Social landlords like to talk the talk about how they put their tenants at the heart of everything they do, few by comparison walk the walk, he writes.
This stacks up financially. If say 500 tenants appeal and just 100 are successful then the costs saved in rent collection, in arrears loss recouped and increased guaranteed income for those 100 will more than pay for the costs of 500 appeals. The average bedroom tax nationally according to official figures is £774 per year and for 600 tenants is £464k. With streamlined processes each appeal has a significant economy of scale and given 20 per cent is a very low appeal success figure then landlords recoup all costs within the first year and more. Then should the Tories not be voted out next May – and that is a distinct possibility however unfortunate it may read for many in housing – and the bedroom tax remains, then those savings continue for the next five years.
Secondly, CCHA are using a tenant’s champion model to support tenants in appealing… This is real, genuine tenant involvement and I need not remind anyone in housing … how beneficial it is for a landlord to have a real partnership with their tenants.
Thirdly, the bedroom tax has created a tension between tenant and landlord… A landlord so visibly and openly supporting its tenants creates huge goodwill … amongst its tenants. Even if two per cent of CCHA tenants win at appeal you will still have 100 per cent of CCHA tenants saying and knowing that their landlord stood four-square behind them.
Fourth, that goodwill … holds very significant financial benefits … with many issues but especially the bete noire of the welfare reforms in direct payments. The direct payment pilots revealed that … the amount of rent going unpaid potentially increases tenfold and if that happens social landlords wither and die.
Coast & Country have just put the social back into social housing and will rightly reap the positive bottom line impact this plan will return as well as the plaudits for the sentiment behind it.
You can read the full article here. If you are a tenant of a social landlord, why not send it to them and ask them to do the same?
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