  63. Added additional information to the Coronavirus update.

  64. Added an additional Coronavirus update message.

  65. Added a Coronavirus update from the Head of Accommodation DIO.

  66. Added new information and phone number for the SFA survey.

  67. Updated page content.

  68. Updated content under heading 'Charges for damage and deficiencies for SFA and Substitute SFA recovery from pay'.

  69. Updated the UK SFA customer survey telephone number.

  70. Updated information under 'Private Finance Initiative housing' heading.

  71. Sections update on contact emails in 'Loss of entitlement' and 'Complaints'.

  72. Added a sentence under the entitlement of SFA.

  73. Updated the SSFA repairs section contact email address.

  74. Updated web links

  75. Updated website link to CAAS intranet page

  76. Updated the link to the e-1132 form.

  77. Updated the web text to reflect name change from Carillon Amey to Amey.

  78. Updated the CarillionAmey Occupancy Services team contact email address.

  79. Amended the body text to reflect the fact that Charges for service family accommodation are now available.

  80. Updated text about MOD Form 1132 and updated contact email addresses.

  81. Updated the information to reflect the revisions made to the Service family accommodation (SFA) complaints process on Tuesday 1 May 2018.

  82. Small text changes and replacement of PDF to reflect that as from 1 April 2018 – DIO Service Delivery Accommodation becomes DIO Accommodation.

  83. Updated PFI housing contacts list.

  84. Updated details of company who conducts the monthly telephone survey to Opinion Research Service (ORS)

  85. Updated information about Additional needs and disabled requirements for service family accommodation

  86. Updated links to new website

  87. Added SFA compensation scheme.

  88. Updated Stage 2 complaints information.

  89. Updated 'Making a complaint/customer services' section.

  90. Added new paragraph regarding CAAS challenges.

  91. Updated the 'SFA costs' section to include a section on charges, pay queries and CAAS challenges and include a link to the current SFA accommodation charges.

  92. Updated information about substitute accommodation.

  93. Updated contact details for SSFA repairs.

  94. Updated section on CAAS Charge Band letters.

  95. Updated Introduction of combined accommodation assessment system section

  96. Corrected broken links to CarillionAmey website.

  97. Updated Making a complaint/customer services section.

  98. Added new paragraph at end of the CAAS section.

  99. Added new paragraph on Introduction of Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) for service homes

  100. Changed opening times for CarillionAmey Occupancy Services team. Added Leeming Bar (North Yorks) contact details to Maintenance and repairs of SFA and SSFA table.

  101. Amended CarillionAmey Occupancy Services email address.

  102. Changes throughout content.

  103. Updated the Move in and move out sections for the next phase of the National Housing Prime contract on Monday 1 December.

  104. Updated content following new contract with CarillonAmey which came into effect 1 November 2014.

  105. Updated announcement.

  106. Updated information about the 'Pre move-out Advisory Visit'.

  107. Amended DIO Service Family Accommodation satisfaction survey text and included link to survey.

  108. Added an announcement about the 'National Housing Prime Contract: contract award'

  109. Added links to Service family accommodation maintenance guide, customer guides and Service family accommodation factsheets.

  110. Updated the telephone numbers for Lossiemouth PFI and Central Scotland PFI under the Private Finance Initiative housing section.

  111. Updated information about the Pre-payment cleaning scheme (England and Wales).

  112. Information within the Housing Allocations Service Centre (HASC) section has been updated as teams have been reduced from 8 to 7.

  113. Added revised customer guides as team has changed from DIO Operations Accommodation to DIO Service Delivery (SD) Accommodation.

  114. Added information about the process and how to dispute a charge to damaged service family accomodation once a service family has moved out.

  115. Updated details in the 'What if I don’t wish to accept the offer?' section

  116. Added paragraph DIOI/SFA customer charter paragraph.

  117. Added new paragraph "How much does SFA cost?"

  118. Added information about the 'move in' welcome pack and updated the Customer Assistance Point (CAP) factsheet

  119. Updated to include information about SFA Customer Assistance Points (CAPs)

  120. Updated information about the UK SFA Customer Survey

  121. Added UK SFA Customer Survey content

  122. Updated information

  123. Updated the 'How do I apply for SFA?' section

  124. First published.