If you are an organized individual, have excellent communication skills and are interested in property, you may consider becoming a housing officer.
Housing officers supervise daily maintenance and management tasks of rented properties within their geographical area of duty. These properties may belong to housing associations, local authorities and other accommodation providers.
Your day-to-day activities may include:
- Inspecting properties and preparing reports
- Looking after repair and maintenance activities
- Processing housing applications
- Interviewing tenants and allocating properties
- Making decisions on rents and broken tenancy agreements
- Taking legal actions if required
- Liaising with social welfare organizations, property professionals, authority councilors, etc
- Attending community meetings
- Dealing with complaints from clients
- Developing new housing schemes
Working Hours and Conditions
You usually work from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. You may have to occasionally work evenings as well. You are mainly office based but may have to travel to attend meetings, meet tenants and to inspect properties.
Mode of Employment
Assistant housing officers
Up to £18,500 a year
Qualified housing officers
£21,000 to £27,000 a year
Up to £32,000 a year
Up to £38,000 a year
Up to £60,000 or more a year
To be a housing officer, you don’t need any specific qualifications and this profession is open to all graduates. However, it is recommended that you earn a degree in any of the following subjects:
- Facilities management;
- Land, estate or property management;
- Urban studies;
- Housing or planning;
- Business or management studies;
- Public and social administration;
- Sociology or social policy
When seeking employment, pre-entry experience in housing or a related customer service field gets crucial for some posts.
You may also get into this area of work through graduate trainee schemes. You start off by first working as an administrative assistant or housing assistant and then progressing to become a housing officer.
In case you don’t hold a relevant housing degree, you may take up the following qualifications accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH):
- Level 4 Certificate: Housing Profession
- Level 2 Certificate: Housing Practice
There are numerous postgraduate diplomas or Masters Qualifications offered by CIH accredited centers such as M. SC in Housing Studies.
You may also enter into this job through an Apprenticeships scheme.
To pass background checks which may be required for this job, you may refer to Disclosure and Barring Service website.
Once employed, you are trained on-the-job by your employer. He may also encourage you to study part-time for industry qualifications, such as:
- Level 3 (NVQ): Certificate or Diploma in Housing Practices
- Level 4: Certificate or Diploma in Housing Practices
To gain access to career resources, growth opportunities and networking opportunities, you may join professional body like the CIH.
Skills and Interests Needed
To be a housing officer, it is vital that you demonstrate the following:
- Impeccable communication skills
- Great inter-personal skills
- Good organisational skills
- Excellent negotiation and problem solving skills
- Be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
- Good numerical skills for calculating rent and service charges
- Good IT skills
- Friendly and calm disposition
It is usually a requirement to possess a driving license. Also, you need a good understanding of housing management legislation.
Numerous employment opportunities are available with housing associations and various accommodation providers.
Initially, you enter this profession as a support officer or a housing assistant. After gaining experience at work, there are numerous opportunities for progression to more senior management roles such as those of operation managers, area managers or housing team leaders.
Last word: To be successful, it is important that you have an analytical mind and can find solutions to problems with a blink of an eye.
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