About us & about the role
Hillingdon is London's second-largest borough. Our staff live across Hillingdon and beyond, with our main council offices at the Civic Centre in the heart of the vibrant Uxbridge town centre. Putting our residents first is at the heart of everything we do, and we are embarking on an ambitious plan to modernise our service offering while sustaining high-quality delivery.
We are looking for a Senior Litigation and Arrears Recovery Officer for a fixed term duration of up to 12 months, reporting into the Team Manager, to join our busy and specialist team. The Rent Collection and Arrears Recovery Team manage the most significant financial risks to successful tenancies and maximise all rental income due to the Council by ensuring that all necessary and proportional enforcement action is taken when all reasonable and appropriate interventions and support measures have been exhausted.
The Senior Litigation and Arrears Recovery Officers are responsible for maximising the income stream from a range of occupation arrangements through an effective and supportive recovery process, with an emphasis on the delivery of a 'Rent First' approach. Even at Recovery stage the Senior Litigation and Arrears Recovery Officer will explore further avenues to collect unpaid rent before embarking on court action in a proportionate way. The officer will be responsible for all court actions and be "gate keeper" for the process leading to after court action.
Our borough offers fantastic transport links with the A40, M25, Metropolitan, Elizabeth, and Piccadilly lines, all local to us, so you can easily travel to work, with free parking within our own car park. We also offer hybrid working arrangements, balancing time between the office and home.
Main aspects of the role
The main aspects of the role are
To be responsible for the selection, development and performance of a pod of Rent Collection & Arrears Recovery Officers in line with the Council's HR policies.
Provide advice and guidance to Rent Collection & Arrears Recovery Officers in relation case work management and the preparation of cases for court referral.
Effectively manage own high-risk caseload to protect the Council's interest, maximise income and prevent tenancy failure.
Deliver an effective risk-based rent account monitoring regime which supports compliance with operational practice, full use of Northgate Analytics, learning and income maximisation.
Provide advice, support and guidance to Rent Collection & Arrears Recovery Officers in identifying a range of suitable and effective interventions to mitigate and manage escalating debts and associated risks of tenancy failure.
Deliver a quality assurance role in relation to rent account management and referrals for formal court action to positively influence the quality and effectiveness of 'pre-court' arrears management.
We are looking for someone with experience of supervising staff and monitoring the quantitative and qualitative aspects of casework within a social housing setting. It is essential that you have experience of managing complex rent arrears casework associated with a range of unmet needs and multiple debts. You will also be able to demonstrate substantial direct experience of taking court action against tenants for non-payment of rent from 'pre-court' to eviction.
You will Hold an appropriate qualification in a relevant field: NVQ, Diploma, relevant degree or be able to demonstrate equivalent transferable experience.
It is essential that you can demonstrate the following knowledge and skills of key service areas, including, but not exclusively:
- Demonstrates a sound knowledge and understanding of Housing, Landlord & Tenant legislation and welfare benefits applicable to rent collection within a social housing setting.
- Thorough understanding of the concept and relevance of tenancy sustainment and the principles of prevention, early intervention and cost avoidance.
- Possession of established skills set which is supportive of staff that work in a busy operating environment and encounter challenging behaviours.
- Proven ability to bring forward creative solutions and translate them into positive outcomes for tenants in response to multiple debt issues and underlying needs.
- Sound knowledge of the actions and standards which must be evidenced to meet the requirements of the pre-court protocol.
- Good understanding of the 'claimant journey' in the context of Universal Credit including the barriers to a successful claim.
What we offer
We offer a range of Company benefits. These vary according to the business area and role but may include:
- local government average salary pension scheme
- free parking (4 days a week) if based at the Civic Centre
- a 36-hour week for all full-time staff
- generous holiday entitlement: a minimum 25 days a year (plus bank holidays), rising to 28 days after five years' service. For more senior positions holiday entitlements can rise to a maximum of 36 days
- career breaks
- flexible working hours
- season ticket loan
- access to a Credit Union
- access to a wide range of training and courses
- discount on a variety of Adult Education courses run by the Council
- payment of professional fees where these are required
- discounts at council-owned leisure centres and swimming pools at Hillingdon (Uxbridge), Queensmead (South Ruislip), Highgrove (Ruislip) and Botwell Green (Hayes)
- cycle purchase scheme
- car sharing scheme
- 30% discount on green fees at council-owned golf courses
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Applicants should be aware that the post will only be offered to successful candidates subject to an Enhanced DBS check as well as other employment clearances.
This is a challenging role yet rewarding. If you need to discuss this role please contact Kwame McEyeson ().
Due to an expected high volume of applications, we could close this role early, we therefore recommend you apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.