Corporate Housing BlogShort Term Rental › Using Temporary Housing on Your Military Move

Anyone who has put on a uniform in the defense of this country knows that there is a great deal that the American public does not understand about the military life, and about the life of military families in general. One of the areas that many people either don’t consider or just fail to understand has to do with the general mobility of life in the military.

It is exceedingly rare for any soldier, sailor, marine, or airman (or woman) to spend their entire career, however brief, at one military installation or aboard one ship. Personnel are continually shifted around from base to base, and if you’re new to the life, navigating these moves (especially with a family) can be daunting.

So you’ve been reassigned and you now need to find a place to live temporarily? What do you do? What military programs are in place to help you relocate? What are you allowed to claim as a reasonable expense?

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The Purpose and Applicability of TLE and TLA

The Temporary Lodging Expense is an allowance set aside to partially reimburse military personnel for lodging and meal expenses incurred by personnel and their dependents during the course of a move. On the other hand, Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is set up to partially reimburse personnel for lodging and meal expenses while in temporary housing, once at the new station.

TLE is typically good for a percentage of expenses incurred during up to 10 days of a move, while TLA is good for 60 days at a per diem (dependent on the location of the temporary housing).

Qualifying Housing for Military Personnel

Depending on the location and development of the new station, qualifying housing can be anything from homes or apartments owned and maintained by the station, to long-term corporate housing.

Generally, if government quarters are available, you must use them or forgo your TLE claim. But in some cases, depending on the disposition of your household goods, reimbursement for other lodgings may be available.

When You are Allowed to Claim TLE 

You are only allowed to claim TLE when moving between duty stations. TLE is typically not available when moving to a first-duty station, or when leaving the military from a final duty station.

Time limits other than the general ones listed above may apply, depending on a variety of factors. Check the website of the Defense Travel Management Office for more details about restrictions and time limits.

TLE and Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense

Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expense (TQSE) is much like TLE, but is intended to cover a service person’s spouse or family, when they are not staying with the service person.

TLE and TQSE may both be claimed during the same move, provided that they are not claimed to cover the same expense. Receipts for TLE, TLA, and TQSE reimbursement are required.

Taking Some Hardship Out of Relocating Your Family

Moving is a hassle, and the extent to which many service personnel are asked to move can make things even more difficult. Navigating the complex world of regulation and reimbursement can be a hassle for military personnel, as well.

However, as long as you aren’t assigned government quarters, you may have some wiggle room on where you can stay while you wait for your household goods, and you may be able to get the military to reimburse you for the cost of your long-term housing.

Understanding your rights and responsibilities can make the difference between staying someplace that doesn’t fit you and your family’s needs, and being able to ease into your new surroundings in relative comfort.

About Rafael Henriquez:

Rafael (Raf) is the Targeted Content Writer & Strategist for,,, and He helps create, edit, and plan content that connects current and potential renters with apartment and property managers and owners. When Raf isn’t busy writing, he spends a great deal of his time performing sketch and improv comedy, hanging out at the beach, and looking at memes on the Internet.

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