Arrears reduction


Caseload Reduction

A short conversation with Regenda Homes Financial Inclusion Manager, Kelly Farrell, about why they invested in RentSense the benefits it has helped deliver.

Before RentSense you tried developing an accurate arrears system with your HMS supplier, how did that work?

Kelly Farrell:

The new system never really worked and we knew we could not risk missing cases. So we went back to the old fashioned reports, printing out all reports on every account then you would have to look at all accounts. We had to do this as we were missing cases that were not being recommended by the HMS, and before you know it accounts had quite high rent arrears and we had not taken any action. This meant staff were only ever getting through around 50% of their lists, especially the low-level rent arrears, and always had cases left at the end of the week, and there’s nothing more demotivating than having staff with work left.


Why do you think there was an ongoing issue?

Kelly Farrell:

At Regenda Homes we work with twenty-three different local authorities that pay on lots of different frequencies. We have four-weekly, two-weekly, and weekly payments combined with different payment weeks. This makes managing performance in your rent arrears challenging when you only want to see the cases that you want to action.


When you installed RentSense what happened to your caseload?

Kelly Farrell:

Our HMS was recommending around 2,500 cases whereas RentSense recommends around 1,600 cases, and of those around 600 are missed by the HMS, whilst RentSense also strips out about 1,300 that HMS was presenting that required no action.


How has using RentSense impacted the staff?

With RentSense we can manage the resource more effectively. It has helped with staff morale and motivation as staff are getting through their workload and we have a much more targeted approach.”

Kelly Farrell, Regenda Homes

What has having more time meant for your arrears and the activties your officers can undertake?

Kelly Farrell:

Our arrears fell by over £70,000 in the first year with RentSense. And ae work on former tenant arrears (FTA) now; before, we never had the capacity to. Our FTAs have fallen and we are collecting more money on them now. At Regenda we work in regional teams, so my team will complete their workload and they can go and assist with another region, as they can access the cases, whereas with our HMS this would not be an option. It has created capacity within the team that they can work on other things.


Your processes and systems were recently audited what were the findings?

Kelly Farrell:

They (the auditor) look at are we following our processes and are they (the processes) fit for purpose? This is especially important with welfare reform. On the last audit, they wanted to understand more about RentSense and what it does. Once they had looked into it and we explained how we use it they said it has definitely made an impact on accounts and it was highly recommended as part of the audit.

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