NHAS Training Programme

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1 NHAS Training Programme April

2 Contents Training Courses... 4 Housing Foundation Course... 5 Advising on Possession Proceedings for Rented Housing... 6 Mortgage arrears and possession process... 7 Housing Assistance for Persons from Aboard... 8 Mortgage Arrears and Budgeting... 9 Rented Housing Next Steps Housing Update Course Homelessness Advice Next Steps Housing and Welfare Reform Housing Advice and Relationship Breakdown (new) E-learning What is e-learning and bite size? Bite Size Sessions Housing rights when renting Housing rights for students Housing rights for tenants with tied tenancies Housing rights for ex-offenders Housing or homelessness application? The difference Housing rights for agricultural tenancies Housing court desk skills Localism Act 2011 and housing Can my client afford to stay in their home Landlord harassment Tenancy Deposit Scheme Advising tenants of landlords with mortgage repossession How to use the AdviserNet housing status flowcharts Applying to suspend a warrant of possession Introductory and starter tenancies in a nutshell Webinars Non Priority Clients Assistance and Prevention Webinar: What s happening in your area? Preventing Mortgage Repossessions

3 Spare Room Subsidy Student Advice on Tenancy Deposits How to access NHAS training NHAS Training Courses Webinars

4 Training Courses 4

5 Housing Foundation Course Who the course is for: This course is for trainee advisers who have, ideally, recently attended the Adviser skills course and would like to develop their knowledge in housing. (Please refer to the adviser and housing learning routes for more information on how learning activities fit together.) This course addresses the following competences: Enq 4. a/b/c/d/f/g/h/i/j/k/l//q (competences for advisers - Enq 4. Advise on housing problems). Aims of the Course: This two-day course helps trainee advisers develop their housing competence, alongside their client interviews. This course builds on the Housing and Homelessness and housing options self study packs. Day 1 of the course will help trainee advisers: identify a client s housing status using the Citizens Advice information system, and explain why this is so important identify what stage in possession proceedings a client has reached and common documents associated with them identify situations where a possession order or eviction may be avoidable and identify when urgent action may be needed Day 2 of the course will help trainee advisers: identify possible housing options for clients describe some of the key causes and effects of homelessness and consider how these may differ from common stereotypes identify the statutory duties owed to homeless people, and use information resources to support effective homeless applications recognise when challenges to homelessness decisions may be appropriate, and explain the options, including that of social policy identify issues from clients that may indicate discrimination or domestic violence in housing and homelessness situations Days 1 and 2 will help trainee advisers: be aware of when you may need to consult a specialist or refer a client to another agency, and identify resources available, including NHAS consultancy Pre-course work: To get the best out of this course delegates are expected to have completed the Housing and Homelessness and housing options self study pack. 5

6 Advising on Possession Proceedings for Rented Housing Who the course is for: This course is for generalist advisers who have a basic understanding of housing status. This course builds on material in the NHAS Housing Foundation Course Aims of the course: At the end of the course you will be able to: Advise on how housing status determines the type of possession action Identify the stage of the possession process a client is at Check the validity of notices Identify relevant paperwork and complete common court forms Negotiate with landlords Identify when to make an appropriate referral Explain to clients about court procedure and decisions a court can make Please note: this course does not cover mortgage repossession. 6

7 Mortgage arrears and possession process Who the course is for Suitable for trainee or generalist advisers. This is a new course, however some of the content is similar to the Advising on mortgage arrears and possession action (AMAPA) course. Therefore if you have already attended the AMAPA course please read through the course aims carefully before deciding whether to book. Aims of the course List information needed to advise clients with mortgage arrears. Identify main options for dealing with mortgage arrears before court action. Recognise where in the mortgage possession process the client is and describe what actions they can take at each stage. Identify when to use the pre action protocol for mortgage possession. List common outcomes for mortgage possession hearings, and explain how they will affect the client. Pre course work There is An introduction to advising on mortgage arrears self study pack for this course. Log in to the members section and navigate to: _and_budgeting.htm 7

8 Housing Assistance for Persons from Aboard Who the course is for: This course is for generalist advisers who have a basic understanding of the legal duties owed to homeless people and are familiar with the process of making a homeless application. This can be achieved through your advice experience; attending the housing foundation course; or by working through the Homelessness and housing options pack. Aims of the course: After attending this course you ll be able to identify whether a client from abroad who wishes to apply for social housing or make a homeless application may be owed a statutory duty. Learning objectives At the end of the course you ll be able to: Recognise immigration status is a key factor to apply for social housing or make a homeless application. Identify the two main categories of persons from abroad. List at least five key factors to check if a person from abroad is eligibility for social housing. Check if a person is likely to be eligible for social housing. Signpost ineligible people for further advice. List three sources of further information and support. Pre course work If you do not have a basic understanding of the legal duties owed to homeless people, or are not familiar with the process of making a homeless application, please work through the Homelessness and housing options pack before attending this course. 8

