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Rent First: Positive conversations to maximise income, help people and prevent homelessness

  • Type Public training - virtual
  • Venue Virtual training
  • Start 08 Dec 2021 10:00
  • End 09 Dec 2021 13:00


Rent First: Positive conversations to maximise income, help people and prevent homelessness

Landlords and customers are having to adjust to the many changes arising from Covid-19 and the “new normal”.

This virtual workshop – delivered over Zoom on two consecutive mornings (10.00am to 13.00pm) – explores the new challenges for housing providers working hard to maximise income and support customers. Some customers will be new to claiming benefits, others will be facing greater financial pressures as a result of lockdown and social distancing, many will be vulnerable and need extra support.

The practical workshop will examine the skills that are needed for any negotiating situation bringing together proven techniques and strategies for effective negotiation, motivational interviewing and debt management.

Although focused on housing income management, the tips and techniques are fully transferable to other areas of work as well as participants’ personal lives.

Why “Rent First?”

When our financial circumstances change, one of the most pressing concerns is how to meet our housing costs. This is true for most social housing tenants.

“Rent first” is not about landlords taking an unduly hard line with tenants but simply reflects that this is a high priority for both parties and the starting point for positive conversations.

What will delegates learn?

These workshops will boost participants’ knowledge and confidence in:

  • Initiating and managing positive conversations
  • Instilling a payment culture with empathy
  • Handling objections assertively and engaging customers in finding solutions
  • Negotiating payment plans and motivating changes in payment behaviours
  • Helping customers to pay on time and to manage their accounts successfully.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Apply a motivational, solution-based negotiation framework
  • Know their preferred negotiating style and how each style influences outcomes.
  • Prepare effectively for discussing debt with customers
  • Gain confidence in initiating a discussion regarding debt
  • Apply practical frameworks and core skills to handle calls effectively and efficiently
  • Handle payment objections empathetically but assertively
  • Guide customers through sensitive and challenging discussions
  • Manage situations where customers present mental health issues, based on the latest expert guidance.

Put simply, applying these skills in practice will help your customers, boost your income and prevent homelessness.


This online workshop is delivered via Zoom, over two days.

The timings for each day are:
10.00am to 13.00pm (break 11.20am to 11.40am)

Who should attend?


Both new and experienced officers would benefit from this course. Although focused on income collection and debt recovery, the skills are highly transferable to other areas of work.

Our trainer

Tony Newman is a project manager, consultant and trainer with over 30 years’ experience across a range of industries, in the private and public sectors.

His work centres on helping social sector clients to maximise income and improve services to customers, especially to support the financial wellbeing and independence of vulnerable people.

Tony studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Stirling and maintains an active interest in communication and behavioural science. He incorporates the latest thinking on these subjects into his work.

He has extensive experience in designing and delivering highly effective negotiation training workshops and development programmes, across a range of sectors and in a variety of contexts. These include specialist workshops focused on housing management.

As an HQN associate, Tony designed HQN’s income management and financial inclusion toolkits and helped to develop the accreditation service for income management. He leads the specialist Rent Income Excellence Network and carries out regular “hands-on” service reviews and health checks on rent collection and arrears management.

He has a track record of supporting clients to improve performance in challenging environments and has practical experience of managing complex projects that have delivered improved social and financial outcomes.

Tony has written a number of papers and presented at many conferences on the subject of income maximisation, debt recovery and financial inclusion. He has a keen interest in the opportunities to improve quality and value for money through better integration of housing, social care and health services and more effective engagement with customers and communities.

Tony is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Chartered Institute of Credit Management, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities, the Project Management Institute and the Financial Health Exchange, for whom Tony is a member of the Advisory Panel.

He is an associate lecturer at the University of Salford where he designs and leads on the University’s Introduction to Housing Policy and Practice blended learning degree module and is an associate of the University’s Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit.

What previous delegates have said:

  • "Tony was really knowledgeable and I found the break out sessions to be of huge benefit to see how other organisations work differently" - Folkestone and Hythe District council

This course will also be running on 2 & 3 September and 4 & 5 November 2021.

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Note: Questions marked by * are mandatory

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Further information

Price per delegate

1 delegate: £275.00 *
2 delegates: £250.00 *
3+: £225.00 *

Members of any HQN network:
1 delegate: £250.00 *
2 delegates: £225.00 *
3+: £200.00 *

* Please note that all prices are subject to standard VAT. Byte Size members do not qualify for member discounts. Please call 01904 557150 for more information.


Key to who should attend:




Suitable for staff of all levels


Alternative dates

2 & 3 September 2021

4 & 5 November 2021


This course will be particularly relevant to members of:

Rent Income Excellence Network
The Rent Income Excellence Network


Cancellations and substitutions:

If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email

Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.

If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.

Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.


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