Accommodation in the USA

All your housing and furniture support will be provided by the British Embassy Estates Team (BEET). The BEET are committed to providing high quality accommodation, in safe and appropriate locations, that meets family and educational needs while providing value for money. You can contact the team using the buttons at the bottom of this page, select the correct team based on your posting location. 

Please read the BDSUS Accommodation Policy for full details of what to expect. 

Instructions for Overseeing Furniture Deliveries during Coronavirus Pandemic.

1. Inform BEET via email the day before a furniture delivery/collection if anyone at the property is exhibiting COVID 19 symptoms.

2. Open all relevant internal doors in the house in advance of the contractor arriving.

3. For deliveries/collections of complete furniture packs it is recommended that you allocate one bathroom for use by the contractor and inform them of its location on arrival.

4. Limit the number of people in the house during a delivery/collection – where possible the principle visa holder or one adult should be the only person from your family present.

5. Wear masks and gloves while contractors are present in the property.

6. On arrival check to make sure that the contractors are wearing gloves and masks, if not request that they do so.

7. Inform the contractor that no one in the house is exhibiting COVID19 symptoms and ask them to confirm that that is the case for all the contractor’s employees present.

8. During the installation or collection of furniture stay at least 6 feet away from the contractors or in a separate room if this is possible.

9. When the contractor leaves wipe down all surfaces as required.

10. For furniture deliveries after the contractor has left disinfect all wooden furniture items by wiping down each piece of furniture.

Instructions for Property Viewings on Arrival during Coronavirus Pandemic

1. Consider carrying out property viewings via video link such as Facetime or WhatsApp.

2. If you are conducting an in person viewing restrict the number of people viewing the property with you to one other adult.

3. Wear a mask whilst inside the property.

4. Agree in advance that the realtor showing you the property will be wearing a mask.

5. Inform the realtor on arrival that you are not exhibiting any COVID 19 symptoms and ask them to do the same.

6. During the visit stay at least 6 feet away from the realtor.

7. Use hand sanitiser on departure from the property.

UKBC entitlements are based on family size under the One HMG policy, not on military rank. We do not mandate a maximum size of property (sq ft) but expect properties to be a reasonable size and if they are considered excessive they may not be authorised. You can source a property up to one bedroom above entitlement, but we do not provide any additional furniture for larger properties or additional rooms above entitlement. Rent ceilings are based on property sizes with regards to the number of bedrooms. 

Please refer to Sections 4 – 8 of the Accommodation Policy for details on housing entitlement and the separate Rental Ceilings document for the latest rental ceiling for your location. 

Leases can only be signed in the name of MOD in the DC and Virginia Beach/Norfolk areas. Please refer to Section 9a and 17 of the Accommodation Policy.

Personnel posted to these locations will work with a Desk Officer who will select and view 3 – 5 properties based on the information provided in the Initial Housing Proforma. After each viewing you will be provided with an honest assessment of the house and additional photographs, if you are available at the time of the viewing it may also be possible to conduct a video tour of the property via WhatsApp. You may be required to make a decision to proceed with an application very quickly depending on the time of year and the prevailing market.

Regretfully it is not possible to look at more than 5 properties.

Once a property has been agreed upon and a lease signed the property will be furnished and made ready for your arrival. You can expect to move in on the day after your arrival in country.

The rent will be paid directly to the landlord and the utilities will be set up in the name of MOD. Utility bills will be addressed to the property, once paid you will be able to claim back the expense using an online claims system.

Personnel sourcing their own accommodation have 14 nights from arrival at their duty station to source and move into a property. Please refer to section 10 -14 of the Accommodation Policy for additional information.

Once a property has been found a completed Property Review Questionnaire is sent to BEET for the property to be approved prior to the lease being signed. We also require a link to the online property listing to enable us to review the property details.

Private leases must cover the duration of your tour and include the UK Military clause to ensure that the lease can be broken in the event of you being short toured. You may not sign a lease or exchange money with a leasing company or landlord until authority to proceed has been given and you have officially arrived in country.

Personnel signing a private lease are also able to take an advance of pay to cover their security deposit, if required.

Utility accounts are also set up by personnel in the name of the principle visa holder, as with MOD leased properties utility bills are first paid and then the cost reclaimed using an online claims system.

Personnel are permitted to “top up” their monthly rent with a personal contribution on top of the rental ceiling. Personnel wishing to do this must self-source their accommodation and sign a private lease. Before deciding to top-up personnel should consider the increased cost of living in the US, which is often higher than anticipated, and the fact that spouses do not always find suitable employment. If personnel find themselves unable to pay the top-up the MOD will not cover the difference or not fund a move and personnel may be required to return to the UK if they cannot keep up their rental payment.

You will also have to cover the additional portion of your security deposit (a multiple of the monthly rent up to a maximum of 3 depending on location) if this exceeds your rent ceiling.

All personnel are able to source a property up to one bedroom above their JSP entitlement, please be aware that furniture will not be provided for additional rooms but additional accommodation charges may apply. Please contact BEET to obtain details of applicable accommodation charges.

Furniture will provided based on property entitlement as indicated below.

*Lamps are not provided in all locations.  The Accommodation Supplement Grant is increased in these locations to cover the additional cost.