9 Mortgage Arrears and Budgeting Who the course is for: Suitable for trainee or generalist advisers. This course is not intended for specialist housing or debt advisers Aims of the course: Identify the key information required to understand the client s mortgage arrears situation. Identify the budgeting and prioritising approach needed for homeowners at risk of losing their homes. Identify with a client whether their home is affordable and sustainable. Be able to explain the options available to a client when the mortgage is not affordable and sustainable Pre course work There is An introduction to advising on mortgage arrears self study pack for this course. Log in to the members section and navigate to: _and_budgeting.htm 9

10 Rented Housing Next Steps Who the course is for Generalist advisers and advice session supervisors. This course may also be useful for new housing advisers and new housing specialists. Learners will need to have a good basic knowledge of housing status and security and rented possession proceedings. Learners should have attended the Housing foundation course and the Advising on possession proceedings for rented housing course, or achieved the learning objectives for those courses by some other route. Aim of the course The course aims to develop learners understanding of status and security beyond the areas covered on the Housing foundation course. Learning objectives At the end of the course you will be able to: Identify the following tenancies granted by social housing providers and explain the rules on bringing them to an end: o introductory and starter tenants o flexible and fixed term assured shorthold tenancies o demoted tenancies Explain how tenancies granted by social housing providers are regulated and who tenants can complain to. Explain the situations when social housing providers can charge affordable rent. Explain how a tenancy can be passed on to another person through succession and assignment. Identify and advise on the security of tenure of lawful and unlawful subtenants and explain the action that can be taken when public sector accommodation has been unlawfully sublet. Outline key points about tenancy deposit schemes. Recognise joint tenancies and advise on common issues for joint tenants (for example, how they are ended, what happens if one person leaves or wants to end the tenancy). Pre course work There is pre course work for this course, you can find more information on our website. Log in to the members section and navigate to: ed_housing_next_steps.htm 10

11 Housing Update Course Who the course is for: This course is for experienced generalist advisers, advisers looking to up-skill, and advice session supervisors. This course is not for trainee advisers or housing specialists. To get the best out of this course delegates will be expected to have achieved the generalist adviser housing competences and have a good understanding of status and security, disrepair and homelessness. Aims of the course: The aim of this course is to update you on housing changes over the last year. The course will cover: Recent housing updates, such as changes to legal aid and how this affects housing advice, an update on the position with deposit claims, an update on recent housing case law. Changes in homelessness. A discussion of hot topics in housing, for example, changes to tenancy status, allocations, how localism has taken affect in your area, disrepair, housing issues and welfare reform please note we are also running a full days course on housing issues of welfare reform that will go into more detail, look out for it on the course calendar. Pre course work In preparation for the course please bring with you: 1. Your top three concerns in housing at the moment 2. An overview of what is happening in your area regarding localism 3. If the local authority has stock is it using flexible tenancies? 4. Are housing associations using flexible assured short-hold tenancies? 5. Has the local authority developed a private rented sector offer policy? 11

12 Homelessness Advice Next Steps Who this is course for: Experienced housing advisers who do housing advice casework as well as advisers or advice session supervisors starting to, or currently, negotiating with local authorities on homeless applications or challenges. Do not attend this course if you have already been on the Homelessness and localism seminar as they both cover the same content. Seminar aims: 1. To update housing advisers on case law and other legal changes in homelessness advice, with particular reference to the Localism Act (2011). 2. To give advisers time out of the office to discuss these changes and local practices. Learning objectives: By the end of the day it is hoped that case workers advisers will be able to: Identify the actions you would need to take, and work through the processes you would need to follow to assist a client in challenging an LA homelessness decision on review, including the circumstances under which you might need to make a referral. Explore examples of Local Authority gatekeeping and options to challenge this practice. Outline how the Localism Act will initially impact on Local Authority homelessness applications and the role of the private rented sector Identify how these changes might vary from local authority to local authority and where to find out what changes your local authority is planning to make. Identify and apply other relevant legal and case law updates from the last 12 months that impact on homelessness case work. Pre course work As an introduction to the localism act please complete the Localism Act 2011 and housing bite size before attending the seminar. This bite size is aimed at advisers and is a good starting point if you are completely new to the legislation. If you are already familiar with the localism act please visit the NHAS website members section and select the Resources for Advisers tab. Select from the left hand list the Localism Act 2011 tab and read the document, this will give you further information about the act and help you prepare for the seminar. 12

