Housing officers supervise the day-to-day maintenance and management of rented properties within their geographical area of responsibility. The housing officer’s role may include overseeing a housing team and therefore the titles housing officer and housing manager, may be used interchangeably, depending on the employer.
Duties include allocating vacant accommodation, dealing with breaches of tenancy agreements, overseeing mutual property exchanges, and carrying out regular estate inspections to ensure all properties are in a good state of repair. Housing officers assess the specific requirements of those applying for housing, and refer tenants to appropriate sources of benefits and welfare advice. They deal with rent setting, payments and arrears, and may initiate legal action when other forms of rent recovery have failed.
Housing officers spend some time liaising with other agencies such as housing associations, social services departments and welfare rights organisations. They encourage and support tenants’ groups and represent the council at meetings; they advise councillors on projected local housing need, prepare reports, and process statistical information.
Housing officers usually work 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Part-time work may be available. Occasional evening work may be required.
The work is largely office-based, however, some time is spent travelling when visiting tenants, inspecting properties and attending meetings.
To be a housing officer, you should:
Local authorities are the largest employers of housing officers, although housing associations are employing an increasing number. Government departments, charitable trusts, voluntary organisations, property companies and private landlords also employ housing officers.
Promotion in local authority housing departments may be possible, but promotion structures within other organisations vary. It is common for housing officers to move between employers to gain more experience and higher salaries.
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