When leaving the military one of the most important things to organise is where to live. Whether you have lived in service accommodation and are now looking to rent or buy your own property, or whether you already own your own property, but may be considering relocating to a new area, this guide will provide an overview of useful information, articles and links.
Ex-Service Personnel Housing Information Guide
The CTP hosts a number of housing briefing events at all CTP RRC locations on a regular basis. Additional briefings are also hosted at both Kinloss Barracks & RAF Lossiemouth and a range of venues in Germany. These are run by the Joint Services Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) and will provide advice and guidance for those leaving the military and are currently resident in service accommodation, or seeking to relocate to another area when they leave service. Attendance at these events is treated as duty if you are registered for Resettlement (so Allowances may apply). They are usually held at Regional Resettlement Centres and may be attended at any point in a Service person's career, although priority is given to Service leavers with 9 months or less to discharge. Housing briefings are "All Ranks" and spouses are welcome to attend. In Germany these briefings are held three times a year in various locations - call Herford RRC or your local AEC for dates and venues. These briefings focus on the various accommodation options available post-discharge including the help offered by the Single Persons Accommodation Centre for Ex-Services (SPACES).
Council tax is a system of local taxation collected by local authorities. It replaced the community charge (poll tax) on 1 April 1993. It is a tax on domestic property. Guidelines and formal processes exist providing an explanation on valuation bands, exemptions, discounts and how to pay council tax.
Buying a property
In order to purchase a property, unless you are a cash buyer, you will need to have secured an offer of mortgage and have a deposit available. Mortgages vary in design, format and repayment options and you are advised to seek guidance from an IFA or Mortgage Broker in the first instance. The web is a useful research tool, but you are then advised to speak directly with an IFA for professional, for personal advice to suit your own individual circumstances.
It should be noted that the legal process for buying property in Scotland differs from the rest of the UK, but your own Scottish based Solicitor or Estate Agent will be able to provide accurate advice and guidance as to how to proceed.
Renting a Property
A wide range of options exist via local councils, housing associations and private lettings. You are advised to research the local area fully, and contact local government housing offices and local housing associations in order to ascertain application and assessment processes for registering for accommodation in your chosen area.
Living & working abroad
Many people consider moving abroad to settle when they leave the military. Opportunities vary depending on location selected. Emigration Fairs are held on a regular basis at some CTP locations and there are a number of national exhibitions and information events relating to emigration.
Anyone thinking of relocating out with the UK is recommended to carry out extensive research into the range of employment, housing, education and leisure opportunities available in their preferred location. They are also advised to research options for visas via the relevant country embassy/consulate website and proceed accordingly. A number of relocation agents will provide assistance with the relocation process. See the article, "Moving Abroad, things to consider", for more useful information.