Sir – While some see the bedroom tax as a controversial tussle between the political parties, the real life ramifications are proving to be a huge challenge for both the housing providers’ management teams and the tenants affected by the new regulations.
Among our customers, comprising many of the UK’s leading housing providers, we have seen a significant increase in voids activity. This is the result of people moving out of properties because either they can’t afford to rent them under the new rules or they don’t want to pay for rooms that are not being used. However, what has also become apparent is that these properties are very quickly taken up by families who provide full occupancy; indeed, some of these families have been waiting many years for suitable accommodation. Irrespective of the political backdrop and controversy of this policy, one cannot ignore the evidence that this trend is creating a fundamental shift in the housing sector as it begins to reduce the waiting lists for social housing.
However, this policy has thrown unprecedented pressure and resource demands onto housing providers to manage such changes. As they are already committed to delivering the very highest standards for their tenants, the changes need also to be handled sensitively and professionally. Thus, as housing providers aim to optimise their stock inventory in the fairest way, it is reassuring to hear that the widespread adoption of enterprise-wide mobile technology to manage processes such as voids inspections and remedial repairs is helping to minimise the time taken to turn such properties around as quickly as possible before the new tenants can move in.
Interestingly though, the driver for housing providers to already have such mobile systems was not borne out of any desire to cope with the stresses that the bedroom tax adds. Rather, it was the result of a constant and evolving strategy by housing providers over the last few years to invest in technologies that help them to deliver the very best service levels they can to their tenants. In short, this on-going strategy to put their tenants first has paid dividends and proved to be a very wise investment indeed.
CEO, 1st Touch