Arrears reduction


Caseload Reduction

A short conversation with Merthyr Valleys Homes, Income Team Leader, Lyn Moore, and Income Officer, Nick Lyons, about why they invested in RentSense the benefits it has helped deliver.

What was income collection like prior to RentSense?

Lyn Moore:

The system was flagging every case in arrears, so for example all the monthly Housing Benefit cases were being listed.


When RentSense was introduced it reduced the caseload, how did that help?

Nick Lyons:

RentSense sorts and prioritises the cases for you. So no matter what the outstanding rent is we focus on the most important cases first. They may be some that are under £50, whereas before the team would not be able to get down to that level – we now feel that we are preventing arrears from increasing to unmanageable levels.


And how has RentSense helped from a management perspective?

Lyn Moore:

RentSense has focused the approach of the income team, but also I can see how we are performing at an individual level. It has given me more time to look at modelling and analyse how our tenants will be affected by different elements of proposed welfare reform so we can begin to plan and mitigate those effects now.


How does RentSense help flag cases at their earliest stages of debt?

Lyn Moore:

Much of the employment in Merthyr is based on zero hour contracts, which means people’s benefits are constantly changing. So rather than having to wait for a letter from the Local Authority advising that tenant’s entitlement and income has changed, RentSense notices the change and flags it for the income officer to call immediately. This is one of the reasons RentSense is invaluable, it gives us the heads up every time something changes.


Was there any initial skepticism about the caseload reduction?

In the early days I was checking and double checking. But it soon became apparent RentSense was picking up all the cases that needed attention. We are now targeting debt under £250 and this is helping us to prevent arrears. It also serves to remind tenants that even small amounts will be chased.”

Lyn Moore, Merthy Valleys Homes

How straightforward was the initial deployment and go live?

Lyn Moore:

On the first day the team came straight out of the presentation and straight into using it, it was that quick and easy. Beforehand we were concerned about the change for officers, but every member embraced it and could see the benefits from day one.


How would you describe RentSense?

Lyn Moore:

RentSense is a business-critical application. It has helped us mitigate welfare reform by creating time for the officers to address the correct cases. It has also changed the organisation’s practices to foster more engagement with customers, and in having good engagement, the team are able to support tenants through the changes and help reduce arrears. They have fallen from 3.15% to 1.75%, a saving of £144,838.

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