Housing providers should be making better and more intelligent use of technology to tackle their arrears following welfare reform, according to Advanced ConsultCRM. This follows a recent study which found that 90 per cent of tenants receiving universal credit are in arrears, three times higher than the sector’s average for arrears.
Advanced said that access to more accurate tenant data is more important than ever; without this data, housing providers will find it more difficult to spot trends and identify tenants that may need additional support to ensure punctual payments. However, more than a third of tenant data held by housing providers is often inaccurate or missing, with 0.5 per cent of named tenants actually deceased.
Gaps in tenant data are frequently because most housing providers have disparate applications that may have different parameters about what constitutes being in arrears, e.g. one day late or 10 days late. In addition, housing management systems typically focus on the property’s inventory and rent, rather than the tenant, meaning valuable data isn’t being recorded.
Advanced said that robust CRM systems can enable housing providers to capture information about tenants and their circumstances in one place, allowing them to more easily identify trends in payment activity and spot early signs of late or non-payment. This enables them to intervene earlier with advice services.