Proactive rent collection and arrears management
The roll out of universal credit continues. Tenants now need to manage their money differently – from weekly housing benefit payments paid directly to their landlord – to a single monthly income to cover a range of benefits, paid directly into their personal bank account. This change is already having a knock-on effect both financially and socially, with an increase in missed rents payments, arrears and tenancy eviction.
Not only is this impacting revenue collection, housing associations are facing a rise in court orders, where it can take years for debt to be fully recovered, along with an increase in costly tenancy terminations, compounded by a rising demand for expensive temporary accommodation. This can all contribute to wider social and mental health issues, placing additional strains on public and charitable services.
At Capita, we can work alongside your existing teams and procedures to provide a fully-managed rent collection and arrears management service. From profiling and contact management to taking and making payment arrangements, along with signposting to wider support and preparing court documentation for non-payers, our rent collection services can help you better support your tenants while minimising the impact on revenue collection, budgets and services.
Capita’s approach focuses on customer advocacy to support and prevent customers getting into debt to minimise the financial and social impact on your residents and services.
We offer a proactive customer contact service, which helps customers fully understand the changes, their responsibilities and support with convenient payment arrangements to ensure rent payments aren’t missed. We use insights, analytics and behavioural science to promote the right outcomes for your organisation, all handled by our revenues and customer service specialists, who are fully trained the in latest legislation, handling sensitive, outbound communications and setting up payment arrangements to meet differing needs.
We use insights to profile customers in areas that are more likely to be impacted by universal credit, have the propensity to miss payments or have rent arrears. Our team firstly contacts tenants to help to explain the payment options that are available, arranges to take rent payments and helps eligible tenants who need alternative payment arrangements (APAs) applied to their universal credit.
As part of our rent collection and arrears management services, we focus on:
We support both tenants and housing associations to help them understand and manage the complexities around universal credit and help residents manage their rent payments effectively. Capita is the market leader in revenue collection and customer management, with a strong track record of improving debt collection and can apply these skills within a local authority or housing association environment.
We also have the flexibility to offer extended opening hours to residents and flexible commercial agreements to suit your organisation. Our digital customer experience team help to shape continuous improvement and efficiency in the services we deliver.
"The resilience service provided by Capita has enabled Southwark to effectively manage workload uctuations following the implementation of universal credit full service within the borough. The team delivering the service have assisted in initially maintaining then improving performance helping to mitigate the risk of a signi cant increase in arrears following direct payment of benefit.”
Dominic Cain, director of exchequer services, London Borough of Southwark