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Friday, 19 February 2021

DIO Message Update - Notices To Vacate Service Families Accommodation (SFA)


Last year, under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the government amended the Tenancy Act 2019 to introduce emergency measures to protect tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic. For Service personnel and their families remaining in SFA following the end of their entitlement, either due to leaving Service or estrangement, DIO followed government advice by pausing Notice to Vacate (NTV) action to regain possession of properties.

Following an amendment to the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, from 29 August 2020, landlords were able to recommence action to provide notice to their tenants. Until March 2021, landlords must provide six months’ notice before they can begin eviction proceedings. In line with this amendment, DIO has now recommenced the issuing of NTVs to Service personnel/families who have lost their entitlement to SFA since March 2020.

The Loss of Entitlement (LOE) team will be progressing all legal work, including court action - which could include seeking an Order for Possession - but will not be proceeding to eviction. This is in line with latest government guidance which is in place until at least 31 March 21. Until then, DIO is still issuing 6-month notices in line with the government guidance, as opposed to the normal 93 days until at least March 2021. This is to allow those Service personnel and families who have lost their entitlement more time to make alternative housing arrangements.

Since action was paused in March 2020, a backlog of cases has built up and DIO plans to spread the issue of NTVs over a 3-4 month period, starting with the oldest cases first. All occupants are aware that they have lost their entitlement to occupy SFA and DIO will continue to provide details of how they can find support and source alternative accommodation.

If affected Service Personnel and/or families have any concerns or enquiries then they should please contact DIO’s Loss of Entitlement Team at DIORDAccn-LOETeam@mod.gov.uk.