13 Housing and Welfare Reform Who this course is for: The course is for generalist advisers and part of the learning route for advice session supervisors, in any of the agencies who receive NHAS services across the scheme in England. Prior knowledge requirement: The requirement is that those advisers have an understanding of the welfare reform changes and know the rules for universal credit and benefit entitlement Aims of the course: To provide an overview of how welfare reform changes may impact on housing advice. Learning objectives Identify how clients may be affected by the new under occupancy rules. Identify how clients may be affected by council tax reduction schemes. Apply the impact of welfare reform changes on advice about keeping accommodation and finding other affordable accommodation. Identify universal credit effects on clients with mortgages. 13

14 Housing Advice and Relationship Breakdown (new) Please note: This course has been amended to incorporate the learning objectives of the domestic violence course (Autumn 2012) Who the course is for Experienced generalist advisers who have a good understanding of housing status and homelessness issues. You may be starting to develop your casework skills. Aim of the course To provide an overview of housing advice where there is relationship breakdown. To enable advisers to sensitively give housing advice and casework support to those clients experiencing domestic violence. To provide an overview of the client s short-term options to the home when their relationship breaks down. At the end of the course we hope you will be able to: Explain the existing housing rights of cohabiting and married partners. Identify clients who could pursue additional family law rights and refer on as appropriate. Demonstrate an awareness of the key personal and safety issues faced by clients experiencing domestic violence. Identify and explore housing options with clients facing relationship breakdown and those experiencing domestic violence. Explain the main features of a non-molestation order, an Occupation order and a Domestic Violence Protection Order and identify who can apply for these and how. Explain the domestic violence concession in the immigration rules. Identify and record local and national social policy issues. Demonstrate a commitment to anti-discriminatory practice and the Citizens Advice Equalities Strategy. Pre-course work Delegates must complete the e-learning model prior to attending the course. You can find more information on our website. Login to the member section and navigate to: e_housing_advice_and_relationship_breakdown_new.htm 14

15 E-learning This page lists all NHAS e-learning currently available. Most of the e-learning can be used straight away. You only need to book if an e-tutor is included. Please log in to the NHAS website, and navigate to the E-Learning pages, to see more information about the e-learning content, and whether booking an e-tutor is needed. What is e-learning and bite size? E-learning and bite size are online learning sessions. They can be used by individual learners at any time. NHAS bite size take about 30 minutes to an hour to work through. E-learning may take longer. E-learning and bite size can also be done by more than one learner at a time, although each using a computer. E-learning and bite size may ask learners to use relevant advice resources when working through. This is made clear in information about each. You can find tips for learners on using NHAS bite size and e-learning on our website. There is a recommended IT specification for using NHAS bite size and e-learning, more information can be found on our website. 15

16 Bite Size Sessions Bite size sessions available: Housing rights when renting Housing rights for students Housing rights for tenants with tied tenancies Housing rights for ex-offenders Housing or homelessness application? The difference Housing rights for agricultural tenancies Housing court desk skills Localism Act 2011 and housing Can my client afford to stay in their home Landlord harassment Tenancy Deposit Scheme Advising tenants of landlords with mortgage repossession How to use the AdviserNet housing status flowcharts Applying to suspend a warrant of possession Introductory and starter tenancies in a nutshell Self-Study Packs Homelessness and housing options Homelessness advice next steps Housing Housing court desks induction guide Mortgage possession 16

17 Housing rights when renting This bite size is for all advisers wanting to familiarise themselves with the different types of rented housing status and the rights and issues of each. Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: list the eight main types of rented housing status identify common housing situations for each kind of housing status list at least five unusual types of housing situations recognise rights which come from contract and other rights which come from legislation, and identify which need to be exercised with caution identify three additional situations which may add complicating factors to status Housing rights for students This bite size is for all advisers wanting to familiarise themselves with some of the common student-related housing enquiries and to gain an understanding of student rights in relation to those Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: Explain the security of tenure for students in halls of residence and how the agreement could be ended Define the security of tenure for a student who lives with a resident landlord Identify the housing status of students who have a joint tenancy for private rented accommodation State the legal obligations of guarantors Recognise where a property is a House of Multiple Occupation Propose how to advise student tenants on resolving "squabbles" between themselves Housing rights for tenants with tied tenancies This bite size is for all advisers wanting to familiarise themselves with some of the common problems and housing rights of tenants with tied tenancies. Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: Recognise the key questions to ask a client in order to establish what type of tied accommodation they have Identify two types of housing status for tied accommodation Compare the security of tenure for two different types of tied accommodation Outline three options for a client who is at risk of losing their accommodation to consider 17

