Depending on where you’re posted, you’ll find that service housing overseas isn’t the same as in the UK. Here, we look at a few of the differences…

You don’t pay Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax.

You get an automatic two-band reduction in your CAAS.

If a family member has a medical, additional need and/or disability, which needs to be actively supported, or needs adaptations to Service Family Accommodation (SFA), this may not be provided in certain locations. Your soldier is strongly advised to speak to their unit HR admin before accepting such a post. All family members must be cleared as supportable in the overseas environment.

Those of you in established long-term relationships cannot cohabit in overseas SFA – and eligibility to surplus SFA is not within current policy at any overseas posting. However, in Cyprus it’s possible to apply to have your relationship recognised as ‘common law marriage’. This, with permission to live out by your soldier’s chain of command, will allow you to live in privately rented accommodation at your own cost. The partner will then have Limited Dependant Status.

If your children are over 18 and not in full-time education or training but still living with you and financially dependent on you, there are some locations where you may apply for your adult child, under the age of 24, to be recognised as a Limited Dependant. Whilst this allows them to live with you, it doesn’t increase the family entitlement for housing, so you won’t get any extra bedrooms. It also comes with limitations to allowances, access to healthcare, education and the right to work in the host nation.

As the ability to occupy SFA overseas is closely linked with ‘Dependant Status’, retention of a quarter has become much more challenging since Brexit – only in extraordinary circumstances is an application likely to be approved.

If an overseas posting is on the horizon, make sure you discuss the specific in-country arrangements with your local housing provider via your overseas unit.

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