Britain's army families given houses riddled with 'mould and urine'

Britain’s heroes forced to live in squalor: Young Army families are given houses riddled with ‘mould and urine’ and given advice on dealing with ‘legionnaires disease, asbestos and damp’

  • EXCLUSIVE: British army wives across UK revealed they are given ‘filthy’ houses to live in with young families
  • One family in Aldershot said they were given house that was ‘black with mould’ and a ‘urine’ stain on the floor
  • Another wife said her ceiling collapsed in the middle of the night after reporting a water leak multiple times

Soldier’s wives across the UK living in military accomodation have claimed they are provided with houses to live in that are ‘black with mould’, ‘riddled with damp’ and have ‘urine’ stains.

A group of wives and partners told MailOnline they ‘are desperately trying to get help’ to fix the ‘filthy’ conditions they are forced to live in, but said that many families are scared to speak out as it would put their husband’s jobs at risk. 

The conditions are so poor that one wife revealed that they were given leaflets about dealing with ‘legionnaires disease, asbestos and damp’ when they moved into their new home.

They said it puts huge stress on soldiers and their young families but it has been happening for so many years that families are ‘accepting it and suffering’.

Army wives living in military accomodation across the UK have revealed the ‘filthy’ conditions they are forced to live in, with one woman in the south east, telling MailOnline her ceiling collapsed (pictured) after reporting a water leak multiple times

‘We kept getting fobbed off’: Family from the south east reported a water leak multiple times before their ceiling collapsed

One army wife, living in the south east, who asked not to be named, told MailOnline they contacted the housing contractor, Amey, about a leak from their water tank multiple times before their ceiling eventually collapsed, leaving a gaping hole.

She said: ‘After nearly five weeks of waiting and four times of hastening a job, to inform them the leak from our water tank was getting worse and being fobbed off each time, our ceiling collapsed.

‘Thank god this happened in the early hours as this would have caused awful injury if one of my family was walking up the stairs. 

‘We have had our water tank replaced but we are still waiting to find out when the five-foot hole in our ceiling will be fixed especially as its now getting colder and the heat is escaping.’ 

The damage has left a gaping five-foot hole in the ceiling (pictured) and said they are still waiting to find out when it will be fixed as its now coming into winter and the heat is escaping

‘There was a urine stain in the cupboard’: Army wife living in Aldershot was given a ‘filthy’ house with black mould and that was painted over

Another army wife living in Aldershot said that when they moved into their new home it was clear it had not been cleaned or inspected.

‘The house was filthy, there was thick brown sticky grease covering the kitchen, the bath was black with mould, there was rubbish in the garden and stains [and] dirt on all surfaces,’ she said

She also revealed that there was a ‘urine stain in the cupboard’ and mould around the bedroom windows which was ‘painted over’ as well as a leak under the kitchen sink, causing a strong smell of mould and damp in the house. 

British military families are provided with subsidised accommodation to live in while on active duty and can expect to pay a few hundred pounds a month for a house and bills, depending on the size, location and condition of the property.

The average annual salary for Privates in the UK armed forces was £20,400, compared with £27,326 for a Lance Corporal, £35,853 for a Sergent and £42,849 for a Captian. 

Another army wife living in said that when they moved into their new home it had not been cleaned (pictured) and they shockingly found a ‘urine stain in the cupboard’ and mould around the bedroom windows which was ‘painted over’

She said: ‘The house was filthy, there was thick brown sticky grease covering the kitchen, the bath was black with mould (pictured), there was rubbish in the garden and stains [and] dirt on all surfaces’


A group of wives and partners said they ‘are desperately trying to get help’ to fix the ‘filthy’ conditions they are forced to live in, but said that many families are scared to speak out as it would put their husband’s jobs at risk. Pictured: The conditions of the house in Aldershot

‘The house was riddled with damp’: Soldier’s wife in Greater London got leaflets about dealing with legionnaires disease, asbestos and damp when she moved in

Another army wife, who lived in married quarters for just under two years in Greater London, said the issues stem from the contractor, Amey, who she claims ‘do as little as possible to maximise profit’.

Amey, an infrastructure and engineering company, is the provider of Service Family Accommodation for army families across the UK.

She explained: ‘As we only have a licence to occupy we have no rights as a tenant like any person renting in a civilian setting would have. 

‘We even got leaflets about dealing with legionnaires disease, asbestos and damp in our properties on [move] in. In this day and age it is far from acceptable!’

In one house that she was allocated there was a gas leak in the property that they were left to get fixed themselves.

She also claimed that the house was ‘riddled with damp’ and they couldn’t walk on the carpets in their socks as their feet would get wet. 

‘In the morning I had to use a window vac to remove the moisture from the inside which was running down the glass,’ she said.

‘After four months, lots of stress and complaining as high as I could the property was assessed and subsequently condemned. We were then moved and the damage done to our goods Amey took no responsibility for. We had thousands of pounds worth of damage due to damp.’

 The conditions are so poor that one wife, who lived in married quarters for just under two years in Greater London, revealed that they were given leaflets about dealing with ‘legionnaires disease, asbestos and damp’ when they moved into their new home (pictured)

She also claimed that the house was ‘riddled with damp’ and they couldn’t walk on the carpets in their socks as their feet would get wet, and when they moved out the damp had caused ‘thousands of pounds worth of damage’ to their goods

After such an ‘awful experience’ with military housing, she and her husband eventually purchased their own property.

She added: ‘Over the years the Ministry of Defence have spent millions on the upkeep of the properties we have to live in but are actually getting very little in return. 

