Housing Myth Busters – The Amey “WalkAway” Scheme
We have recently had several queries and complaints about the ‘WalkAway Scheme’ that is provided by Amey when leaving Service Family Accommodation (SFA). Some of the complaints have been raised around poor moving in standards and being told by neighbours that the previous occupants had used the Walkaway Scheme. The scheme is voluntary and is designed to help minimise the effort for families to achieve move out Standard of SFA (not PFI, Bulk Lease Hire or SSFA properties). There appears to be a common misconception by some families that the basic scheme means a family may vacate accommodation and literally just ‘walk away’ which is actually not the case, despite the name suggesting otherwise!
There are various WalkAway Scheme rates and options depending on the size of the property and how much you want Amey to cover as part of your package. If you are unsure of your SFA Type, you should refer to your Pre Move-out Form or contact your Accommodation Officer.
According to Amey’s website the ‘Basic Cover’ element of the scheme should cover de-scaling, all hard surfaces, such as doors, cupboards inside and out, skirting boards, window sills and wheelie bins as long as empty. Prices for this service can range from £160 for a type B property, up to £425 for a type 2 property. Families selecting this option at move out should note that this option does not cover cleaning of any of the carpets or the oven.
The next level of cover is the ‘Walkaway Go’ which includes the basic cover and the additional cleaning of the oven and carpets. This service can cost anywhere from £220 to £585 depending on the type of your property.
Amey also offer a variety of priced single elements that cover internal oven, carpets, redecoration, locksmith services or external garden services should they be required. A breakdown of pricing for the single elements can be found on the Walkaway Portal.
Producing an Amey ‘WalkAway’ certificate at move out will help families avoid some of the charges, dependent on the options chosen, however the family still need to leave it hygienically clean and the scheme does not cover outstanding damages and repairs.
The local Accommodation Officer will inform families if they are eligible for the WalkAway Scheme and the elements that can be covered during the pre-move out appointment. The Accommodation Officer will also be able to advise families of the possible charges they could incur for any damages to the property prior to move out and should also advise the family on its responsibilities in more detail regarding the cleanliness standards required.
Remember, using this service is purely voluntary and a lot of families choose to clean their SFA themselves or use an alternative local cleaning service. Just make sure that if you choose to use an external cleaning provider, that they have sufficient insurance to cover any damages in the unlikely case that they cause damage to the property.
If you decide to use any of the Amey schemes, the Accommodation Officer will need to see evidence of the certificate at the move out appointment. Importantly cancellations or refunds of the service can be made from the time of purchase up until the working day before the move out is scheduled to take place.
Whichever route you decide to take, we highly recommend that you make use of your pre-move out appointment to ask questions and ensure that you are absolutely clear regarding what is and what is not expected upon move out. That way, hopefully you won’t have any nasty surprises or unexpected costs during what will inevitably be a busy and stressful time for you and your family.
This news story is included in the Autumn edition of Envoy magazine – the free magazine for RAF personnel and your families too. You can sign up online to have your own copy sent to your home (quarterly).
See also: Housing