Housing information for the Armed Forces community
When you leave the armed forces, the options for where you and your family can live include:
- renting a property
- buying a property
- housing support
- veteran housing charities
- support if you are homeless or at risk of being homeless
Information about housing is available in the Scottish housing guide for people leaving the armed forces and ex-service personnel on gov.scot.
You can find general advice on leaving the armed forces in the Service Leavers Pack on GOV.UK.
Renting a property
If you're looking to rent a property you can get information and advice on renting from a private landlord and how to apply for housing from a local council or housing association (also known as social housing).
If you apply for social housing, landlords might ask you for a copy of your Certificate of Cessation of Entitlement to Occupy Service Accommodation. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) will give this to you 6 months before you leave the armed forces.
Buying a property
If you want to buy a home when you leave the armed forces but cannot afford to buy property on your own, there are several schemes that offer help to buy a house.
Some of these programmes give priority to veterans, such as the:
There is a legal process for buying a house or flat. It helps make sure both the buyer and seller are protected during the sale.
If you're renting from a private landlord and you're finding it hard to pay the rent, there is housing support that might be available to you.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA), if you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing element, might be available to you depending on:
- where you live
- your income
- personal circumstances
There are other forms of support available if you can't pay your rent.
Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. It can pay for all or part of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.
You may be eligible to apply for Local Housing Allowance if you:
- rent from a private landlord and are on a low income
- get Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit
Discretionary Housing Payment
If you already get Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit but still can't afford to pay your rent, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
A Discretionary Housing Payment can be made for any of these, if you:
- claim Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, but it doesn't cover all your rent
- need help with removal costs
- need help with a rent deposit
If you have a disability and you need help to find housing that meets your needs, there are organisations that can help.
Military Matters provides support and advice to service men and women, veterans and their families. They support people with any disability (a mental health problem, a learning disability or a physical disability) to solve housing problems.
Care equipment for your home
If you need adaptations to your home you should get in touch with your local council.
You can also get general information on services for disabled people from Disability Information Scotland.
If you can't find anywhere to stay you should contact your local council as soon as possible to let them know you may be homeless. You may be entitled to emergency housing. Ask to speak to a member of staff in their homeless team.
Find out more about what to do if you're facing homelessness.
Find the contact details and website for your local council.
Scottish Veterans Residences provide support and accommodation for veterans who are homeless or in need.
If you have not been discharged yet and you have nowhere to stay when you leave, speak to a member of your welfare team.
Other veterans charities
There are several charities that support veterans that can offer you advice and assistance if you need help finding a place to live.
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