The key is Tenancy Sustainment. Failing tenancies are bad news for people and bad business for landlords. There should be indicators published of the costs of failed tenancies.

Landlords could be asked to provide regular information on the trends of failed tenancies - by neighbourhood, household types, customer profile, source of referral. This would create better benchmarking information for other landlords to examine and the regulator to monitor.

A dilemma faced by most social landlords is the pressure placed upon them by the performance indicators of re-letting empty (void) properties. Many failed tenancies could have been prevented through better pre-tenancy preparation of people - many of whom have never been responsible for running a household before.

Landlords try hard to re-let void properties as quickly as they can to satisfy one set of performance information and fail to take the time and the care needed to support many people BEFORE the tenancy begins. The best way to deal with failure is to prevent it happening in the first place.

The cost of prevention can be counted as an investment into the tenancy. A week or two longer to re-let could save £tens of thousands. The latest eviction figures of over 3,000 tenants indicate the cost to social housing in Scotland of around £26 million. This is just rent arrears! (My figures based on the average of a £8k loss for every eviction carried out).

Make tenancy sustainment a corporate responsibility with corporate duties and reporting mechanisms.

Social housing cannot afford to fail.

From Barry Marlow - , 25/10/2011 Tagged as: tenancy sustainment, voids

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