Arrears ReductionRead more
Reduction in bad debt provison
What were the reasons behind investing in RentSense
We completed a root and branch review of income collection – we benchmarked our performance against 72 other organisations and we were in the lower quartile. With Universal Credit on the horizon we wanted to make changes. This, coupled with the Council’s ambitious development plans, we wanted to ensure the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) was robust and could support this with excellent income collection rates.
The team brings a proactive approach to rent collection, bringing experience from a variety of backgrounds, not just housing revenue experience, so we wanted a tool that would support them in delivering the required results.
How did staff respond to using RentSense?
When RentSense was deployed to staff, they trusted the recommendations it offered, as they saw cases missed by the previous system – this gave confidence in the new system and helped bed it in.
I had not used RentSense before, but straight away I could see the value – the other arrears systems I had used looked simple in comparison.
When you start to use it, the information and detail it gives you is invaluable, and the reporting identifies where to allocate your time and resources. Before there was a lack of prioritisation and now we are able to focus on P1s, then P2s and so on.
You have started to switch tenants away from Direct Debits to card payments, why is that?
When a direct debit bounces it can cost the resident around a week’s rent in additional charges. If a card payment is declined there is no charge. RentSense can flag a declined payment straight away so we can speak to the tenant to help them avoid any potential budget issues, and minimise any disruption to their tenancy.
How has RentSense helped you with your targets and aspirations so far?
RentSense simply helps us to collect more of the rent that is due to us while helping tenants to manage debt at the earliest opportunity.. We are now out-performing many of our peers
We expected the investment on implementing RentSense to return in three years. However, the investment was paid back twice over in the first twelve months, and we are now upper quartile performers when compared to peers.”Paul Elliot, Rotherham MBC
In 2018/19 the target set was to achieve a collection rate of 98.25%. At the year-end we achieved 99.67%, which meant we collected over £1.1m more in rent than budgeted. We also reduced our bad debt provision by around £500,000. In terms of corporate objectives, we are a development-oriented council, so, the savings we have delivered can be used to feed into future projects
RentSense has played an important part in helping our service to improve, and that’s why we have recently invested in a multi-year contract with Mobysoft
Since the filming of this video Nicholas Beasley has left Rotherham Council and joined Mobysoft as an Income Maximisation Director
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