Melville Housing Association, a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) based in Midlothian with around 2,000 properties, has created efficiencies and reduced workload within their income function by deploying RentSense, a predictive technology tool for RSLs that accurately predicts tenants that will and won’t pay their rent.
Melville currently receives a high proportion of its rental income from Housing Benefit and according to Sean Dickson, Housing Services Manager at Melville:
“We decided to invest in RentSense mainly to prepare us fully for the impact of Universal Credit. This is because UC has the potential of increasing our officers’ workloads by 72% based on the additional income that would have to be collected.”
Melville’s investment in RentSense was also driven by their arrears management process which resulted in officers spending a great deal of their time checking accounts where contact with the tenant was not actually required.
“We felt that the investment in RentSense would eliminate these unnecessary actions and enable officers to make early intervention and ensure that preventative measures were put in place,” highlighted Sean.
After just three months of using RentSense Melville has created and embedded significant efficiencies within its organisation, as Sean explains:
“RentSense has dramatically reduced our arrears case load on a weekly basis. We have seen case load reductions of 56% per week. This has resulted in an officer capacity (or FTE) of 1.29; these efficiencies have allowed our officers to ensure that they spend quality time on those cases that need it.”
These reductions are also allowing Melville to take a proactive approach in turn which is helping mitigate welfare reform.
“We are able to ensure that our customers are fully prepared (for welfare reform) whether this be time spent on a face-to-face, one-to-one basis or through other means of communication,” concludes Sean.