Caseload Reduction

0.68 FTE

FTE Capacity Created

A short conversation with Women’s Pioneer Housing Manager, Matthew Wicks, about why they invested in RentSense the benefits it has helped deliver.

What was income collection like prior to RentSense?

Matthew Wicks:

It was a very labour intensive process for the officers and not particularly accurate, in that it was not guiding officers to cases they needed to action with the right priority, which meant it was not very productive. Also, from a management perspective, it was not able to produce the insight that we required to see how staff were performing.


You started speaking to us about mitigating Universal Credit, and participated in our free consultancy, to evaluate the effectiveness of RentSense, how did you find the process?

Matthew Wicks:

The consultancy (on the Discovery Day) was done in a manner that was supportive for the officers, and was non-judgemental, which was refreshing. Indeed, our overall experiences so far have been very good, what Mobysoft has said they would deliver they have done so.


How did the deployment and project go?

Matthew Wicks:

Everything ran really smoothly, our custoner success manager has been our primary contact and has been fantastic helping us along, making sure we kept to the timetable and was very quick to respond to any queries we had.


Has RentSense impacted the team and your processes?

Matthew Wicks:

We wanted RentSense to help officers move away from traditional monitoring of all accounts. We were set in our ways to a certain degree, but having RentSense really refined the workload.


Your caseload has been cut by 58% how have officers responded to using RentSense?

The reaction from the housing officers has been very positive, they like the lighter workload, and they have the ability to jump in on a patch when there is a leave and illness.”

Matthew Wicks, Women’s Pioneer

What have been your ecperiences so far of RentSense and the service from Mobysoft?

Matthew Wicks:

RentSense has definitely made us work smarter and given us more time. And the service from Mobysoft has been very good actually. Right from the start there was an honesty and openness and close contact from Mobysoft that enabled us to go live quickly and get the most out of RentSense, and get from it what we initially planned.

Preventing tenants from falling into arrears

What was the impact when you implemented RentSense?

Samantha Shimmon:

Straight away the team could get through their caseload. In turn that has reduced our arrears and importantly it has improved our team morale. We have the reporting suite as well and we give officers access to that so they can see how they are performing, and we get detailed insight.


You were one of the first areas in the country to go live with full-service Universal Credit. I understand this impacted arrears and increased caseload has RentSense helped to mitigate this?

Samantha Shimmon:

RentSense has helped us manage Universal Credit. It flags tenants very early in the process, for example when housing benefit is stopped. It also presents where payments failed, so all those that transfer across and pay as normal we don’t need to contact them. As a result, officers get more time to support those vulnerable tenants who need assistance when they transfer across to UC.


What has been the team’s reaction to early intervention cases being flagged by RentSense, where the tenant is not necessarily in arrears?

Samantha Shimmon:

The team love the early intervention cases, where accounts are in credit but Housing Benefit has stopped or been reduced, for example. They are able to be proactive and prevent the tenants falling into arrears and get remedies in before it’s too late and the arrears become unmanageable. Historically the team worked from highest arrears figures down, so the early cases would never have been picked up before, until they were a few hundred pounds in arrears.


You mentioned the council have spoken at tenant group meetings on how their investment in RentSense has helped the council and the HRA, how have tenants responded?

Samantha Shimmon:

The tenants’ feedback has been really positive. Rent is our only form of income, so the maximisation of our rental collection is in all of our tenants’ interests. It is how we pay for our repairs and replacement programmes. So Rentsense reducing our arrears profile provides additional resources for that and for our new build programme


Since first using RentSense what has been the impact on performance?

RentSense has been instrumental in improving our performance, we have seen a consistent arrears reduction, and they have fallen by £250,000, which is a quarter of our arrears profile is, even when we have experienced a year of a pandemic as well. We have also seen fewer court actions and evictions, as RentSense gives us the ability to contact tenants sooner preventing arrears.”

Samantha Shimmon, East Suffolk Council

And would you recommend RentSense to other landlords?

Samantha Shimmon:

Absolutely, I would. The customer service is second to none, they have also provided best practice webinars which have been really informative and given us new ideas. RentSense more than delivers on the business case in terms of capacity release, but also it has helped reduce arrears and keep more tenants out of debt.

See more from East Suffolk Council

Clear business case & ROI – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Early intervention – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Great Service – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Importance of RentSense for tenants – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Instrumental in reducing arrears – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Mitigating covid with RentSense – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Mitigating UC with RentSense – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Value of reporting – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

Recommend RentSense – East Suffolk Council – Samantha Shimmon

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