The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is the estate expert for defence, supporting the armed forces to enable military capability by planning, building, maintaining, and servicing infrastructure.
DIO is the provider of maintenance and repairs for SFA and military buildings. The following is a guide that can be useful to know during your assignment.
Our focus will remain on providing the full range of accommodation services. However, given that the new Covid-19 variant is rapidly pushing up infection rates, it is possible that, over time, our ability to deliver those services may be affected; and in all cases we will need to follow the legal requirements and devolved administrations as appropriate to your location.
When you accept an offer of an SFA property you should arrange a ‘move in’ appointment using the e-1132 system. At the agreed date and time, DIO Estate Manager will meet you at the property and show you around. They will give you the opportunity to:
- Familiarise yourself with your new home, its fixtures, fittings and appliances
- Read electricity/gas meters and measure levels in oil tanks
- Take possession of the keys
- Identify who is responsible for any repair or maintenance queries
- Confirm that there is a valid Gas Safety Certificate in the SFA
- Complete and sign the move in documentation
You are required to inspect the property to ensure it meets the Move In standard, signing to agree or otherwise that this standard has been met. You can give your spouse/civil partner, or a service colleague written authority (known as a ‘Proxy certificate’) to sign the inventory on your behalf if you are unable to attend the ‘move in’ appointment. Please note that the ‘move in’ can only take place during normal working hours. If you are moving from one SFA (not substitute SFA) to another, you have 2 weeks to hand it back, provided you do so within this time you will only be charged for one property. If you exceed this period, you may be charged for both properties.
You will also be provided with a copy of the SFA 14-day observation form at your Move In. This is to be sent to the housing office:
The SHAPE Housing office is in Building 306:
Civ: 0032 (0) 65444026 (Not manned due to Covid-19 and working from home restrictions)
Licence to occupy insurance
When you live in SFA you should ensure that you have adequate insurance. In addition to arranging contents insurance to protect your personal possessions, the MOD strongly recommends (in accordance with JSP 464) to take out ‘Licence to occupy’ insurance. This specialist insurance covers your potential liability incurred as a result of damage to your SFA caused by you or your family and would provide you with cover up to the required £20,000.
The Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP) website provides details of insurers who can supply this insurance and includes websites and telephone numbers for a range of relevant insurance companies. If you are unable to find relevant information on the websites available, we suggest that you call the insurer using the telephone numbers which are also provided. If you already have Kit insurance with one of these specialist insurers, it may be worth checking if you are already covered, as some insurance policies include License to Occupy insurance.
Maintenance and repairs of SFA and SSFA
DIO is responsible for the maintenance of SFA overseas. This comprehensive service is free to occupants, who generally have little responsibility for the maintenance of their SFA – some examples of your responsibilities are listed below, see looking after your SFA. However, customers are responsible for looking after their property and protecting it from damage, and damage caused may be subject to charges.
You are required to report any defects to your SFA to the DIO Helpdesk. Faults can be reported:
Monday – Thursday 0830 – 1700
Friday – 0830 – 1500
Civ: 0032 (0) 65444620 (Not manned due to Covid-19 and working from home restrictions)
E-mail – DIOSDOS-ESG-HELPDESK@mod.gov.uk
Emergency out of hours:
DIO Duty Officer: +32 (0) 475 753 850
EJSU: +32 (0) 41135438
SHAPE: +32 (0) 476036473 or +32 (0) 80015409
Brussels: +32 (0) 32474422340
Lille: +33 (0) 771800890
Looking after your SFA
You are responsible for keeping your home in a reasonable condition during the time you occupy SFA and protecting it from damage. In addition, you need to take care of:
- Changing domestic fuses and light bulbs
- Taking precautions to prevent damage to the SFA by fire, frost, the bursting of water pipes and the blocking of drains
- Clearing any sink or bath blockages
- Routine testing and cleaning of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms
- Resetting of electrical trip switches due to faulty bulbs
- Ensuring that all repairs are reported to the relevant maintenance helpdesk as they occur
If you wish to challenge or appeal against your charge as a result of the Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) then the correct procedure is set out on the CAAS challenges page on the Defence Intranet. To access the dedicated CAAS Intranet page, copy and paste the following URL into your browser address bar when logged on to the Defence Intranet:
Additional needs and disabled requirements for SFA
If you require adaptions to your current SFA property, or your medical requirements have changed and you need some further adaptions to your existing SFA, you will need to contact the Helpdesk who will record your request and ask you to provide a Medical Report and/or Occupational Therapist’s report in order to progress your request.
Please read our Additional needs and disabled requirements guides.
Telephone Connections/Disconnections & Mobile Phones
The country code for SHAPE is +32. e.g.: 0032 65447075
When dialling the UK from Belgium dial: 0044 then drop the first zero from your number e.g.: 0044 (0) 208 111 2222
It is important to be aware of the terms and conditions of your service agreement. If you sign for a contract without fully understanding it, you are liable to pay for what you have signed for.
For internet and telephone connections visit the Proximus or Voo office located in the Grand Pres Shopping Centre, 7000 Mons. Top-up cards for mobile phones can be purchased from the RIS and the Carrefour store on camp.
Moving home can be a very busy and stressful time, so we want to make your move as easy and stress free for you and your family as possible. Please contact DIO housing to arranging a pre move out and move out appointments.
