Arrears reduction


Fewer tenants in arrears

A short conversation with Rooftop’s Head of Income Collection and Tenancy Sustainment, Rachael Robinson, about focusing on prevention, early intervention and supporting tenants through the pandemic.

Why did Rooftop choose to invest in RentSense?

Rachael Robinson:

Our executive director of operations at Rooftop (Lisa Nicholls) had successfully used RentSense elsewhere. And on joining Rooftop Lisa’s priority was to develop a 3 year strategy on maximising income collection strategy, that focused on using technology supported by the right level of resource and focusing on early intervention, advice and support for tenants. Lisa knew that RentSense could enable this strategy.


What’s your longer term view for arrears performance and targets, in what is a challenging environment?

Rachael Robinson:

We anticipate that collecting rent will become increasingly difficult, due to the multiple challenges our customers are facing, with the cost of living impacting prices of food, fuel, all our customers’ outgoings are being impacted. So RentSense is really critical to us to ensure that the time officers are in the office they are directed to the right case, so that capacity is released for them to be proactive and help those who really need our help.

Longer term we see a reduction of enforcement action. We have invested in resource and are going to create a tenancy sustainment team, who will help tackle fuel and food poverty. We are being proactive supporting tenants and as a result have seen fewer court actions and evictions and having RentSense has enabled us to do that.

Helping improve performance

Prior to RentSense how did the team derive their caseload and were there any issues with it?

Rachael Robinson:

The feedback from staff was that they ‘ran reports that were time consuming and never accurate’, it missed cases and also showed cases that needed no action. So the officers filtered their reports and approached it in their own way. As a result the team were not able to prioritise the tenants that needed our help.

The reports also relied on information being inputted correctly, such as dates being entered manually, there were too many variables, where RentSense does not have that issue, it is just an accurate reflection of today.


What was the team’s expectations of RentSense?

Rachael Robinson:

For the staff on the ground it was a tool that would prioritise their workload for them. The team were a little reluctant, but the fact Mobysoft came in and demonstrated it to the income officers got them really excited about starting with the system, as they could see its potential.

From our executive team there were high expectations of the system to help us deliver that supportive approach.


How has RentSense helped officers and performance since deployment?

In terms of performance it has dramatically exceeded expectations. For year end our target was 4% we achieved 3.3% in a really difficult time. Our arrears were reduced by over £400,000 and for staff throughout the year you could see the number of cases dropping.

It has helped the officers work more as a team, especially when we have been short staffed, so rather than work on a patch by patch basis, they focus on the priority ones then the priority twos. This has helped me, as head of service, target resource to where the debt is in the organisation.”

Rachael Robinson, Rooftop Housing

From a management perspective how beneficial are the reports?

Rachael Robinson:

The reports are really detailed and provide me and management with a high degree of assurance on how the system is delivering against the targeted outcomes as promised.


What has happened to performance since go live? Also, what has happened to the number of tenants in arrears and other key tenancy sustainment metrics?

Rachael Robinson:

Over the last 12 months, of a full year of RentSense, we had 382 fewer customers in arrears, which for me is the biggest achievement of a very difficult year.

Cash collection for the year was over 100% (every month in the year it was over 100%) which was fantastic. And that is the focus for the staff, if we can contact the right customer and have a really good conversation and help them with that outcome, then the natural result is a decrease in arrears and an increase in cash.


Has RentSense impacted job satisfaction of officers?

Rachael Robinson:

It has significantly impacted team satisfaction, we have resource at the right levels and RentSense enables them to use their time effectively, by focusing on intervention and prevention. Due to RentSense they have a day off the phones each week to concentrate on proactive work and other work they would not be necessarily able to do.


How has the service been from Mobysoft since go live?

Rachael Robinson:

We have received an excellent level of service, both from a strategic and operational level. We have also had the system further optimised for our needs, and the advice and help has been great.


Would you recommend RentSense to other users? Any other comments

Rachael Robinson:

Yes, I would. It is highly recommended, it’s easy to mobilise with a short lead in time and it has delivered over and above what was promised. For me it is a critical tool in income collection. In a challenging environment, it’s important time is spent where it is most needed, and the capacity was created for the team to be proactive in prevention and early intervention and it’s more than delivered.

See more from Rooftop Housing

New Insights from Reporting – Rooftop Housing – Rachael Robinson

Recommend RentSense – Rooftop Housing – Rachael Robinson

Excellent level of service – Rooftop Housing – Rachael Robinson

Helping Improve Performance – Rooftop Housing – Rachael Robinson

Helping Tenants out of debt – Rooftop Housing – Rachael Robinson

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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