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"The Welfare Reforms workshop is extremely beneficial for staff, tenants and board members in ensuring organisations can pro-actively prepare to minimise the negative financial impact of these major reforms, on future income received from Housing Benefit and on arrears. "

Maria Murphy,
CEX, Derby Homes

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Rent First - Assertiveness and negotiation skills for non-income staff dealing with tenants affected by welfare reform

  • Minimise the impact of the welfare reforms
  • Learn how to take control
  • Ensure rent is prioritised by your tenants


The Welfare Reform Act 2012 will undoubtedly have an impact on the income you collect from tenants and will impact greatly on your tenants ability to pay.

Your staff will have some difficult messages to convey to tenants regarding rent first and under occupancy charges. These tenants will have competing priorities, you must make sure they understand the importance of paying rent first.

To help you minimise the impact LIN has produced a training course to ensure that your staff have the skills and confidence to address these and other issues with your tenants.

This in-house workshop, is constantly updated to take account of the Welfare Reforms as they take effect and is endorsed by Louise Harding, Head of Tenant Services (Compliance & Advice), Coast & Country Housing Association, who says:

'Feedback from staff was excellent. They said that the training will help them to talk to tenants and explain the difficult messages around Welfare Reform cuts particularly bedroom tax. They said it will help them to explain to tenants that we will continue to support and advise them and that paying their rent continues to be a priority'

and Karen Gibson, Tenant Advisor, Coast and Country Housing Assciation, who says:

'Good course that helped me look at how I approach and handle the subject of arrears and bedroom tax. 3 years into role feel more confident than when I last had training, thank you' 

The course will include the following:

  • Welfare Reform facts - looking at the impact on your tenants
  • Assertive behaviour
  • How to negotiate
  • Controlling the conversation
  • Influencing factors
  • Questioning techniques


This training course delivers practical skills for customer focused staff, involved in a range of duties, who need to get across the message that sympathising over something that the landlord can’t change doesn’t help the customer to deal with their situation. There are hard messages to be delivered alongside the practical help and support that the landlord can provide around maximising income and minimising outgoings. This workshop is for housing providers who are looking to reduce the impact that welfare reforms and other changes to the benefit system will have on their future rental income by ensuring staff are empowered and assertive enough to deal with the challenges that lay ahead. 


People who will benefit greatly from attending this course are:

  • All staff and managers involved in talking to tenants about any tenancy issues
  • Front line tenant advisors and tenant assistants
  • Customer service staff 
  • Support staff
  • Housing officers
  • Contact centre staff
  • Housing advice centre staff
  • Service improvement staff
  • Staff working in strategy and policy teams


 What will they learn:

  • An understanding of the potential impact on your tenants
  • Understanding of the importance of controlling a conversation
  • How to be assertive
  • An appreciation of the use of influencing factors
  • An understanding of questioning techniques
  • An understanding of the words that should and should not be used


If you are interested in accessing this training package please contact Claire Turner Director of the Landlord Information Network, to discuss bespoke training on T: 01246 413791 or E:


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LIN trainer Roys Ibbotsons’ career has involved managing and collecting Local Authority Revenues and Housing Debts since 1974 until he joined a major Debt Collection Agency as their Housing specialist. 

In 2002 Roy joined Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) to head the Rent Arrears Recovery Unit and his team reduced the current arrears from £4.2m to £1.78m over the next 4 years. KNH were awarded 3 stars as an excellent ALMO by the Housing Inspectors during that time. 

Roy now delivers training in best practice in Housing Income and Sundry Income for both Local Authorities and Housing Associations. Roy also carries out consultancy work in both of those fields, conducting reviews of current practices and making recommendations on how performance can be improved. All training and consultancy can be tailored to meet your exact requirements. 


If you are interested in accessing this training package please contact Claire Turner Director of the Landlord Information Network, to discuss bespoke training on T: 01246 413791 or E: 

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