Your move out will be attended by a DIO Estate Manager who will inspect your SFA to determine if it meets the agreed move out standard. If the standard is not satisfactory and there are deficiencies or damages that are not considered to be fair wear and tear, or you have failed to clean the property properly, a charge will be raised by the Estate Manager and you will be invoiced accordingly.
In this instance an appropriate Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) action will be taken by the DIO Housing team to cease accommodation charges on that property from the date of your move out.
Agility Logistics Limited (Agility) is the MOD approved service provider for removals and is part of the Global Removal Management Services (GRMS).
Charges for damage and deficiencies for SFA and Substitute SFA recovery from pay
When you move out of service family accommodation (SFA) or substitute service family accommodation (SSFA), you may be liable for charges for damages or deficiencies that are not classed as fair wear and tear or because you have failed to prepare the property to the correct standard, for example cleanliness.
DIO can take these directly from the pay of serving personnel. Any payments taken depend on the size of the charge and individual monthly income (using MOD guidelines to ensure that deductions do not exceed a set limit of pay).
If you consider that you are not responsible for the charges, or part of them, for example that the damage is the result of fair wear and tear, you are able to dispute the charge raised using the stage 1 disputed charges form’.
Once the stage 1 dispute has been completed and formally closed, should you disagree with the charges raised and stage 1 decision, you may submit a stage 2 dispute to the appropriate DIO Accommodation Manager responsible for the property using the stage 2 disputed charges form.
Full details on moving out of your SFA and recoveries from pay are available in:
- JSP 464: Tri-Service accommodation regulations (TSARs) Part 1
- JSP 754: Recoveries from pay (available on the Defence Intranet only)
The Store Shop (Building 202) is open:
- Monday-Friday: 1000 – 1200.
- Monday: 1530-1630
Telephone: 0032 (0)6544 5443.
Email: Eddy.Caty100@mod.gov.uk – Store Supervisor.
The DAS store provides Water Softener salt and Bin bags. They also have a pressure washer and carpet cleaner that can be borrowed; these can be booked either in person at the store, of by contacting the store via phone or email. We cannot guarantee that the desired date can be facilitated as they are often booked well in advance. Moreover, if the store is forced to close at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances, some bookings may be unable to be honoured.
Whilst every endeavour is made to ensure the store counter is open daily, during the above hours, sometimes due to staff shortages or Covid-related restrictions, they shop may have to closed at short notice.
Finally, entry is restricted to one person at a time and masks and using the provided hand sanitation pump is mandatory. Failure to adhere to social distancing and/or safety measures will result in refusal of admittance.
Also, after every customer visit, the counter, pen and all areas of contact are disinfected.
Household waste must be placed in approved bags that are available from DIO stores. These are collected weekly; you will have been given details of collection dates on your march in. To check your collection date please visit https://www.hygea.be/profils/citoyen/votre-calendrier-de-collecte.html
Domestic recycling is collected every second week and official recycling bags must be used. These are available from DIO stories. In addition, there are strict limits to what can be recycled from your home and you will be given the latest list on handover. Paper and cardboard must be kept separate from other recycling. For a full guide on sorting your waste please visit https://www.hygea.be/profils/citoyen/bien-trier-ses-dechets.html
Most Supermarkets will have a return facility for beer bottles. Please check which bottles your supermarket takes. Glass waste can be disposed of at a local ‘Glass bubble’ to find your nearest one, please visit https://www.hygea.be/profils/citoyen/les-bulles-a-verre-proches-de-chez-vous.html
There is a recycling centre located on SHAPE in the 500-area next to Carrefour. For Full details on the SHAPE recycling centre please visit https://www.shape2day.com/community/recycling-centre/recycling-center
Hygea operate local household recycling centers, you will have been given a card at you march in. You will need this to use the center. To find your local center or to check what items you can dispose of, please visit https://www.hygea.be/profils/citoyen/les-ecoparcs/ecoparcs-pres-de-chez-moi.html
Emergencies at home
Emergencies at home
Make sure you and your family are safe in an emergency.
If there is a fire in your home:
- Make sure everyone leaves the property straight away and gathers a safe distance from the building
- If it’s safe to do so, close internal doors on your way out. This will help slow the progress of fire and spread of smoke
- Don’t attempt to put out the fire yourself, unless you can do so quickly and safely
- Call for the local emergency services. (112) and the Joint Police Desk 065/44 3333
Once the emergency services have been informed, and you and your family are safe, contact our DIO Duty Officer or Help desk. The team will provide you and your family with advice and support and, if necessary, find you alternative accommodation.
If there is a major water leak in your home:
- Turn off the water supply at the main stopcock (this may be located under the sink in the kitchen, in the bathroom, hall or under the stairs)
- Once the main water supply has been switched off, drain the system by turning on all the taps
- If the leak is affecting the electrical system, turn off the electricity supply at the main fuse box
- Contact DIO Duty Officer or the Help Desk to report the leak and get further information about what to do next.
If you smell gas inside or outside your home, if you suspect you have a gas leak or you think carbon monoxide may be coming from a gas appliance in your home, please call the DIO Duty Officer or Help Desk.
Take the following steps immediately:
- Put out any naked flames Open all doors and windows to let air into your home
- Do not switch any electrical items on or off – leave all switches in your house alone
- Do not light a match, use a lighter, smoke, or do anything that may cause a flame to ignite
- Evacuate your home.
Once you have done all of the above, please let us know what has happened by contacting our DIO Duty Officer or Help Desk. The team will provide you with advice and support and, if necessary, find you alternative accommodation.