 

1 BR Apt.

2 Bed

3 Bed

4 Bed

4 Bed plus Study

Sofa

1

1

2

2

2

Loveseat

1

0

1

1

1

Easy Chair

0

2

2

2

2

Coffee Table

1

1

2

2

2

End Table

2

2

4

4

4

Bookcase

1

1

2

2

2

Desk

1

1

1

1

1

Desk Chair

1

1

1

1

1

Desk Lamp

1

1

1

1

1

Dining Table

1

1

1

1

1

Side Chair

4

6

6

8

8

Bed Set (Queen)

1

1

1

1

1

Head Board (Queen)

1

1

1

1

1

Bed Set (Twin)

0

2

3

4

4

Head Board (Twin)

0

2

3

4

4

Side Board

0

0

1

1

1

Night Stand

2

3

4

5

5

Dresser or Chest of Drawers

1

2

3

4

4

Mirror

1

1

1

1

1

Lamps*

4

6

7

8

8

 

The BEET will provide personnel with a standard furniture pack linked to accommodation entitlement. The exact items provided may differ depending on area, but properties will be furnished to a reasonable standard. Where personnel are able to source furnished property, they must advise the BEET as soon as possible in order to avoid unnecessary logistics costs. Due to warehousing costs, there is no entitlement to switch or decline any furniture items in the US. Where personnel do not wish to receive a furniture item the BEET will endeavour to assist, but this cannot be guaranteed

Items that do not fit for the sourced property and cannot be reasonably stored may be authorised for disposal. Personnel that are approved to go above entitlement should be aware that they will only receive a furniture pack in accordance to their original entitlement and will be responsible for furnishing other areas.

Personnel should also be aware that properties are furnished in accordance with typical UK SFA standards which can create the perception of unfurnished space in many US properties with a larger square footage.

Some properties in the US, including some base-housing, may not include white goods. Personnel should endeavour to negotiate a white goods package as part of their lease. When this is not possible, the BEET may authorise either self-purchase or delivery of these items. Small gardening equipment is included in the Accommodation Supplement Grant. Those personnel who require larger equipment (e.g a lawn mower) due to garden size may request this if it is not supplied in their furniture pack.

Authority to purchase baby equipment can be provide in the three months prior to your baby’s arrival upon receipt of confirmation of pregnancy from a medical professional.

Below is the list of baby equipment which can be authorised together with the budget for each item which does not include tax or delivery;

Crib (cot) and mattress; $350 – authority to purchase can be given up to 3 months prior to birth.

Crib only; $250 – authority to purchase can be given up to 3 months prior to birth.

Mattress only; $100 – authority to purchase can be given up to 3 months prior to birth.

High chair; $100 – authority to purchase can be given from when baby is 3 months old.

Play pen; $100 – authority will not be given to purchase a pack n play. This link shows the type of play pen that is acceptable. https://intl.target.com/p/eight-panel-my-play-portable-playard/-/A-75557027  

Stair gates (maximum of 2) ; $45 each

Fire screen; $100 – authority to purchase will only be provided for properties where there are open fires with a current inspection report confirming that the fire place is safe to use.

All items must be purchased in the USA. 

If you wish to retain items for use when you return to the UK you can request to purchase them on departure for 50% of the original purchase price, no items should be removed from the USA without the written permission of BEET.

(1)  If you are sourcing your own accommodation and have received authority to sign a lease please contact the BEET with:

  • Preferred delivery date – this should tie in, as closely as possible, with the lease-start date. Please note that your first choice of delivery date may not be available and that from 1st June to 31st August it may take longer than 5 days to schedule a delivery.  Deliveries are scheduled to arrive between 8am and 10am, please request your delivery for the first day that you know you will have access to the property from 8am.

(b)  Delivery address. 

  • Contact telephone number for the day (the moving company will usually call that morning to ensure someone is at the property). Please make sure that the voicemail box has been set up to take messages. A USA phone number is preferable as the delivery crews will often be using personal phones and, for this reason will not call UK numbers.

(2)  If you are moving into a MOD owned or leased property where it has not been possible to arrange the delivery of top up furniture or a furniture pack prior to your arrival it may be necessary for you to take delivery of the items:

  • You will notified in advance that you will be required to take delivery of furniture items on arrival and will be provided with details of the items and the delivery time.
  • Unless informed otherwise your delivery will be scheduled to arrive between8am and 10am, please make sure that you are at the property and that you have provided the BEET with a contact telephone number that you can be reached on.

(3) On delivery:                                             

(a) Check each item off against the inventory you will be provided with.

  • Report any damage done by the moving company (either to furniture or the property) at the time it happens to the BEET and note the damage on the forms the delivery men will ask you to sign.
  • Do not return any item on the truck unless approval has been given by the BEET – this will only be given if the item(s) will not physically fit the property; or you are asking to return a large appliance (washer/dryer/fridge) that is already provided by your landlord.

Please check all drawers items being returned to store– appliance manuals, castors from furniture etc could have been packed inside.  Once returned it will not be possible to arrange for items to be re-delivered if you change your mind due to the costs involved.

Only Authorized Items can be returned on the truck on the day of delivery.

(4) Please then:

(a)  Make any notes to the inventory as necessary indicating any areas of   existing damage.

  • Sign & date the last page of the inventory and return it to the BEET together with.

If you feel any item(s) should be replaced, or you need additional furniture to bring the pack to entitlement, please email the BEET with your requests.

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2020 @ 9:44 am

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