Caseload reduction


Universal Credit arrears reduction


Temporary Accommodation arrears reduction

Since 2020, rent arrears for English councils have risen by 16% across the sector, leaving increasing numbers of councils looking for ways of mitigating risk. We spoke with Chris Flynn, Assistant Director of Housing at Lambeth Council, to see how the authority used RentSense, Intelligent Automation, and our Income Maximisation consultancy service to help ease the burden on their tenants and improve performance

In the last 12 months the housing crisis appears to have deepened and cost of living has impacted tenants more than ever, what has been the biggest challenge been for Lambeth and your tenants?

Chris Flynn:

It’s a real tough environment at the moment for many tenants. Inflation and the cost of living crisis mean we need to offer more support to our customers and that its more intensive for our staff. One of the key reasons for investing in Automation with Mobysoft was to help us create more time for that support, and this has been really successful in doing that.

In the last 12 months our caseload has reduced by 20% from 3,703 to 2,973, and top of which we are now automating 1 in every 5 cases – that’s around 650 cases – so we have created that capacity for support.


What other reasons drove you to invest in RentSense and automation?

Chris Flynn:

Our key aim is to support residents at the earliest possible opportunity in the most streamlined way possible. This was key in introducing RentSense, we wanted to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in managing arrears matters for our tenants. We also looked at the sector to see what the best were doing as we want to benchmark against them, and when we looked at that RentSense was a common theme.

Preventing tenants from falling into arrears

You began to use the Income Maximisation Service from Mobysoft, working with Nick Beasley. What appealed about the service?

Chris Flynn:

RentSense was helping us and the service offered was appealing in its potential to address the challenges posed by Covid and also the rising cost of living. The service is far more than just some helpful hints and tips.

The service helped us evaluate processes and performance, and utilise a sector expert’s knowledge. Nick highlighted how we can perform better and coupled with industry data from Mobysoft really helped us focus in the right areas.

Nick has gone consistently above and beyond to assist with all aspects of the rent journey. Every month we are looking at innovative solutions to help maximise our tenants’ income, thereby offering them greater financial stability and support during these challenging times.


How did Nick work with you, and how did it help monitor performance?

Chris Flynn:

Nick collaborated closely with us to tailor the Income Maximisation Director service to suit our specific objectives. And these objectives were focused heavily on milestones, first over a three month period and then 6 months etc, we all knew what we were working towards. Also a key part of this support was Nick getting involved in hosting monthly and then quarterly training sessions with staff ensuring the benefits of RentSense was maximised to enable a better service for our residents.   


How has RentSense and Automation transformed the service?

Chris Flynn:

We have enhanced the overall efficiency in our operations, so we are supporting the right tenants at the right time. The automation offers the potential to reduce administrative burdens, minimise errors, and free up resources that can be better utilised to support our tenants’ needs effectively. Within the space of income recovery & tenant support we want to be doing everything  within our power to deliver the best for our residents, and undoubtedly automation and AI places a central role.

The fact that RentSense is really easy to use is also incredibly helpful. Like many organisations we have struggled with the recruitment and retention of staff, so when we do get new staff in they can use the system really easily.

Automation has significantly aided our income team. By automating routine tasks and data processing, caseloads have been reduced, allowing our team to concentrate on high priority matters and engage more proactively with tenants. This has resulted in improved completion rates and a higher level of service overall.


How has performance fared since investing in RentSense, automation and the consultancy?

Chris Flynn:

The past couple of years have been incredibly challenging as we are all aware and those challenges don’t appear to be on the decline any time soon. To add to that in the last 10 months 60% of the rents team have changed. Part of the work with Nick has focused on is upskilling them, and we have deliberately recruited staff around customer service skills.

Having said that our performance has seen notable improvements. Tasks that were previously time-consuming are now completed more swiftly and accurately. This has enabled our team to focus on delivering more personalised services to tenants, leading to increased tenant satisfaction and better outcomes.

We have seen caseload fall by 20%  from 3,703 to 2,973. But of the 2,973 650 cases are automated – so actually caseload has fallen by 37%. The teams completion rates have increased by over 60% with the majority of all cases now being actioned each week.

Our general needs arrears have stabilised and reduced, but what is key here is that we have taken no legal action. Other arrears have fallen sharply. We have seen a 10% reduction in temporary accommodation arrears and 13% reduction in our UC arrears.

Chris Flynn, Lambeth Council

Would you recommend the RentSense, Automation and the IMD service to other landlords?

Chris Flynn:

Without a doubt, we highly recommend RentSense, Automation, and the Income Maximisation Director service to other landlords. These tools and services have been instrumental in helping us navigate through some of biggest challenges the sector has seen in the last two decades, improve tenant support, and streamline operations. We believe they can bring considerable benefits to others in the sector as well.

We have a genuine partnership with Mobysoft that has helped us shape and improve our services even with the ever-evolving challenges in the housing sector. We remain committed to continuous improvement and delivering exceptional services to our tenants.


You have started using Mobysoft’s Automated Arrears Prevention module, how is this helping?

Chris Flynn:

We are in the initial stages of trialling the automated arrears prevention solution, and I believe it can significantly enhance our service by proactively addressing arrears and improving the overall tenant experience. We went live recently, and even at these very early stages, we have seen a 17% positive impact on tenant behaviour over the first month, and we’ll be tracking how that goes over the next couple of months.

Be ready for what tomorrow brings.

A RentTest enables landlords to benchmark their data against 170 landlords and see what RentSense would deliver for their organisation

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