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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Tenant Debt Advice Service

The Tenant Debt Advice Service (TDAS) is an arrears management service which we offer to social and private landlords.  TDAS was set up as part of the Preventing Possession Initiative.  

Preventing debt related homelessness

Landlords who have signed up to TDAS can refer tenants who are in rent arrears to our adviser for specialist assistance.  On receiving a referral, our adviser will contact the tenant, establish what has caused the arrear and figure out the best way of clearing this arrear.  Our adviser will 

  • work out what benefits the tenant is entitled to
  • deal with any benefit calculation problems
  • represent the tenant at court, if necessary
  • identify benevolent funds or other sources of income which the tenant may be entitled to
  • work out a realistic and affordable repayment plan to address the arrear. 

Benefits to you

Landlords can really benefit from this type of referral system. Your tenants get access to a specialist adviser and free training is available to members of TDAS.  When asked, organisations which have used the service said

  • it reduced court and legal expenses
  • it enhanced the organisation's reputation as a tenant-focused landlord
  • it has been effective in reducing individual debts
  • involving an independent third party improved tenant and staff relationships
  • the training provided was extremely useful

Benefits to your tenants

Involving an independent third party in arrears management can make things better for your tenants too.  When asked, landlords who have taken part in the scheme identified the following benefits to tenants

  • better financial management skills
  • improved health and wellbeing once arrears and debt issues were resolved
  • an easy to access and professional service
  • tenants who would otherwise have been evicted have stayed in their homes. 

Barbara Scott from Habinteg Housing Association says the following about the Tenant Debt Advice Service

We are finding the TDAS valuable.  We have an increasing number of tenants wishing to engage with the service, particularly those who receive partial housing benefit and have problems claiming other benefits eg Tax credits. Elaine has had recent successes with helping tenants claim large backdated sums of HB and therefore clearing arrears.

We see a continuing need for the service especially with the implementation of the Bedroom Tax. We also value the advice Elaine can give to Housing Officers.
Barbara Scott, Habinteg

 

Join TDAS

If you're interested in finding out more about this service, including the cost please contact us