Epping Forest District Council has invested in RentSense to help tenants avoid rent arrears and manage staff workloads.
Like many councils Epping Forest District Council has seen its rent arrears rise since the pandemic hit and housing staff workloads have increased too. In the first few months of lockdown calls regarding rent arrears almost doubled.
RentSense is a software package that analyses tenants’ payment histories and predicts who might have trouble continuing to pay their rent. It then produces a weekly list of tenants, in priority order, that may be struggling and need support from the council.
The process can help reduce officers’ caseloads by as much as 50% as well as enabling them to complete their caseload each week in a less stressful way.
“We heard about RentSense and how it can benefit both tenants and officers by simply helping us to collect more of the rent that is due, while helping tenants to manage debt at the earliest opportunity,” said Deborah Fenton, Director HRA Functions at Epping Forest District Council.
“Our current system only allows officers to check cases by balance each week, making it difficult to take a consistent and supportive approach to tenants and more particularly prioritise those who need the most help.
“We want to maintain performance and support our tenants, so after doing our own research we invested in RentSense over other available solutions.
“Everyone we spoke to was very positive and the reduction in their rent arrears was impressive. We feel that using RentSense will add real value in terms of reducing rent arrears and supporting those that need the most help. For us the accuracy and early intervention is paramount,” added Deborah.
“Working with tenants when arrears are at their minimum means we can help keep them out of debt. Being proactive minimises levels of debt, rather than reacting when arrears are already out of control.”
Paul Evans, Director at Mobysoft the company that markets RentSense commented: “We are really pleased Epping Forest District has invested in RentSense. We are looking forward to working with them and supporting them to get the most out of their investment. They join a growing number of councils that are using RentSense to help deliver efficiencies and sustain tenancies in these challenging times.”