Mobysoft foresee rent arrears increase



Mobysoft’s Managing Director Derek Steele, has today warned that George Osborne’s plans for reducing the country’s deficit by cutting spend on social housing, could lead to a significant increase in rent arrears.

The £4.4bn reduction in spend will be achieved by measures such as; the introduction of a ‘Single Universal Credit’, the capping of household benefit payments, and new social tenants now having to pay 80 per cent of market rents.

Mobysoft is the leading supplier of rent collection software to the social housing industry, assisting companies such as Moat and A2Dominion to collect more rent. Mobysoft, whose system automatically categorises arrears as technical or genuine, has extensive first-hand experience in the complexities of rent collection and the causes of rent arrears.

Derek Steele said: “There can be little doubt that the changes outlined in the spending review will have a significant impact on social housing providers and their tenants. Increasing rents, whilst simultaneously decreasing benefits could lead to a ‘perfect storm’ of rent arrears.

“Not only will there be an inevitable increase in overall tenant arrears, but there will also be a significant increase in the social landlord’s workload as they attempt to recover them.”

Derek continues: “The market is expressing real concerns about the impact of these changes on both their income and workloads. More support staff will have to be employed to make sure affected tenants are aware of, and implement budgeting for, the changes. Again this will cost money at the same time as income is reduced due to increased arrears and reduced budgets.

“At a time like this, social housing providers need solid guarantees that they’re making a sound investment, such as no commitment trials, and guarantees on return on investment from week one. For example, using Mobysoft’s system Moat has saved 10% of income officer time and A2Dominion have collected £11 per property per annum in extra arrears – the figures speak for themselves. We look forward to helping other social housing providers enjoy the same results during these challenging times.”

Moat’s Executive Director of Housing & Customer Services, Gerri Scott, and Head of Income Recovery & Financial Inclusion, Femi Odunaike, will be discussing the impact of the current economic environment on housing, as well as covering measures that housing management should put in place to maximise rent and income recovery, at Progress 2010. This will be the first in a series of seminar style events, being held at the University of Greenwich, London on Thursday 18th November. For more information or to register your attendance, please visit www.mobysoft.com/progress.