Independence...Integrity...Value

Management of Rent Arrears

In-House Training

Context

Social Landlord staff, charged with managing rent arrears, must ensure that rent arrears levels are controlled, especially in the current economic climate when tenants are often struggling financially. Landlords are facing the risk of unprecedented rent arrears, with a knock-on effect on capital house building projects as well as the quality of ongoing service provision. As the Chartered Institute of Housing has said:

“There has never been a more challenging time to be a social landlord: the roll out of universal credit, welfare reforms and the rent reduction from April 2016 continue to put financial pressure on landlords and tenants alike. More than ever, landlords need to ensure that their core services - especially income management - are efficient, effective and fit for purpose in this new operating landscape.”

Aim

This course examines the causes of arrears It outlines an interventionist approach and strategy designed to prevent arrears. This includes advocating on behalf of tenants, dealing effectively with arrears repayment arrangements and monitoring of these to minimise the need for legal action.

Content

The course considers how landlords can address the six core commitments of the Chartered Institute of Housing Charter for Income Management:

  • We recognise that effective income management is integral to everything we do as a business.
  • We equip everyone involved in income management with the right skills, capacity and resources.
  • We provide an accessible and accountable income management service.
  • We deliver a fair and consistent approach to income management that reflects a commitment to creating sustainable tenancies.
  • We ensure that a value for money approach is embedded.
  • We continually strive to understand and improve our performance.

It also considers the following:

  • How can staff on the frontline work proactively with their tenants to prevent them falling into arrears?
  • How can they identify households at risk?
  • How can landlords take control to manage the challenge of rent arrears before it threatens the viability of their business?

The course helps participants to understand the importance of a rent arrears strategy and the management of supportive services. It will help in the development of an understanding of how to work proactively as a landlord to prevent and minimise arrears. It also examines the legal framework for arrears management.

The course considers:
  • Strategic Approaches (including strategy, policy, profiling tenants in arrears, and equality and diversity issues).
  • The Organisation of Rent Arrears Management (including organizational structures, staff training, and rent accounting systems).
  • Preventative Measures (including rent payment methods, how to promote a rent payment culture, publicity methods, rent incentive schemes, new tenants, and introductory or starter tenancies}.
  • Maximising Tenants' Income (including housing benefit, universal credit, debt counselling and advice).
  • Managing Rent Arrears (including communication with tenants in arrears, personal contact, arrears letters, other forms of communication and repayment arrangements).
  • Legal and Court Processes (including notice seeking possession, prior to court action, court action, post court procedures and former tenants’ arrears).
  • Assessing Cost-effectiveness (including assessing costs and outcomes, cost breakdowns and costs of alternatives).

Outcomes

By the end of this course delegates will:

  • Understand the causes of rent arrears
  • Have considered different methods of prevention
  • Understand how best to maximise Housing Benefit / Universal Credit
  • Be more aware of benefits for those newly out of work or experiencing reduced hours / income
  • Have examined good practice in the recovery of rent arrears
  • Understand the importance of efficient administrative procedures
  • Understand rent arrears strategies, policies and procedures
  • Understand good practice in effective arrears management, including the importance of early intervention, monitoring and preventative approaches.
  • Understand how different teams within the organisation need to work together to ensure effective rent arrears management.
  • Understand the legal framework for arrears management.

Who Should Attend

This course is suitable for

  • Senior staff in local authorities, registered social landlords, ALMOs and TMOs; managers, finance staff and others involved in policy or business reviews.
  • Elected members and Board or committee members who wish to inform their strategic approach.
  • Housing officers and housing assistants who work with rents and rent arrears.

The course should also be of interest to those staff employed by councils or housing associations and the voluntary sector who are charged with providing benefits and money advice.

For further information about an in-house session of 'Management of Rent Arrears' please contact Adrian Waite at adrian.waite@awics.co.uk or on 017683-51498

Adrian Waite presenting an in-house training session at Rochdale Boroughwide Housing

Our in-house training sessions are delivered at the client's premises or another venue arranged by the client.

All our in-house training sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual client. This includes using local data to illustrate the points and emphasising matters that are of interest locally.

Most of our in-house training sessions are for a day, but there are half-day and evening options available.

To download a copy of our brochure, please click HERE

To find out what feedback we have received from people who have already attended our courses, please click HERE

For more information about in-house training or to arrange a session, please contact Adrian Waite at 017683-51498 or adrian.waite@awics.co.uk

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