Housing: Frequently asked questions

See a selection of housing issues and queries that are popular with service users of Veterans' Gateway.


What information is there on Veterans' Gateway about housing?

As well as providing contact details and rights for those in Service Accomodation, Veterans' Gateway guides range from homelessness to buying and renting homes, and more. We cover the whole of the UK


Does Veterans' Gateway list empty properties to rent?

We have just launched the "Finding a Home" service. This lists properties to rent, available via the Cobseo Housing Cluster, and is updated regularly with new properties pan-UK.


I'm still serving but am due to leave, how soon should I start my search?

If you're already planning to leave the Armed Forces contact the MOD's Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) as they can provide information and advice around the different types of civilian accommodation available. Also plan ahead by booking a place on a JSHAO civilian housing briefing (available in the UK and overseas) to find out more about your options.

If you are single get in touch with the Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the Ex Services (SPACES). They will help you to find suitable accommodation, regardless of where you are based in the UK. You can contact SPACES for assistance from up to 12 months prior to discharge.


What other resettlement support am I entitled to as a veteran?

The Career Transition Partnership, aims to help in the resettlement of veterans through housing and employment. If you are an early Service leaver, the Future Horizons Programme may also be able to help. Get in touch on 0121 236 0058 for assistance.


I can't find the Veterans' Housing Advice service?

As a result of The Veterans' Housing Advice service merging into Veterans' Gateway we support veterans in finding, securing or maintaining accommodation by utilising the skills and resources of partners and organisations. The Cobseo Housing cluster is advertising vacant properties to rent on our Finding a Home service. Our contact centre advisors are available 24/7 and there is additional support from a resident housing specialist.

For more information, contact:

Telephone: 0808 802 1212 (Freephone 24/7)
Email: Via contact form
Website: Veterans' Gateway/Self Help. Please select housing to see all options.


Can a private or social landlord increase my rent at the end of a tenancy?

Yes, a private landlord may try to increase the rent. In England it's worth applying for a tribunal to try and challenge this. Shelter provides essential advice on the different types of tenancies available, and the procedures that landlords use: Find out what a Section 13 is, how a Form 4 should be used, and much more.

Renters in council and housing association properties can also challenge increases although these usually happen every April. However, from April 2016, most council and housing association rents will go down by 1% each year until 2020.

Those based in Scotland can also use Shelter to find out about their tenancy rights, while rent assessment committees may be able to help veterans in Northern Ireland and Wales.


I want specific advice on the possession procedure?

For information on the possession procedure, visit the Citizens Advice website


Can a landlord change the locks while you're out?

No, this amounts to an illegal eviction, as does harrassing or threatening you or physically removing you from the property. Although they do not need a legal reason to evict you private landlords must follow a series of procedures to do so. These will depend on the type of tenancy agreement you have. See information about eviction, based on your location.

Are there any tools online that can help me with budgeting?

MoneyForce, a joint initiative between The Royal British Legion, Standard Life Charitable Trust, and the MOD, assists serving and ex-Service personnel and their families and dependants manage money effectively with online help. This includes setting goals and paying off credit cards. Start by taking the MoneyFit Challenge to assess your financial fitness and get a personalised action plan. There's also a budget planner, enabling you to plan ahead.


How can I compare buying and renting costs?

Moneyforce's HomeFinder tool helps you compare the cost of buying and renting, and to see if you may be able to afford a mortgage.

See also our housing campaign articles on:

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