The first stage of planning is to get information about where you are going. Talk to your Unit Admin and look it up on the internet.
Talk to your partner
If you are married or live with your partner you need to discuss the situation with them. If they are working, will they be able to find a job in your new destination? Would it be better for them to come with you or stay in your current home? Sometimes you may be able to keep your Service Family Accommodation (SFA) on your old base – it depends on local demand.
Check out the following websites for job opportunities and ideas for working from home for them:
Think about your children’s schooling. The earlier you do this, the better chance you have of finding a suitable school.
Do you have a child with special educational needs? Talk to CEAS (Children’s Education Advisory Service) about what help is available. They can also help with any aspect of your child's schooling, including advising you on whether you may be eligible for a Continuity Education Allowance (CEA).
You should also contact the HIVE for your Service for information on schools in the area you are moving to and check out the Find a school section on the Gov.uk website.
Don't forget to tell your chosen school that you are in the Armed Forces. State schools in England can access the Service Pupil Premium. It enables schools to provide extra, mainly pastoral, support for children with parents in the Armed Forces. It doesn't mean that your child is underachieving but it is provided in recognition of the additional support schools often need to provide for your children.
Look at Expenses and Allowances
and check with your unit HR to see if you are entitled to help with the cost of moving .
Money fitness tip
Get your finances in order with our checklists. It's the only way to stay Moneyfit wherever you go.
Make a budget
Once you have got all the information together it’s time to make a budget.
- Sit down with your partner and work out a budget taking into account all the information you have gathered - use our Budget planner
- Work out a repayment plan for any debts – look at our Credit card calculator
- Plan what you would like to save for and work out how you can do it
Leaving your current accommodation
Whether you live in Service accommodation, rent privately or own your own property, there are many things to consider when you are moving. Remember to give your new address details to your bank, building society, insurance providers, DVLA and any other financial organisations. You can get your post redirected for a short time, but there is a charge - see the Royal Mail's website.
You may be able to take advantage of the temporary housing at the Services Cotswold Centre if you're in transit between postings.
Money fitness tip
Remember to change your address on your driving licence - there's no charge, see Gov.uk
If you are in Single Living Accommodation (SLA), speak to your Unit Admin office when you get notification of your posting. If you are in Service Family Accommodation (SFA), you should speak to the provider within 14 days of receiving notification of your posting.
An inventory check will be taken and if you are considered responsible for damage to the property or furnishings in the property, you will be asked to pay for those damages.
If your family are not going with you to your posting, they may be able to stay in your SFA - for further information see JSP 464.
If you are currently renting you will need to give notice to your landlord as soon as possible.
You must also contact the following:
- Your utility providers – gas, electricity and water. Read the meters on your last day in the property. Email or phone through the readings to your supplier. You will need to give them a forwarding address for the bill and ensure arrangements are in place to pay the final bills.
- Your local council – inform the Council Tax office of your date of moving and your forwarding address
If you own your own home or are buying it you need to think about what will happen to your home while you are away.
Letting your property
- If you decide to let your property you should consider using a letting agent. This will reduce the amount you receive each month, but will also reduce your stress and ensure that your property is properly managed. Give yourself time to shop around and find out the going rate for rent for similar properties in your area. Different agents charge different rates for managing properties. Check what is included for their fee. Do they charge VAT on top?
- If you have a Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP) outstanding, check the rules on letting the property - see LSAP - help with buying a home.
- Check with your mortgage company about letting out the property – are you allowed to under your current mortgage deal? See Buy to let for more information.
- Check that your insurance – buildings and contents - will cover you if you let out your property
- If you are leaving your property furnished, make sure you have a complete list (inventory) of everything you are leaving in it
- Think about what you will do with the items you don’t want to leave in the house – will you have to pay for storage or can a friend or family member look after them?
- What will happen if you can’t let out your property? Will you still be able to keep up the mortgage repayments?
Leaving your property empty
If your posting is only for a short period of time you might want to leave your property empty. If you do this, there are still a few things you need to think about:
- Can you afford to pay the mortgage if you do not let the property?
- Make sure you turn the water and gas off at the mains so there are no nasty surprises when you get back
- Ensure someone has the keys to your property and goes in regularly to check everything is OK
- If you have an alarm, you should inform your neighbours and your alarm company of the name and contact details of your key holder
- Inform your mortgage company and insurance (buildings and contents) company that the property will be empty
- Consider whether you should cancel or reduce any TV or telephone package that you subscribe to
- Check with your local council to see whether you will be liable for Council Tax while you are away
Finding somewhere to live
If you plan to live in Service accommodation in your new posting, make sure you put in an application as soon as possible.
If you plan to rent or buy, give yourself plenty of time to find the right property. Find out about the area so you know the going rate.
Check you can afford to pay the rent or mortgage – go to our Budget planner to work out your own personal budget
Check out the pages on the rest of this site on Buying a property or Renting a property.