‘The contractual stats look good, but they are far from the live experience service personnel have to endure.’

During her time in military accomodation she claimed she witnessed ‘bad practice, cost cutting… and [families] being treated like we were second class citizens.’ 

She claimed that Amey are taking advantage of the terms of their contract with the Ministry of Defence, and ‘rely on repeat visits to charge more and hide behind the term “fit for purpose”.’ 

She said the issues stem from the contractor, Amey, who she claims ‘do as little as possible to maximise profit’ and are taking advantage of the terms of their contract with the Ministry of Defence. Pictured: Mould in the house in Greater London

‘Removals are on the door step’: Military family in the south east said they felt pressured to accept ‘shocking’ conditions on move-in day

A separate family, also living in the south east said they have also been met with ‘shocking’ conditions on move-in day but feel under pressure to accept the property as a moving van is outside with their belongings. 

She said: ‘The last two [houses] were absolutely shocking on [move] in. It’s the new standard for us families to walk into a dirty house.

‘It puts stress on the whole family as we have to accept a filthy house while the removals are on the door step. Instead of unpacking we are left to do a deep clean.’

She also reported that mould in the house was just ‘painted over’ and said they are not expecting ‘luxury’ in military housing, just a ‘livable, clean house’.

A seperate family, also living in the south east reported that mould in the house was just ‘painted over’ and said they are not expecting ‘luxury’ in military housing, just a ‘livable, clean house’ but feel under pressure to accept the conditions when they move in as a van is outside with their belongings

The army wife living in Aldershot also expressed similar treatment around move-in day, claiming that the housing officer would rush through the house inspection so families don’t get a chance to take in the state of the hosue.

Once the keys have been handed over and you’ve accepted the house, you cannot argue with the condition, she said.

‘They tell you what you want to hear on move in, that they’ll get the issues sorted so you accept the house thinking “it’s fine, they’ve raised a job to sort it” then email you a couple weeks later and say nothing can be done about it. Its appalling,’ she said. 

‘The house was deemed not fit for purpose’: Tenant in the south east endured ‘severe’ black mould and a leaky roof for years

Another tenant in the south east lived in a house for four years that was eventually deemed not ‘fit for purpose’. The issues included ‘severe black mould’ and a leaky roof.

They were moved out and the housing officer reassured them that the issues would be fixed before another family was moved in. However, after the move they found out that the problems were not fixed before the next tenant was moved in.

Another tenant in the south east lived in a house for four years that was eventually deemed not ‘fit for purpose’. The issues included ‘severe black mould’ and a leaky roof

They were moved out and the housing officer reassured them that the issues would be fixed before another family was moved in, however, they have since found out that the problems were not fixed before the next tenant was moved in

They said: ‘We have since spoke to the current occupiers who informed us the problems weren’t corrected before they moved in and are currently living in the same conditions we were with severe black mould and water leaking into the property.

‘[They] are having to start the whole process again: reporting and raising jobs, getting the housing officer out and asking for external surveyors etc. Even though the housing officer and Amey are fully aware of the problems.’

‘Families are accepting it and suffering’: Army wife in Kent said she has experienced ‘awful’ treatment from housing contractor Amey

One army wife, who has lived in military housing around Kent, said that she has three out of the five houses they’ve lived in have been dirty or had mould issues, and has experienced ‘awful’ treatment from Amey and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. 

She said: ‘We go through their complaint systems over and over again but ultimately nothing ever changes, they always say that meeting service family’s needs is their number one priority but from the inside its not what we are seeing or feeling.

‘The stress it puts on us as a couple and families is huge and it’s been happening for so many years that families are accepting it and suffering.’ 

In a group statement the army wives and partners said: ‘Housing is a big issue within the services, it’s been raised many times however nothing much has changed in the past 10 years and families are desperately trying to get help.

‘We are aware that Amey will probably say that they are trying their best to help us all but as you will see from the issues, a lot of serving families are feeling deflated, let down, stressed and being treated like they do not matter or deserve a decent standard of living.

‘As a community we are asking where all of the funding is going for housing as from our point of view it is not being spent on improving our living conditions, also, when will the government start to listen and support serving personnel like they claim they do?’ 

One army wife, who has lived in military housing around Kent, said that she has three out of the five houses they’ve lived in have been dirty or had mould issues (pictured), and has experienced ‘awful’ treatment from Amey and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation

She said the housing conditions put huge stress on soldiers and their young families but it has been happening for so many years that families are ‘accepting it and suffering’

In a statement to MailOnline, an Amey spokesperson said: ‘We recognise the work we carry out on the military estate is incredibly important and we urge anyone who has a concern about maintenance or the move-in standard of a property to contact our customer centre immediately.

‘Since taking over the contract in 2018 Amey has continued to exceed contractual requirements in relation to the move-in and out process, and have a customer service team dedicated to supporting residents, tracking and improving performance.

‘There have been significant strides made over the last few years in damp and mould prevention. We recognise there is still more to be done and are committed to helping tackle this issue.’

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: ‘Providing good-quality accommodation is a top priority for the Ministry of Defence and we regret that service personnel and their families sometimes experience issues with their housing. 

‘We continue to invest in improving the quality of our homes, with £160m invested in 2020/21 and a further £188m planned for this year. In addition, we continue to work closely with our contractors to improve these services.’

Amey have also been contacted for comment by MailOnline.

The Ministry of Defence has approximately 49,500 Service Family Accommodation properties in the UK, 38,000 of which are leased from Annington Homes Limited and the remainder are either MOD owned or leased from others.

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