With the demand for social housing growing daily, there is more reason than ever before for housing providers to speed up the way they re-let their properties once they have been vacated. Empty properties not only represent a wasted housing opportunity but also crucial lost rental income and often high repair costs.

With the help of our ‘trouble shooting’ efficiency team, housing providers across the country are now finding new ways to dramatically reduce void losses, repair costs and incentive payments.

As licensees of the Vanguard Consulting method of Systems Thinking, the efficiency team reviews the existing processes of an organisation and then strips away any wasted effort and bureaucracy to create a new, streamlined service with the customer at the very heart.

When the team began working with Tristar Homes (part of the Vela Group), which owns and manages 10,500 properties in Stockton-on-Tees, the organisation was facing increasing turnaround times and rising associated costs when re-letting properties

After carrying out its review of the business, the efficiency team delivered significant improvements including an estimated £150,000 first year saving on void losses and an estimated £250,000 saving in repair costs. After the review, the proportion of properties let within 14 days increased from 46.1% to 68.8% and back-to-back lets have increased from 11.8% to 25%. Re-let times have decreased from 30.7 days before the review to a current level of 19.95 days.

Grahame French, Neighbourhood Manager at Tristar Homes, said: “Having worked with NHC’s team previously to improve our repairs and maintenance process we knew its collaborative approach to support and challenge the business would work for us again.

“We knew we needed a different approach to dealing with empty properties because we were concentrating on targets, budgets and KPIs and reacting to demand rather than planning against it. The system was dictating what the customer was getting and as a consequence we were making the customer fit the system. Now the customers’ needs are taken into account more and the speed of re-letting properties has been prioritised over low priority repairs. There is definitely a sense of greater unity of purpose within the organisation too which has tackled the silo working approach of the past.”

The voids management reviews service is just one of the ways we help our members to maximise efficiencies and ensures tenants of social housing and the taxpayer get value for money.


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