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Income Officer

Full Time | Permanent Evesham 9 months ago

We are now looking for an Income Officer to work closely with Neighbourhood Officers and take responsibility for the appropriate and effective action to recover rent arrears, service charges and sundry debts within a defined area.

Providing a liaison service between the organisation and the Housing Benefits Team across a range of Local Authorities and with the Department of Work and Pensions, you will coordinate and manage legal action to recover rent arrears and other debts and provide financial inclusion advice information and support to customers along with debt awareness advice.

This role would suit someone who has recent and in-depth experience of working with debtors, ideally within housing or a related field. With an understanding of the purpose and ethos of social housing, you will have experience of providing advice and guidance to a diverse and often vulnerable client base and have knowledge of best practice relating to financial inclusion and income collection. Knowledge of the appropriate referral routes for tenants who need specialist financial advice and support is also essential, as is the ability to advise on the appropriate welfare benefits available to customers.

Role purpose 

  • Take responsibility for the appropriate and effective action to recover rent arrears, service charges and sundry debts within a defined area.
  • Co-ordinate and manage legal action to recover rent arrears and other debts.
  • Provide a liaison service between the organisation and the housing benefit teams across a range of Local Authorities, and with the Department for Work and Pensions.
  • Provide financial inclusion advice, information and support to customers and provide debt awareness advice to customers.
  • Work closely with Neighbourhood Officers in the collection and recovery of rents.

Key responsibilities

  • Monitor and manage the debt recovery process across all tenure types.
  • Ensure that policies and procedures are followed, and contact made with debtors at the earliest opportunity, in order to minimise arrears as far as possible. 
  • Ensure that the ‘Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims’ is followed at all times throughout the recovery process.
  • Work in conjunction with other members of staff to ensure that the appropriate arrears action is taken, having regard for any other breach of tenancy that may need addressing, such as nuisance, domestic abuse or condition of property.
  • Provide advice and information to assist with the maximising of income, including supporting with fuel poverty, affordable loans and basic bank accounts.
  • Make appropriate and timely referrals to our Money Advisors to maximise customers income from benefits and other welfare funding streams, providing basic welfare benefit advice at first contact.
  • Signpost to external agencies where appropriate. Ensure positive working relationships are maintained to enable customers to take advantage of these services, including liaising with local, statutory and voluntary agencies and community groups.
  • Attend external meetings to support the Income Manager when required.
  • Work with all necessary members of staff to manage the housing benefit entitlement records and the information provided to our customers in relation to this area.
  • Liaise with Local Authority Housing Benefit teams and the Department of Works and Pensions to establish that correct entitlements are received, and overpayments are minimised.
  • Ensure that the correct notices are served on tenants in arrears, and make applications to the appropriate courts, attending and acting on behalf of us.
  • Ensure appropriate liaison with other teams when arranging evictions, in order to minimise any rent lost through the empty property process.
  • Participate in the creation, development and revision of policies, procedures and service level agreements in respect of Income Management.
  • Inform customers on Rooftop’s policies and procedures and feedback any issues/complaints raised.  Assist with the swift resolution of complaints and issues in this area.

Essential:

  • Recent and in-depth experience of working with debtors, ideally within a housing or related field.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a diverse and often vulnerable client base.
  • Proven experience of working to
  • deadlines and prioritising workloads.
  • Understand of the purpose and ethos of social housing. Proven working experience of
  • using Microsoft Office software including Word,
  • Excel and Outlook  
  • Knowledge of best practice relating to financial inclusion and income collection.

  • Knowledge of the appropriate referral routes for tenants who need specialist financial advice and support.

  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) with a strong customer focus.

  • Ability to understand and empathise with the challenges facing customers.

  • Strong negotiation skills.

  • Ability to advise on the appropriate welfare benefits available to customers.

  • Ability to keep up to date with changes in legislation.    

Other details:

Other details

  • 37 hours, Monday to Friday.
  • Evesham based with travel to or work at our other offices, services, schemes, projects, housing, or development locations as dictated by the role. 
  • The work can be carried out between 8.00am and 6.30pm with line manager agreement and in accordance with role responsibilities and business need.  
  • £28,868 per annum
  • Agile working applies to this role. Required to work in the office a minimum of 3 days per week. 
  • 25 days each year plus 8 bank holidays.
  • 1 additional concessionary day (normally the day after Boxing Day). 
  • One extra day will be added for each full holiday year of service up to 5 additional days. 
  • SHPS CARE pension scheme.  Matching employer contribution up to 9%.  
  • Next of kin or nominated person to receive a financial sum of three times annual salary, upon death in service. 
  • Group funded health cash plan, which includes a range of treatments. 
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides 24-hour free confidential phone helpline for employees and families at the same address.
  • Free confidential telephone counselling service with up to 8 free confidential face to face counselling sessions. 
  • Annual performance award for exceptional contribution. Awards are 2%, 5% or 10% of salary. 
  • Most locations have on-site parking or allocation parking nearby. 
  • Annual professional membership fee paid if relevant and required for the role. 
  • Sick pay from day one of employment. Level of entitlement is based on service. 
  • Much more benefits available on request.

 

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