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Is this sort of thing common?

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Is this sort of thing common?

Old 15th Jul 2013, 15:37
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Is this sort of thing common?

It has been brought to my attention that a chap having to move out of quarters is being told he must get cleaners in before he marches out, although the next people to move in are the painters and decorators and new carpet fitters for a complete refurb.

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 15:49
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Yes and no. Nothing has changed since your day in the sense that a MQ has to be spotless on vacation, even if the house will be demolished the next day. Using cleaners though is optional. An individual can still back out the kitchen door on hands and knees doing the job themselves if they wish to save money.


Last edited by Party Animal; 15th Jul 2013 at 15:49.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 16:16
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Having just painted an entire house, at least 75% of a painter's job is preparation. A top quality clean is a reasonable ask.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 16:19
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Back in the 1980s, my Labrador pup ate through two kitchen doors in our quarter. Had to pay on march out even though a new kitchen was due to be fitted before the next tenants moved in. Did negotiate a good rate though!
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 17:15
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The reason I asked...

......was because I'd thought that this mentality had died out ages ago.

When we marched out of our first quarter at Ballykelly the families officer complimented my wife on the cleanliness of the house and then charged us 1/3d for a crack at one of the screwholes on the base of a toilet bowl. I then found on the F2?? that almost every tenant since the quarter had first been occupied had been charged the same amount. Had anything ever been done to fix it? Silly question.

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Old 15th Jul 2013, 17:19
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If you can't take a joke........

Damping a rag with 3-in-1 oil and wiping the surfaces of the cooker was always a good wheeze. It made the thing look almost brand new. Fortunately I never moved into a MQ where the previous occupant had discovered the same wheeze.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 17:44
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I'll be moving out of quarters shortly on retirement. The patch I'm on is half empty, and I expect my quarter will be unoccupied for months to come. In edition it needs a new kitchen and carpets.

On my pre march out visit I was told I didn't need to clean the carpets, for the reason stated above, but the house needed to be in a generally clean condition. I'm paying to have the place cleaned, as life is too short, and my wife and I don't want to do it ourselves in our 50s.

Yes, it will cost a couple of hundred - however, that represents approx. the monthly saving I have been making on the cost of my quarter vs what it would cost to rent commercially in comparison (in terms of rent plus council tax).

It's just part of the deal when dealing with quarters, and probably always will be. While they are rising, in my area quarter rates are still very cheap compared to commercial rentals. That's the one of the plus points of quarters, the march out process is one of the negative points.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 18:14
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Marching Out

Marching out of a hiring in Malta, usual preparation re spotless cooker etc, keen local civvy chap from families office spots a crack in the bidet (tres posh apartment). Eagerly reports same to the Families WO in charge. WO consults inventory, looks up and announces that there is no bidet on the inventory and therefore it does not exist, furthermore if bidet does not exist then neither does the crack ! I recalled doing him a favour at some stage in the tour -Lovely man !
I wonder if that spirit still exists?

Last edited by chopd95; 15th Jul 2013 at 18:14.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:45
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Is this sort of thing common?

Why would anyone who was moving out of a privately rented house, a bought property or a family quarter not want to leave the property in an immaculate condition ? It is not hard to clean a house is it?
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:02
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Cue favourite (and completely true) march out story.

Padstow...mid eighties.

Mate handed back qtr. Families Officer "good job on the cleaning blah blah".

Barrack Warden puzzled. "Carpet missing staff" Confused search for carpet and check of inventory. The light comes on...slowly.

Mate took over 3 bedroomed qtr and handed back 2 bedroomed qtr after demolishing upstairs wall to quote create a better living space unquote.

Damn near got away with it as well...but for that eagle eyed blanket stacker.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 23:48
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KOSB squaddie in a Berlin quarter in the early 70's knocked a hole in his bedroom wall so that he could watch telly in bed.... true!
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 00:31
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Why would anyone who was moving out of a privately rented house, a bought property or a family quarter not want to leave the property in an immaculate condition ?
Well, MQs (whatever) are generally 5h1t.

Moved in to 3 over the course of my job in the raf, none of which were particularly clean - or indeed worth a fraction of the rent being charged. All were certainly in a better condition when we moved out compared to when we moved in - nothing to do with DHE's efforts I might add.

On last march out duly paid the cash for a recommended cleaning biddy - life's too short to arse about with that sort of thing; when underling staff inspected property they proceeded to tread several clods of mud from the recently rained upon drive and pathway into the carpets.

Nuke the lot of 'em, houses and retard staff. They will not be missed.

Last edited by Willard Whyte; 16th Jul 2013 at 00:37.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 08:35
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Incident remembered with not much affection: Families officer at Aki who pulled out a rifle pull through with flannelette to check the internal condition of a mortice door lock.

