Move-in standards

Our move-in standards are a set of criteria we use to make sure your house is habitable. When you attend your move-in appointment, your new home should be at move-in standard.

Does your property meet move-in standards?

At your move-in appointment, you will be given a full tour of your new home. You’ll then be asked to sign an Occupancy Form to say you are happy that your property meets move-in standards.

To help you keep track of what our move-in standards are, we recommend that you print off our Move-In Standard Tick Sheet before your appointment, and use it to check you are satisfied that all move-in standards have been met as you walk around the property.

Please let your Accommodation Officer know immediately if you notice any faults with your home at move-in or if you are unsatisfied with the move-in standard of your home.

14-Day Observation Form

If, within the first 14 days in your new home, you notice any damage done by previous occupants that was not picked up at your move-in appointment, for example: stains on carpets, chips in skirting boards, damage to kitchen units, etc, please record it using our 14-Day Observation Form.

This simple form will help you avoid being faced with move-out charges for damages done by previous occupants in the property.

Please note: the 14-Day Observation Form is not for reporting things that need to be fixed – so please do not log anything that can be repaired, such as a dripping tap.

Please report repairs and maintenance jobs to our Customer Service Centre. One of our friendly team will be happy to help get the problem resolved for you as quickly as possible.

Your Accommodation Officer will advise you where your 14-Day Observation Form needs to be sent.

Resolving faults found at your move-in appointment

At the time of your move-in appointment, your new Service Family Accommodation (SFA) should have been prepared to the agreed move-in standard. For detailed move-in standards that you can use to check things off as you walk around your home, download our handy Move-In Standard Checksheet.

What happens if a fault is found with your new home?

If you notice anything during your look around the property that you feel does not meet move-in standards, please let your Accommodation Officer know right away. We will then begin a course of action to get this fault sorted out as soon as possible.

Habitable faults

If a fault is found during your walk around the property, but it is not a fault that prevents you from moving in, your Accommodation Officer will record it on your Occupancy Form as a ‘habitable fault’. We will arrange for this fault to be rectified within the next 24 hours.

Uninhabitable properties

A property is classed as unsuitable for a family to live in (uninhabitable) if any one or more of the following faults are found:

a) glass in doors, screens, windows, etc., is not toughened or laminated in accordance with current health and safety requirements (Building Regulations)

b) flats are lacking ‘½ hour fire check’ rated doors, where required by Building Regulations

c) all or any staircases not possessing appropriate balustrades or handrails that comply with the Building Regulations and/or are in an unsafe condition

d) These specific faults within the kitchen:

  • a kitchen without a minimum of one worktop length of 900mm or a minimum of 300mm of tiling above work surfaces and above the cooker (or suitable alternative)
  • a cooker space sited behind a door so as to become a Health and Safety issue
  • a minimum appliance space for a washing machine and refrigerator, with appropriate plumbing and electrics
  • a refrigerator space sited next to a cooker

g) a Service family home without a fully working heating system (between September and April) or year-round when a vulnerable person is present. Vulnerable persons are defined as those who are entitled to be living in the property (not just visitors) who have a medical condition (or other mitigating circumstance) that requires continuous heating, for example, someone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or children under two years of age

h) a Service family home without any means to heat water (hot water system)

i) a Service family home that cannot be made secure. This applies to any external door (including any patio or French doors) and any ground floor window

j) major internal disruption, such as a collapsed ceiling as a result of internal flooding

k) lack of one or more utilities at move-in: water, gas (including LPG) or electricity

l) failure within the SFA during occupancy causing a lack of one or more of the utilities (water, gas or electricity) lasting for more than 24 hours (except for heating systems – see item g)

m) major health and safety issue(s) or environmental factor(s) that would cause a direct and immediate risk to the occupants

n) the presence of a significant damp or mould problem likely to cause an immediate health risk to the occupants

o) A significant hygiene problem with the property that poses a health and safety issue

p) the presence of a significant roof leak causing water to penetrate into the property

q) The electrical system is in an unsafe condition

r) If a property which has a coin/token operated gas or electric meter at move-in

s) If requested and approved furniture is not provided at move-in, specifically, if bed(s) (or suitable temporary replacements, e.g. provision of two single beds to make a double) is absent

At your move-in appointment, your Accommodation Officer will perform a number of secondary checks to demonstrate that things are safe and operational within your new home.

In the unlikely event that any of these faults are found, you will not be able to move into your property, until the fault is resolved.

In this case, you will be provided with alternative accommodation.

Alternative accommodation

In the unlikely event that a fault that we cannot fix occurs in your new home, just before or at your move-in appointment, your Accommodation Officer will arrange alternative accommodation for you.

The alternative accommodation is either:

  • temporary, fully-furnished SFA; or, if available in the same area
  • an alternative, permanent Service family home

If you have to move into alternative accommodation, our Occupancy Services Team will, if necessary, arrange for your removals company to store your removal items and for them to be re-delivered when your permanent SFA is ready.

Hotel stays

In the absence of temporary SFA, we may pay for you to stay at a nearby hotel. If you are asked to stay at a hotel, your Accommodation Officer will arrange with the Customer Service Centre for appropriate accommodation. Your Accommodation Officer will arrange to contact you on a regular basis until your permanent accommodation is ready for you to move into.

If necessary, our Occupancy Services team will arrange for any pets to be accommodated, should your allocated hotel not allow pets to stay.