A conversation with local manager makes the world of difference for resident

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Posted 12 November 2020

Court Manager, Julie Izzard, tells us how a simple, supportive conversation enabled a resident to tell her he was struggling to pay his rent on time due to his dyslexia.

She was able to lend her helping hands and offer a new arrangement which has made life much easier for the resident, and he now feels in control of his finances.

“I had contacted my resident as part of the weekly wellbeing calls we are undertaking, after having some trouble contacting him earlier in the week. When I phoned at 8.30am he was still in bed. I explained that I needed to talk to him and it was important (I did not say it was about rent arrears at this point). I asked if could I call him back in about an hour, to which he agreed.

“I started the conversation by having a friendly general chat and then said that I needed to speak to him about his Direct Debit (DD), and asked if he was aware that his last DD payment had bounced. He said if the DD had gone out the next day it would have cleared. I then asked if there was anything I could do to help him with this, as it had happened on a few occasions and it is very important that his rent is paid on time each month. He explained that gets confused regarding what date the DD will be coming out of his account as it different every month and he struggles due to his dyslexia. I told him that I could help with this by making a change to his DD payments.

“I suggested changing to monthly payments on the first of the month to make it easier to remember. He agreed to this and I changed the DD to reflect this. I explained that the first monthly payment would be on the 1 November but there would be a shortfall of two weeks of rent, as his original DD would have come out of his account on 19 October, and we would also need to find a way to pay the missed September DD.

“He told me that he had money in another account and could transfer this over to pay the missed payment and the two weeks’ rent that day. He told me he has internet banking on his phone so he would transfer funds over. We agreed I would call him back in 15 minutes to take payment. I called back at the agreed time and a card payment was taken.

“After the payment had been taken I confirmed the amount for the new DD and reminded him that this would come out every month on the first of the month. He was very happy with this and thanked me for suggesting it, as it will make it much easier for him to manage and to remember. I added that I would monitor his rent account and if he had any further questions to call me and I would explain everything again.

“This supportive approach definitely helped the situation and the resident felt more comfortable in telling me he has dyslexia.”

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