Legal and Policy Partner
Full time, permanent role
Closing date: 20th September 2021
The Legal and Policy Partner will provide legal advice, information and guidance in
all aspects of housing law and practice, collaborating with teams to improve their
knowledge and systems of work to deliver high quality services to tenants and
Core Responsibilities & Accountabilities
Provide general and some specialist legal advice to the services within the Housing
and Communities Directorate and support to other areas of the business, as directed,
· Housing management, including tenancy management, anti social behaviour
· and rent collection
· Land related issues
· Leasehold issues
· Property repair and investment issues – especially related to disrepair, and
· Compliance issues, including data protection.
Provide assurance to the senior management team and the board that all aspects of
housing management and other services are being delivered in accordance with legal
· To help identify areas of improvement required in the housing management team’s knowledge and practice, then design and implement both training and systems solutions to address these.
· To provide a clear focus on what the organisation's legal options are in respect of all issues of housing policy, housing management and tenancy enforcement.
· To identify key changes in case law and legislative matters that is likely to impact on practice, recommend changes to work systems and collaborate with teams to implement these. This will include major change such as the Renting Homes Act.
· To contribute to aspects of compliance with regulatory requirements as identified and required.
· To provide training, advice and guidance to all teams on how to ensure they are complying with GDPR requirements.
· To work with the Head of Procurement and Compliance to report to senior management on any information security breaches or near misses and lead on action to ensure lessons are learned and practices changed
· To undertake housing management legal work for and on behalf of the organisation.
· To undertake leaseholder, shops, garages and land related legal work for and on behalf of the organisation.
· To empower, support and train housing teams to deal with complex and challenging housing management situations in a way themselves that meets cultural, ethical and legal expectations.
· To provide counsel and where necessary leadership in addressing gaps in housing management knowledge, confidence and practices.
· To design and deliver training and workshops, internally and externally.
· To collaborate with external partners on strategically relevant projects and initiatives.
Key working Relationships
· Undertake robust stakeholder engagement so as to develop and maintain positive working relationships with local, regional and national strategic partners.
· Undertake contract management and negotiation with key suppliers ensuring good governance in either the private, public or voluntary sectors.
· Work at a strategic level with other RSLs both locally and nationally to develop common responses to emerging issues in Social Housing such as the introduction of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act and also giving a co-ordinated response to the changing service being provided by other partners.
· Present to Executive Team performance information, best practice and delivery proposals.
· Promote awareness and changes service areas through meetings, delivering training, presentations and consultation at public events.
· Be an active member of the Senior Management Team which involves communicating, delivering presentations, influencing and enabling the delivery of key strategic initiatives.
· Actively engage with tenants, Councillors and residents to both support the effective delivery of services and to successfully resolve complex and sensitive complaints.
Responsibilities for Resources
People and Management
· Develop organisational capability to manage potentially complex housing management issues reasonably, proportionately, decisively and effectively.
· Manage relationships successfully and create an environment in which community housing teams have the knowledge and confidence to manage tenancies effectively.
· Encourage, support and use appropriate and timely communication.
· Promote excellent customer service by staff at all times.
· Ensure that staff undertake relevant training and encourage further staff development through coaching, mentoring and other methods.
· Promote a culture of innovation, joint working, employee involvement and positive problem solving.
· Make clear decisions and communicate effectively and openly across the organisation.
· Ensure that all business within the department is conducted in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements, standing orders, scheme of delegation and financial regulations.
· Ensure all compliance risks and issues that arise are addressed in the appropriate manner.
· Prepare, manage and control all allocated cost centres within approved budgets and in compliance with agreed procedures.
· Contribute to the production of accurate monthly management accounts and ensure robust budgetary control.
· Seek to maximise income streams to support the Business Plan and to mitigate risks of service failure.
· Effectively assess and manage operational risks in line with the risk management strategy.
· Ensure value for money in the supported living services procured.
· Oversee the preparation of programmes of work including briefs, specifications and tender documentation to ensure all major works and services needed within the department is procured correctly.
· Risk, Health & Safety
· Working collaboratively with all department team managers and the health and safety advisor to ensure that all service delivery activities including those that are undertaken by external contractors and suppliers are carried out and managed in a safe manner, that they comply with legislation and that all risks are identified and mitigated proportionally.
· Accountable for the overall performance of the service against KPIs.
· Effective directorate service management internally and externally to ensure continued sustainability, viability and improvement in our services.
· Regularly consult tenants and customers over service standards through satisfaction
· surveys and report on performance and outcomes.
· Promote a culture of continuous improvement and learning from good practice and from customer feedback and complaints.
· Promote a culture of customer excellence and ensure that tenants and residents have a range of opportunities to be genuinely involved and make a difference to policy development and service delivery. Research best practice and benchmarking that would promote efficiency and excellent service delivery.
· Produce regular reports including performance reports for the Board, Executive Management Team.
· The physical environment requires the employee to work mainly inside the office with frequent site visits into the community.
· Extensive periods working on computer for query retrieval from the housing management database, word processing, creating presentations, email and inputting data for report preparation, briefings, consultations and surveys.
· Periods of prolonged concentration when strategically analysing a wide range of complex information and data and exception reporting.
· Represent our company in a professional manner at all times.
· Ensure that all policies and procedures are adhered to.
· Comply with the Organisation’s Health and Safety Policies and Procedures.
· Understand and demonstrate the principles of confidentiality
· Observe and continually promote the Housing’s Equality
• 25 days of annual leave which increases with 5 years length of service
• Defined Contribution Pension Scheme
• FREE on-site parking
• Training and Development opportunities
• A comprehensive range of company benefits including a Cycle to Work scheme
• Free, confidential, 24/7 employee assistance programme (with access to flexible counselling)