Finance Officer (Housing)

3 months – likely extension

£17.63 per hour PAYE

£22.55 per hour UMB

Hybrid – 2 days in the office – Team meetings and training held at the Wandsworth Office.

Start Date – ASAP

On-site interviews will be held.

Job Purpose

To maximise income collection for temporary accommodation tenants, ensuring that applicants pay their charges in a timely and regular way. To proactively and sensitively pursue and minimise arrears, advising on preventative action to be taken to stop them falling into arrears. To recommend court action/eviction processes as required and/or the write off of irrecoverable debt. To do the foregoing via regular and detailed interviews with often vulnerable homeless households.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

1. Responsible for proactively pursuing debt on current and former tenant accounts and resolving credits on current and former tenants accounts. Responsible for ensuring that clients pay their temporary accommodation charges and to minimize any arrears on account by taking timely action. Where required creates and monitors repayment plans to ensure arrears do not increase.

2. To advise tenants on welfare benefits, by offering detailed advice and referring tenants to specialist advice and debt counselling. To assist tenants to maximise their income by ensuring that they are claiming their benefit entitlements and managing existing debt. To support and advise tenants with Housing Benefit claims and requesting backdating where required.

3. To participate in duty rotas, generally and within the Customer Service Centre across both boroughs. Frequently assists clients by telephone or via personal interview to complete a Housing Benefit form and maintains a close liaison with the Housing Benefit Section, ensuring temporary accommodation payments are maximised. Explains to clients their own responsibilities for payments, as appropriate, advising and assisting on the accessing of appropriate welfare benefits available to the client and offers support in maximising income.

4. To arrange and/or attend liaison meetings with both Internal and external agencies to ensure effective case management and or to represent the department when a multi-agency approach is required.

5. Pursues current and former rent arrears for temporary accommodation and liaises with various agencies, as appropriate, helping to resolve problems in relation to benefits. Responsible for negotiating repayment programmes, advising of any appropriate assistance. Refers client for debt counselling, as necessary, and advises on implications of possession action. Recording and confirming all agreed actions to ensure that decisions are reasonable and defendable in Court. Where debt recovery on former tenants’ arrears has proved unsuccessful, implementation of Former Tenants Arrears in line with client procedures.

6. Regularly monitors and resolves all account discrepancies, including housing benefit, promptly. Establishes any client over-payments on account and produces a financial breakdown, recommending client reimbursements to housing benefit or other services. Prepares and submits accounting journals as directed and arranges any refund due to the client.

7. Prepares cases for Notice to Quit in line with current procedures for those who have failed to pay. Ensures that work around vulnerable clients has been fully completed. Attends possession hearings in County Court to give verbal evidence and provide the case history. Agrees within guidelines, on behalf of the client, terms and method of payment of arrears following to Court judgements.

8. To arrange for the production and distribution of regular rent statements to tenants and advise tenants on these accordingly.

9. To arrange and participate in any welfare benefits take up campaigns or surgeries as required

10. To manage client’s accounts for removal and storage services as applicable and ensure that payments to accounts are maintained.

11. Drafts replies to Member’s enquiries and complaints for the approval of line management.

Adecco acts as an employment agency for permanent recruitment and an employment business for the supply of temporary workers. The Adecco Group UK & Ireland is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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