18 Housing rights for ex-offenders The aim of this bite size is familiarise you with some of the common housing problems faced by ex offenders. Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: Outline five housing options for ex offenders and summarise the pros and cons of each. Recognise the main difficulties for ex offenders accessing private rented accommodation and identify where to access help. Explain the potential barrier for ex offenders accessing social housing accommodation and recognise what policy needs to be checked. Identify the key factors that need to be considered when an ex offender makes a homelessness application. Summarise the housing support needs ex offenders may require. Housing or homelessness application? The difference This bite size is for advisers with a basic knowledge of social housing provision and making homelessness applications. It covers the duties owed to homeless people and the allocation of social housing and aims to help clarify the difference By the end of the bite size you'll be able to: Recognise the difference between the allocations register and a homeless application Explain how to apply for social housing and identify when to challenge a decision Recognise when a homeless application can be made and explain how this can be done Explain what "gatekeeping" is and recognise when a challenge is appropriate Outline the duties owed by the local authority that arise at each stage of the five tests of homelessness Explain what a client can expect if the local authority owes them the main homelessness duty Housing rights for agricultural tenancies This bite size is for advisers who have attended the Housing foundation course and have a basic understanding of housing status and want to know more about the legal rights of agricultural occupiers Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: List four types of housing status in the agricultural sector. Identify the three conditions that define an agricultural occupier. Summarise the main rights of agricultural tenants, including the right to stay in the home (security of tenure). Demonstrate competent use of the relevant sections of AdviserNet. 18

19 Housing court desk skills This bite size is for advisers who are about to start advising on a housing court desk. It assumes a court desk is in operation or is in the process of being set up. You should already have extensive experience of advising on rent and mortgage arrears and have a good knowledge of the benefits system. Explain three ways advice is different on a court desk and give examples of ways to manage each of them. Outline four key skills for effective negotiation and representation. Identify obstacles to effective negotiation and representation and suggest ways to overcome them. Localism Act 2011 and housing The aim of this bite size is to introduce advisers to the main changes to social housing provision brought about by the Localism Act. Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: Identify the new types of social housing tenancies that can be fixed term Explain what an affordable rent is Outline the changes in succession for new tenancies Summarise the new way in which the local authority homelessness duty can be discharged Awareness of how a local authority can now limit housing waiting lists Can my client afford to stay in their home This bite size is for caseworkers who advise clients with mortgage arrears and those facing possession action. It is aimed to ensure that clients who are in mortgage arrears do not lose their homes because they have not maximised their income or prioritised effectively. NB : this does not deal with rented housing issues Once you have completed this bite size, you should be able to: Summarise the relevant key information that is required to create a clear picture of a client s current mortgage and possession threat Explain the relevant enquiries that are needed to ensure a client is receiving all benefits and income to which they are entitled and explore opportunities and ideas for them to maximise their income Draw up a financial statement that will be useful: o to help your client with budgeting decisions o when making offers to lenders o in a possession hearing o when making a mortgage rescue or homelessness application o outline possible options open to your client 19

20 Landlord harassment As a generalist adviser you may have seen clients who are being badly treated by their landlords. Clients who experience landlord harassment are usually renting from private landlords, rather than renting from a council or housing association. This bite size covers: Understanding what is meant by landlord harassment. Recognising that your client s experiences are relevant to the definition of harassment. Asking questions to establish if landlord harassment is happening. Identifying main options for clients experiencing landlord harassment Tenancy Deposit Scheme This bite size is for generalist advisers who want to learn about advising on tenancy deposits for assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) Once you have completed this bite size, you will be able to: Know two implications if a tenancy deposit is not protected Ask two items of key info from a client in a dispute at the end of, or during, a tenancy Know two referral situations Advising tenants of landlords with mortgage repossession This bite size is for generalist advisers who want to learn about advising tenants of landlords facing possession action Once you have completed this bite size, you will be able to: Know the the client needs to find out who the lender is and contact them Know that the lender's right to repossess usually overrides the tenants or lodger's right to remain Explain the significance of whether the tenancy or licence began before or after the mortgage was taken out Outline possible options for the tenant once possession proceedings have started Outline options where the tenant's locks have been changed How to use the AdviserNet housing status flowcharts The bite size is useful for trainee advisers about to attend the Housing Foundation Course or for any adviser wanting a refresher on how to use AdviserNet flowcharts to establish a client s housing status. Once you have completed this bite size you will be able to:- Identify a client's housing status using the AdviserNet flowcharts Know what common questions to ask the client to establish their housing status 20

