If you are in a Long Term Relationship (cohabiting for over a year) you can now cohabit with your partner in surplus SFA.

Long term relationship status

Before April 2019 long term relationships (LTR) were not recognised by the RAF, when the MOD’s policy on cohabitation in SFA in UK changed.

The new policy means Service personnel in long term relationships are eligible to live in surplus SFA, where available. Previously only married couples, those in civil partnerships, and those with legally dependent children could live in SFA.

Long term relationship status requirements for SFA eligibility

To be eligible to apply for surplus SFA you must:

  • Have been in a relationship for more than one year (365 days)
  • Have residential responsibility for a child

From the 1 February 2020 the requirement to have completed 4 years of Service was removed, but you will still be required to comply with Para 0301 of JSP 464, Vol 1, Part 1. This means:

  • You need to be aged 18 or over
  • Have completed phase 1 training
  • Be Serving on a regular engagement in the UK Armed Forces or be a Full Commitment Reservist as defined in the single-Service regulations

Applying for Surplus SFA

Prior to applying for Surplus SFA personnel must first register their Established Long Term Relationship on JPA whilst also providing supporting documentary evidence of their relationship. Details on the process, list of acceptable evidence and application form can be found in JSP 464 Vol 1 Part 1 Annex A-C.

How to register a long term relationship in the Armed Forces

The infographic below shows the process you need to follow:

Image shows an infographic of how service personnel can apply for SFA when in a long term relationship (LTR).

To apply for surplus SFA or to check if surplus is available in the required area, please contact Pinnacle:

  • UK – 0800 031 8628
  • Overseas – +44(0) 161 605 3529

Dual serving couples and LTR status

We understand personnel residing in Single Living Accommodation (SLA), and particularly dual serving couples, it may be difficult to provide the requisite evidence. Where Service Personnel are unable to provide the specified evidence and they believe they have compelling alternative evidence to demonstrate their LTR, they should submit casework providing alternative evidence and justification, through their Unit HR to the Chain of Command.

We strongly advise individuals engage with their HR Centre at the earliest point in the process to clarify what evidence would be acceptable to support their casework.

Long term relationships and SFA FAQs

In the eyes of the MOD, cohabitation is a Service personnel living with their partner, who is not their legal spouse or civil partner, in a long term relationship.
The RAF consider a relationship exceeding one year to be a long term relationship.
The introduction of cohabitation in surplus SFA does not attract any additional allowances. You will remain entitled to allowances in line with your allocated PStat Category Status. Cohabitation is an extension of eligibility and is not a widening of entitlement.
Yes. The policy change means Serving personnel in long-term relationships are eligible to cohabit. This does not mean they are entitled to SFA. So, if there is no surplus SFA in the area (50 miles of their posting location) they won’t be able to access SFA or Substitute SFA.
Eligible personnel do not hold an entitlement to SFA and can only access surplus SFA where it’s available. If there is no surplus SFA at a location, then you will unfortunately not be allocated a property. You may only cohabit in surplus SFA at your place of work, which is within a 50-mile radius of your assigned location. If you are in an LTR(E) applying to cohabit in SFA, you must reside in the property with your partner and record the residence on JPA as your Resident at Work Address (RWA).

How can we help

We do always suggest you contact your HR centre in the first instance. However, we can provide you with the details of the Defence Instruction Notice (DIN) that explains the application process and we can assist with checking the exact requirements needed in order to provide what is ‘acceptable evidence’ proving your LTR status.