Vacancy: Private Sector Liaison Officer – Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

  • Department: Housing and Communities
  • Location: Council Offices, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6AE
  • Salary: £22,913 – 25,930 per annum inclusive of outer fringe allowance
  • Contract: Temporary Working Pattern Full Time 37 hours per week.
  • DBS Check: No
  • Closing Date: 20/03/2022 at 23:59
  • Reference: HSG/22/186182

Are you someone who likes to challenge misconceptions? 
Could you change the mind of someone who bases their opinions on false assumptions?
Are you interested in helping people who find themselves in a difficult position?
If so, we want to hear from you

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is responsible for providing housing advice to those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. We are trying to prevent people from experiencing homelessness and help find them new homes. 

Engagement with the private lettings sector is key, however we find it increasingly difficult to convince landlords and letting agents to consider our customers as tenants. There can be a reluctance to take people on benefits as tenants and those that seek advice from our service are often perceived as problematic, leading to fewer properties being available as housing. 

We are working to change that and need someone to take the lead in changing minds and winning over the sceptics. 

The Housing Needs team has recently expanded, and with increasing numbers of colleagues focused on helping households find new homes, we require a Private Sector Liaison Officer who can build relationships with local agents and landlords to find ways to access property that can be secured as homes. 

You will be responsible for securing accommodation in the private sector for households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. You will work to create and develop positive relationships with local landlords and letting agents, negotiating the use of accommodation, and matching up prospective tenants with suitable, appropriate accommodation, in turn reducing the demand on the Council’s emergency homeless accommodation.

You will be able to find creative solutions to problems, such as finding ways to attract landlords that are initially uninterested in working with the Council or renting to customers on benefits. You will investigate ways to change minds and promote the Housing Options Service as an attractive proposition. 

Our customers come from all backgrounds, with different life experiences. When they approach us they are often going through the most stressful time in their life. You will assist them in turning their lives around by finding them somewhere safe and affordable to live. 

This team changes lives for the better, and you can be part of that!

As well as securing accommodation you will also assist households to set up their tenancy, work proactively to establish good relationships between parties and be available to assist with any issues which might jeopardise the tenancy, referring cases on to dedicated caseworkers when more intensive prevention work is needed.

You will have the ability, skills and confidence to deal with colleagues in the private housing sector, understanding their motivations and establishing processes that are mutually beneficial to the Council and the property owners or managers. 

We are looking for someone with:

•    High motivation and commitment to providing high quality public services to the local community
•    Experience of working in the private rented sector or similar sales background
•    The ability to build strong working relationships with other organisations
•    The ability to persuade and negotiate with others in order to achieve a clearly defined goal 
•    The ability to deliver within a pressurised environment, with conflicting priorities and deadlines
•    Excellent communication, customer service and interpersonal skills

If you are passionate about helping people, assisting those in housing need, thrive under pressure and enjoy team working – we want to hear from you.

The council have developed a ‘One Team’ approach to working and this relies on each and every person working collaboratively to deliver shared goals. To be a positive influence on this environment, you’ll need to be able to support others and be a genuine team player. 

What the council is really looking for is someone with a true customer focus, an understanding of what great customer service involves and a commitment to delivering outstanding results. 

Closing date for applications is Sunday 20 March 2022. 

Assessments will be held on Thursday 24 March 2022, with interviews on Wednesday 30 March 2022.

How to apply

To apply and to view the role profile, please visit: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

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