Arrears reduction


Arrears Reduction (from 4.7% to 3.6%)

A short conversation with Octavia’s Income Manager, Dan Thwaites and Senior Income Officer, Steve Burgess, about why they invested in RentSense the benefits it has helped deliver.

Why did you invest in RentSense and the texting facility too, RentText?

Dan Thwaites:

A couple of years ago we changed our processes and procedures in recognition of the impact of welfare reform. We wanted to create efficiencies and give officers more time. We use Mobysoft’s text solution (RentText) to automate texts at different times to UC claimants. People get messages about their claim and verification, their first payment and a reminder to pay their rent. These work really well, and leave officers with more time to get on with other pressing tasks.


You also use RentText to send automated reminder messages to their priority 3 arrears cases prompting them to contact the income team, why is that?

Dan Thwaites:

This approach gives the team more time on higher priority cases and the approach is working for us.

Steve Burgess:

With RentSense each week you can see your workload reduce, this really helps, but it also gives you the time to get on with other tasks. The automated texts also alleviate the workload and they are effective as well, as you get tenants calling in. I have also had people clear their accounts because of them, all without me getting involved.


The number of NOSPs you serve has also fallen how does that impact your working week?

Steve Burgess:

I could use up half a day by attending a 10-minute court case. Again because of this I get more time for other tasks.


How has RentSense helped Octavia support tenants and improve performance?

Dan Thwaites:

RentSense enables us to better manage and keep on top of our rent payments status, which has helped the team. Alongside this we have improved our procedures and processes to prioritise rent payments and the team work hard to keep in communication with, and support, people living in our homes. This has not negatively impacted evictions. Our first priority is always to do what we can to support people to sustain their tenancy but we also encourage them to understand that meeting their rent payment is a priority. And, of course, through the officer’s hard work, they have helped Octavia achieve its best performance in the last 20 years.


Do you have statistics on how performance has improved?

The performance each year has improved and in the last twenty-four months we have been able to reduce arrears by over £220,000 despite welfare reform.”

Dan Thwaites, Octavia Housing

How does the reporting suite aid you in helping the team achieve such performance figures?

RentSense has helped us reduce arrears over the last two years and it gives the officers the right cases in the right priority.

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