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Tahirah Khan Bond Officer – Homeless Team

Written by: Fiona Narburgh
Published on: 30 Mar 2023

Bond Officer – Homeless Team at Stoke-On-Trent City Council

People have no idea what my job involves from my title. They might make a joke about being a Bond girl, like in the James Bond films, but they’ve never heard of a Bond Officer in local government. It’s a really exciting role and I do have a license to house! 

I’m Tahirah. I help people access privately rented housing. A ‘bond’ is a like a rent guarantee, as we set up the rent to be paid directly to the landlord from the customer’s benefit. If the tenant defaults on the rent, or damages the property, which is rare, the landlord can make a claim against the council. 

We run what’s called a ‘housing waiting list’ and prioritise people most in need of a council house but we can’t house everyone in this way so we provide help to access other types of housing. 

That’s where the bond comes in because it opens up the private rented sector to more people, such as a family or individual that doesn’t have the required deposit or where they might be seen as ‘risky’ in some way. They may have let arrears build up, been evicted in the past or lost their income. Or they may just have had a bad landlord or one who wanted the property back. 

I work with private landlords so we have more properties for our clients. I make sure the properties are safe and of a decent standard, such as checking for mould and meeting the energy efficiency criteria. 

One lady was ‘sofa surfing’ and sleeping on a floor at her mum’s house, with her children and husband. She was failing the credit checks with all the agents. I found a new landlord and property just right for the family. 

A very large family were in a rundown small house with a landlord not doing repairs and trying to evict them because he wanted the property back. I found them a new larger home near schools, mosques and halal shops, the lovely Muslim family couldn’t thank me enough. They are paying less rent too and I see the kids going to school happy when I pass by. Local Gov Career Guide Cover N

I’ve had to ‘sofa surf’ before I managed to get a tiny studio flat, I think that experience has given me some understanding and empathy to help people in housing need.

Tahirah is featured in our Local Government Career Guide, click here to find out more about working in local government and the wide variety of career options available. 

Click here to view all roles currently available on WMJobs within our Region's Councils.