Incident remembered with much affection: Meeting said officer a few years later for GDT/CCS. I volunteered to run the chamber session.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 09:43
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The march-out was the most odious experience of life in the military.

No example of anal extemism is discountable - under the sink plug, under the buttons on the matress, keyhole with a cotton-bud. Really hateful stuff.

On the plus side, most quarters are held together with toothpaste in the holes left from pictures, coated with a swipe of magnolia (for officers) paint.


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Old 16th Jul 2013, 10:28
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A friend of mine recently moved into a hiring at an ISODET in Germany. He's entitled to a 4 bedroomed house, so two apartments were knocked together (they already had inter-connecting doors), but that gave him 6 bedrooms. The Landlord was instructed by the DIO Housing Officer to lock off two bedrooms...

Our previous hiring had a sauna in the basement which 'had' to be removed by the Landlord before we could move in. Suffice to say the landlord simply removed the fuse-links and then handed them back to me after the march in...when we moved out, the Housing officer counted all the holes in the woodwork (and most rooms were wood-panelled - no Magnolia was harmed in the building of this hiring). A pointless task as the 18th Century beams had loads of ancient worm holes...

We are returning to SFA shortly (yes, I know, a shock after a number of years of overseas Service) and have been told that 'light fittings and lampshades are not provided, as these are covered by the (much-reduced disturbance) allowance...' Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 11:40
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Is this sort of thing common?

Common? Common? Judging by many of the foregoing remarks, the whole system seems positively plebeian!

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Old 16th Jul 2013, 12:01
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DHE civvy officer refused to sign my clearance card on demob as I still needed the MQ to house my family for two months while my house was being built. Put me in a catch 22 as I then couldn't clear to start new job. Fortunately blue suiters in handbrake house knew he was a tool and sorted it. The same DHE officer then insisted on fortnightly inspections of the MQ and made my family feel like sqautters. It was the only time in my whole career where I truely felt hostility from the RAF.

When I met him for the march out day he assumed it would be a regular event of the over-the-top scrutinising that he was known for. Not so, I handed him the keys and off I [email protected]!
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 12:30
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Certainly it is Common.

We were back in the UK a couple of weeks ago and speaking with some civilian friends who were genuinely shocked when we explained that we had to clean the house to a high standard. Their response is 'Well, we'd leave it as we left; they can deduct cleaning costs from the bond'.

That may be so, but I would not like to leave my SFA in a mess, for my sucessor to clean up.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 12:37
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Outlaw pete.....

......is the organisation now not known as DIO? But the mentality seems to be the same.
What seems daft to me is that the person mentioned in the OP is leaving on medical discharge and can ill afford the cost of external cleaners when all the work is going to be undone anyway. It seems to be a very petty minded bureaucracy occupied with process rather than practicalities. The French used to have a phrase translated as "petty functionary" usually followed by a spit. It is clearly alive and well still in this organisation.

Back to my time at BKY - the families officer died and until a replacement could be found, it was decided that the Orderly Officer would do march-outs.
I was sponned to do a chap who lived round the corner from me - he and missus were on their way to Changi the next day.
They decided to have a "empty the drinks cabinet party" plus a barrel from the mess.
He decide that rather than clamp the beer pump to the kitchen table he'd fix it to the wall with two six inch nails! "A swift sharp pull will take it off the wall and two dabs of polyfilla completes the job" was his rationale.
During the party, discussion amongst the ladies turned to the general boringness of the decor (magnolia was mentioned). The lady of the house was an artist and got out her paints and a giraffe was painted up the stairwell, feet on the bottom landing and turning round two right angles up to top landing. Hurrah! they all cried, a great improvement.
0830 next morning I meet the team and in we go. The "swift sharp tug" ploy had gone adrift and about 4 sq.ft. of plaster came with it. It went downhill from there......
They did eventually get to the ferry to Liverpool but on the motorway lancashire's finest pulled over their NI registered rust bucket (no MOT there)
and said no way are you continuing with that heap. Got him card boxes from a supermarket and took them to the station. How they managed to check in all these boxes at Lyneham is lost in the mists of time?
So it's not always easy from the official's POV.

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Old 16th Jul 2013, 13:36
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No matter what you do, it is impossible to clean a used frying pan to as-new standard.
Tip we were given at Kinloss (1970, our only time in quarters). Off to the auction rooms in Forres, where all the "condemned" quarters stuff was sold off. Buy a frying pan for next to nothing (there were a lot of them). March in, put the brand new issue pan in a cupboard for two years, and produce it unused for marching out.
The used pan was a lovely solid aluminium one - we went on using it for 30 odd years.
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