21 Applying to suspend a warrant of possession This bite size looks at suspending a warrant for a client who is in rented accommodation but the process for mortgage properties follows the same procedure. Once you have completed this bite size, you will be able to: Know what is meant by applying to suspend a warrant. Know how to manage the application process when supporting a client. Know the range of possible outcomes of a hearing. Be able to identify any problem areas when assisting a client. Introductory and starter tenancies in a nutshell This bite size will help you understand more about introductory and starter tenancies This bite size looks at: how to identify an introductory tenant the main features of introductory tenancies powers to evict introductory tenants, and what rights do introductory tenants have 21

22 Webinars Our free webinars have been developed to provide you with the opportunity to learn and share best-practice initiatives, and keep up to date with legislation and policy. Webinars are a way of training/providing presentations or holding meetings over the internet to lots of people in different locations. All you usually need to access our webinars is an internet connection and a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), however we also use telephone conferencing in case there are local issues with internet speed etc. The webinars complement our existing face to face course titles, and cover a range of topics: Non Priority Clients: Assistance and Prevention What s happening in your area? Preventing Mortgage Repossessions Spare Room Subsidy Student Advice on Tenancy Deposits Requirements You don't need to download any software - all you need to access the training is an internet connection and a landline telephone Non Priority Clients Assistance and Prevention Webinar: What s happening in your area? Who is the webinar for? Housing Advice/Service Managers, however all housing advice staff are welcome to attend. Organisations across the country are working hard to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping. However one size does not fit all and different approaches are being taken across, with many initiatives and innovative schemes that others could benefit from hearing about. Aims Developed to complement the national roll out of No Second Night Out, our webinar lets you: Learn about initiatives taking place throughout the country to help non-priority homeless clients Take part in facilitated discussion led by experienced NHAS trainers Explore ideas for preventing homelessness and rough sleeping Ask questions and share ideas with participants from other organisations The online session lasts one hour and fifteen minutes and will provide an opportunity for you to share good practice with colleagues from other local authorities and voluntary agencies. If you are interested in finding out what other organisations are doing, sharing 22

23 good practice, and exploring ideas for assisting non-priority clients, then this webinar is for you. Preventing Mortgage Repossessions Who is the webinar for? Local authority housing options and money advice staff that want to learn more about the options available to homeowners facing repossession. The briefing is appropriate for delegates who are new to mortgage repossessions, or are housing or money advice practitioners that wish to discuss issues relating to mortgage repossession. Briefing Aims This 75 minute briefing looks at options available to homeowners facing repossession, with a focus on what happens after repossession proceedings have commenced and analysis of what help can be provided to homeowners. This includes negotiating with lenders and secured chargeholders, maximising income, Assisted Voluntary Sale, applying to court to suspend possession orders and eviction warrants and the Mortgage Rescue Scheme. There will be opportunities to ask questions mid-way through the session, and at the end. Learning Objectives This webinar will provide an understanding of the options available for homeowners facing repossession, as well as the opportunity to share good practice and discuss any particular issues about mortgage repossessions generally or specific cases. Spare Room Subsidy Who is the webinar for? Local Authority Housing Options teams Aims If you would like a grounding in what the Spare Room Subsidy is, who might be affected and what options tenants may have, then our 75 minute Spare Room Subsidy webinar is ideal for you. It will also cover the definition of a bedroom, recent case law, and ideas on how social landlords can assist their tenants. There will be opportunities to share information and good practice on what your local authority is doing to help tenants. 23

24 Student Advice on Tenancy Deposits Who is the webinar for? This webinar is for advisers working with students. Aims By the end of this webinar, delegates will have an understanding of the legislation behind tenancy deposit schemes, and also be able to advise students on how they can ensure their deposits are protected and take action if not. Learning Objectives Delegates will learn about the basics of tenancy deposit schemes, requirements for landlords protecting deposits, possible effects on the eviction process and key processes for returning deposits and resolving disputes. 24

25 How to access NHAS training NHAS Training Courses If you are from a voluntary agency (non Citizens Advice Bureau staff) and wish to find a NHAS course or book a place please go to our website: Log in to the members section, and access the Training page, where you will find the link to Course Bookings. Webinars Up and coming webinars are advertised in our monthly e-bulletins.. If you aren t already registered to receive bulletins, you can join our mailing list, 25

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