What are you looking for?

30 November 2022 | Comment | Article by Simon Ellis

The Ministry of Defence failing to provide quality homes for serving personnel

Isobel Stokes, Paralegal in the Military team discusses the failings of the Ministry of Defence to provide quality homes for serving personnel in the military.

Military accommodation has been long underfunded, resulting in almost nine thousand complaints of severe rot, mould, broken doors, and leaking roofs since 2021. However, families suing the Ministry of Defence over their living conditions say they are being harassed into dropping their claims or having their pay docked to cover the legal costs.

The Guardian reports on one wife of a serving sailor in the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, who has lived with leaks and rot for two and a half years due to a severe “lack of coordination” between the company taking the reports and the company doing the repairs.

However, instead of upholding their promise to give serving families the quality homes they deserve, the Ministry of Defence and their lawyers have been exploiting the cost-of-living crisis and the threat of further financial pain to keep compensation cases out of court.

In a letter, a government lawyer acting for Treasury Department counsel wrote: “If you disagree and put us through the trouble and expense of a contested application, we will recover the Defence Department fees. Please reply no later than 4:00 pm on Monday, October 3, 2022.”

Letters like the one above shows that instead of fixing the problem, the Ministry of Defence is turning to intimidation tactics to stifle claims. This is a far cry from the treatment fit for forces personnel and their families.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said they were working to make “rapid and sustained improvements to the service received by families.” However, at no point should families have to face docked pay or go to court to have basic repairs done. There are deep flaws in the system and the Government should do more to ensure that complaints are sorted, and military personnel have homes they are happy to live in.

At Hugh James, we work closely with veterans’ charities and understand the stress that poor housing conditions can have on service personnel and their families.

If you are currently serving in the military, and struggling with housing, please get in touch with our Military team to see how we can help.

Author bio

Simon Ellis


Simon Ellis is a Partner with Hugh James and has worked with the firm for more than 25 years, having trained and qualified here. Simon heads up the Military Department, advising and assisting current and former military personnel with various health conditions and injuries. He specialises in claims such as hearing loss, non-freezing cold injuries, compartment syndrome and military injury cases. He is often asked to advise on more unusual claims in the military context.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


Next steps

We’re here to get things moving. Drop a message to one of our experts and we’ll get straight back to you.

Call us: 033 3016 2222

Message us