24 | Federation

Accommodation MATTERS

by Stan Brathwaite, RAF FF Housing Specialist

There is acontinued improvement in the customer satisfaction statistics for CarillionAmey,which is also reflected in the reduced number of accommodation issues we are receiving. It seems that Response Maintenance is delivering amore consistent service and the usual flurry of winter problems were mercifully few,although some of them proved to be extremely serious. At the time of writing, the collapse of Carillion does not seem to have had an adverse impact on service delivery.The Amey half of the business has assumed overall control of the contract and we are being kept informed of developments as they occur.Keep an eye on our website for the latest information but there’s not alot to report at the moment. Right now,weare hearing mostly about issues with CAASbanding and the complaints and appeals processes that apply within it. There is aCAASWorking Group looking at simplifying and clarifying the whole thing and we’ll let you know the outcomes of that when its work is finalised.

Sub-letting –(The Private Rental Scheme) – The MOD has an oversupply of housing across its UK estates, beyond that needed to enable regular Service personnel moves and it has been decided that one way to achieve best value for defence, while still retaining flexibility for operational purposes, is to lease some void stock to the general public on ashort-term basis. This is not anovel idea nor is it the first time the MOD has rented its vacant houses to the general public.

The scheme is in its infancy and, if you are on one of the handful of stations involved, you will receive aletter explaining which properties (or streets) have been identified as suitable for sub-letting and what options you have. In identifying the properties, there will have been alengthy consultation with

the unit accommodation and welfare teams. Crucially,there will be no requirement for anyone to move house and the plan is to integrate these private lettings into the estate to create asingle community.

There may be aperception that the ‘best’ properties have been selected for this initiative, to the detriment of Service personnel. We have been assured that this is categorically not the case, and all stock leased to the general public remains available for future use by Service personnel.

The letting agents, Orchard and Shipman, will undertake a comprehensive vetting process of each prospective tenant, involving previous landlord references and credit checks. Orchard and Shipman have aUK-wide presence, awealth of letting experience and alarge portfolio of private rented property including anumber of ‘company’lets. Furthermore, as CarillionAmey have the continuing responsibility for managing these houses, they have avested interest in making sure that any lets do not cause any issues.

If you are interested in the national rental market stats go to: data/file/667109/PRMS_Statistical_Release_171214_.pdf

ENVOY | Spring 2018 | www.raf-ff

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