Role: Legal Officer
Location: Brixton, Greater London
Duration: 4 months+
Rate: £20.50 per hour
The post holder will take responsibility for day-to-day handling of the income recovery process, including court action, for service charge debt.
They will work as part of a team of Litigation Officers assisted by a specialist Surveyor. Taking instruction from the collections team, they will have responsibility for communicating with homeowners and the Courts for cases in their portfolio, that evidence and documentation is accurate and complete, and that the set timescales of the process are met. They will ensure that any queries raised as part of the process are fully answered. The post holder will ensure that the litigation process is conducted in accordance with the highest standards and will have responsibility for ensuring that the council’s financial interests and reputation are protected.
The post holder will be required to have an excellent knowledge of both statutory and relevant case law on service charges and will be required to represent the council in court and at the First Tier Tribunal when required.
- Manage a portfolio of service charge debt recovery cases, ensuring that accurate records are kept, that correspondence is issued correctly and that timescales for court action are met
- Liaise with homeowners by telephone, email, letter and face-to-face as appropriate, advising them of their options for dealing with service charge debt, answering queries on service charge accounts and giving information on any court action
- Collating evidence and documentation relevant to cases in their portfolio
- Dealing with cases referred to the First Tier Tribunal or arbitration
- Represent the council in the courts and at the First Tier Tribunal when required
- Take responsibility for ensuring that the council’s data protection procedures are maintained
- Take responsibility for ensuring that records are adequately maintained and are secure
- Using their extensive knowledge of case and statutory law and policy, provide a legal resource for dealing with queries from the collections and other teams
- Report regularly to the Enforcement Manager on progress of individual cases
- A good knowledge of leasehold issues, including but not limited to service charges; repairs and maintenance responsibilities; current law and legislation
- Broad knowledge and awareness of current issues and developments affecting the management of council housing
- An excellent working knowledge of the Court process and the operation of the First Tier Tribunal
- Proven experience in leasehold management and practice
- Experience of handling and managing Court, tribunal and arbitration cases and of representing an organisation in these processes
- Experience of working within a large, complex, customer-focused organisation, of working to performance targets and deadlines and of managing workload to meet targets
- Experience of liaising with resident, homeowner or comparable stakeholder groups and of liaising with bodies such as resident or consumer organisations, advice services such as the CAB, and preferably with councillors, MPs and other elected officials
- Relevant legal / professional qualification
Local authority experience is desirable.
Deekay Contact: Michael Wilde - 0161 747 1234