We are currently recruiting for a Private Rented Sector Officer to undertake specialist and detailed housing casework to identify and secure suitable housing solutions to prevent or relieve homelessness for those persons applying to the Council for homelessness assistance. This will involve using existing abilities, strong negotiating skills, and excellent self-confidence to deal with partners in the private rented housing sector, to proactively source and secure accommodation in that sector for households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. You will seek and develop positive working relationships with landlords and letting agents, both within the district and wider afield, working to understand the housing market and Landlord/Agent motivations and negotiating with them to secure the use of suitable accommodation for the Council’s PRS Scheme. You will also stablish processes and procedures that are mutually beneficial to the Council and property owners/managers to facilitate such joint working.
The role will also involve working directly with homeless applicants, assessing their housing needs, including completing with them affordability and suitability assessments, in order to match them as prospective tenants with suitable accommodation. You will assist applicants to secure such accommodation by negotiating financial packages with the Landlord/Agent, preparing and processing payments to secure that accommodation, and assisting applicants and Landlords/Agents to complete any required paperwork.
You will also work with households assisted under the PRS scheme to sustain and manage their tenancies, proactively establishing and fostering good relationships between parties, and being available to assist the household or Landlord/Agent to resolve any issues arising which might jeopardise the tenancy. Amongst others this will include giving advice on landlord and tenant legal rights and responsibilities.
The role will include maximising income by effective and efficient recovery of debt owing to the Council via the Rent in Advance and Deposit Loan Scheme, and by undertaking inspections of properties to verify claims made by Landlords/Agents against deposit bonds at the end of tenancies.
You will work in close partnership with the Housing Options and Rehousing Teams, proactively seeking to prevent families having to experience homelessness, assisting homeless families into new homes, and working to reduce the demand on the Council’s emergency homeless accommodation by increasing the availability to the Council of accommodation in the private sector with which to discharge the Council’s homeless duties.
You will ensure that all properties accepted under the PRS Scheme meet the Councils required standards by carrying out housing inspections in accordance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), reporting on property condition and following up with a Schedule of Work recommending appropriate action to be taken as appropriate.
You will deal with the full range of private-sector housing issues including complaint investigation, hazard and nuisance resolution. You will support and assist the Homeless Prevention & Assessment Team Leader in promoting joint working and partnerships with Private Sector landlords, and to increase the quality and quantity of accommodation in that sector available to the Council to enable it to discharge its homeless duties. This will also involve liaising closely with the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team.
You will provide a high-quality customer focused service to help homeless applicants to secure suitable accommodation to prevent or relieve their homelessness.
Alongside their main duties, the post holder may also be required to carry out any other duties that are consistent with their grade and which might reasonably be asked of them.
In return we offer you:
- Generous annual leave entitlement
- Generous local government pension scheme package
- Access to wider training and development qualifications
- Flexible working scheme
- Travel plan discounts
- Car Benefit Scheme from Tusker
- Access to CAREFIRST advice & counselling service
- Employee discount scheme for national and local retailers
- The Government has introduced new ways of supporting parents with childcare costs. Further details are available here: - https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
We're committed to making Medway carbon neutral by 2050. We have developed an action plan to ensure we play our part in addressing the climate emergency. Our declaration fits into our Council Plan priority of making Medway a place to be proud of. The main outcome being a 'clean and green environment'. All Medway Council staff can access an additional day’s paid leave to undertake a volunteering activity which supports climate change.
Medway is a unitary authority in the South East of England, made up of the towns of Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham and more rural areas, including the Hoo Peninsula.
Situated in Kent in the South-East of England, the area has plenty of green spaces, excellent facilities and easy access to the national motorway and rail networks, facilitating superb transport links to London.
We provide all local Government services for a quarter of a million people, looking after education, environment, social care, housing, planning, business and much more - everything from frontline services such as rubbish collection and events like the Dickens Festival to work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure services in Medway run smoothly and cost effectively.
Working at Medway Council means that you get to be part of this journey working alongside talented, professional colleagues to drive forward change to transform the lives of our residents and the communities they live in.
If you would like to have an informal discussion with the recruiting manager, please call Tracy Partridge on 01634 333514.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate all essential requirements as listed in the job profile.
Equal Opportunities Commitment Statement
Medway Council is committed to creating an inclusive work environment with a diverse workforce. All appropriately qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, disability, marital status, family commitments, sexual orientation, age, HIV status, religious or political beliefs, social class or trade union activity or irrelevant spent conviction.
For further information please refer to the Medway information pack available as a download or to view online.
Please be advised that if you are not contacted within 3 weeks of the advert closing date then you have not been shortlisted. All recruitment correspondence, including interview letters and contracts of employment will usually be sent out via email.
Please visit http://www.mindfulemployer.net/ for information on how Medway Council put good practices in place to ensure employees and job applicants who declare mental health issues receive the right level of support.
We reserve the right to close this vacancy at any time prior to the closing date.