Where you will live

One of the benefits of joining the Services is that you are entitled to accommodation at, or close by, your duty unit, ie where you do your day to day work and training.

Read on to find out what to expect.

Single Living Accommodation or Service Family Accommodation?

All personnel in initial training, and normally in trade training, stay in Single Living Accommodation (SLA). After basic training, the type of accommodation you are entitled to depends on your marital status, which in the Armed Forces is called your Personal Status Category (PStatCat).

  • PStatCat 1 is given to you if you are legally married or in a civil partnership
  • PStatCat 2 is given to you if you have permanent custody of your children.

If you are in PStatCat 1 or PStatCat 2, are over 18, have finished your initial training and have at least six months left to serve, you can apply for Service Family Accommodation (SFA), otherwise you will allocated to SLA.

Money fitness tip

Make the most of your time in Service accommodation by saving for your future. It's never too early. Megan managed it - watch her video to find out more.

Where the accommodation is and what it is like

Whenever possible, SLA is at your duty station, either within the wire or within a short commute. The type of accommodation you are entitled to depends on your rank.

If you join as an officer cadet you will have a bedroom with a shower and toilet en suite. All other trainees share bedrooms and bathrooms.

After phase 2 training is finished you will normally be allocated your own room with shower, basin and toilet en suite, although on some units this is not immediately possible.

SFA is allocated according to family size and rank. It will be as close as possible to your duty station, usually within a 10 mile radius.

Moving in and moving out

You are responsible for any damage to your accommodation, so it is important that you check the condition of the property and furniture and fittings when you move in and out.

Single Living Accommodation (SLA)

When you move into or out of SLA you will be asked to sign a Certificate of Occupation. This will include a full list (called an inventory) of the items of furniture, fixtures and fittings in your accommodation and details of any damage.

You should check the inventory carefully as you may be charged for any damages when you leave.

If you are planning to buy expensive AV or computer equipment, you should consider getting contents insurance. The Services Insurance & Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP) can provide you with details of insurers who provide policies designed for Service personnel.

Service Family Accommodation (SFA)

When you move into or out of SFA you will be required to sign an inventory which lists the items of furniture, fixtures and fittings and details of any damage. You can choose to buy your own furniture or pay an additional amount for use of MOD items.

Think carefully before you buy expensive furniture. If you move regularly, the cost of wear and tear and the chances of damage are much higher.

Money fitness tip

You are liable for the first £20,000 of damage to your SFA. Make sure you get insurance to cover this liability.

You will also be asked to sign a Service Licence to Occupy agreement, known as a Licence to Occupy. This is instead of a tenancy agreement and means that standard home contents insurance policies do not cover you for damage to the property. You are liable for damage up to £20,000 and you are strongly advised to get insurance to cover this liability. The Services Insurance & Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP) can provide you with details of insurers who will provide policies designed for personnel living in SFA.

SLA - HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

A typical charge for SLA for other ranks ranges from £22 to £76 a month (Grade 4 to Grade 1).

What you have to pay for

You will be charged for your accommodation according to type. SLA and SFA charges are deducted from your monthly salary.

The SLA charge includes:

  • Rental amount including furniture
  • Gas, electricity, heating oil, other fuel
  • Water and sewerage

The SFA charge includes:

SFA - HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

A typical SFA charge for other ranks ranges from £51 a month for an unfurnished, two-bedroomed property in the lowest band (UK) to £352 a month for an unfurnished, four-bedroomed band A property.

  • Rental amount
  • Furniture hire - if appropriate
  • Water and sewerage
  • Garage or carport - if appropriate

Additional costs:

  • Council Tax - a Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax (CILOCT) will be deducted from your monthly salary (unless overseas) for SFA and SLA
  • Gas, electricity, heating oil - if you are in SFA you are responsible for paying for your own utilities
  • TV licence, telephone, satellite and internet - you are responsible for paying for your own television and communication charges

You can find out more information from JSP 464. 

Last reviewed: 19/09/2017