Cairn Housing Association have invested in a predictive analytical tool, RentSense from Mobysoft, to help them mitigate the effects of welfare reform. Cairn, who have 3,200 properties throughout Scotland, are amongst the best-performing landlords in the country in terms of income collection and arrears performance, but according to John Davidson, Director of Customer Services at the registered social landlord:
“We recognise the increasing challenge which welfare reform brings, and are determined to remain a strong performer in this area in order to protect the income to the organisation, and ensure that our customers receive the advice and support they require to effectively manage their income and tenancies. The enhanced reporting which Mobysoft will bring and the resultant efficiencies in how our teams work will enable us to ensure that resources are focused on the areas that matter and not wasted by using inaccurate reports.”
Universal Credit and welfare reform are impacting Scottish landlords’ ability to collect rent. According to the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations in 2011 social landlords had collection rates of 98% but since the advent of Universal Credit some associations are reporting their collection rates for tenants on Universal Credit have dropped to 77%.
“We see the system as potentially being central to how we respond to the increased workload as a result of welfare reform,” commented John.
Cairn who are focusing on protecting their revenues so they can continue to best serve their residents, highlighted the need for landlords to evaluate their processes and systems to ensure they can mitigate these changes.
“Whilst we are a very high-performing team I would recommend speaking with Mobysoft. It was their consultancy that demonstrated inefficiencies with our current approach and the benefits which were achievable to allow us to improve even further and respond to the welfare reform challenge,” explains John.