Key principles:

Housing 21 will minimise and prevent arrears by:    

  • Ensuring residents are fully aware of their responsibilities for paying rent and other charges prior to and at the time of taking up the tenancy.   
  • Providing guidance and support to residents enabling them to maximise their income including assistance in claiming Housing Benefit and other available benefits.  
  • Adopting a collect with care approach, maintaining regular contact with residents to prevent, reduce and limit arrears. It is the responsibility of Scheme Managers/ Housing Managers/ Leasehold Managers and their Line Managers to ensure that this happens. Close liaison and early intervention and support with residents is essential to prevent arrears arising and to assist in reducing arrears.    
  • Ensuring  that work flow actions are set up and maintained in PEBBLEs Housing Management System to provide prompts to employees and Managers in order to facilitate appropriate arrears action to be taken in line with this Rent Arrears Policy and Procedure  
  • Acting swiftly when arrears begin to occur. This ensures that minor problems do not escalate into major ones. Operational employees will treat the collection of rent and the prevention of rent arrears as a priority area of their work with residents  
  • Building an appropriate degree of flexibility into the procedure to allow some discretion for OM/ RHMs when working with residents who are in crisis or who have no income for a limited period of time.      
  • Ensuring that rent collection and arrears performance forms part of individual and team target setting, and that progress against KPI targets is measured, monitored  and reported on regularly.   
  • Evictions will be seen as the last resort and where there are no other reasonable actions to prevent/ recover debt. The arrears policy will form part of the Tenancy Sustainment Strategy.    
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