Social rent arrears fall

Sarah Davidson

May 22, 2015

Data from Possession Claim Online was analysed by Mobysoft, which then reported that in the year 2000, 81% of landlord possession claims were from the social as opposed to the private sector. By the end of 2014, this figure had dropped to 62.1%.

While the private rental sector has grown, the analysis also supported the fact that housing associations have made considerable headway in their arrears management.

This is supported by reports from housing associations such as Amicus Horizon which has reduced their court cases by 260 in just ten months and saved £40,000 in 2015 alone. Eviction rates by the association have also reduced year on year from 62 in 2012/13 to 45 in 2014/5.

Derek Steele, chief executive of Mobysoft, said: “Although the percentage reduction in social housing repossessions is in part a reflection of the growing private sector, it also shows the huge progress that housing associations have made in their arrears management.

“The roll out of Universal Credit could be the real test for many housing associations’ arrears management, and we would encourage any association that doesn’t already have very robust reporting, metrics and collections policies in place to do so fairly quickly as our experience with arrears shows that, once they start, they are very challenging and expensive to bring back under control.”

Mark Walker, head of income at Amicus Horizon, added: “We believe in tackling the problem of rent arrears sensitively. It is all about early intervention, and we are now able to sustain more tenancies and have 500 fewer residents in arrears compared to last year.

“In our particular case, we have employed Mobysoft’s RentSense, whose unique analysis of our tenant data has enabled our income team to become more efficient and focus their time and resources on the tenants that really do need support. As a direct result of using this tool, our arrears fell by £325,000 in 2014.”

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