TenantCashback: Pilot reports reduction in repairs
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Since the launch of Bromford's Home Rewards Club in November 2011, Bromford has seen a 72% reduction in repairs reported by those customers who have signed up to the scheme.
130 customers are currently taking part in the tenant cashback scheme with more interested in joining every day. Bromford was one of the first landlords to take up the initiative and was praised by housing minister Grant Shapps as he called for others to be as innovative.
The Home Rewards Club makes the best use of money and is in two parts - a repairs element and a housing management element - and customers can choose either or both options. The repairs element is where customers carry out their own low-level day-to-day repairs with Bromford retaining responsibility for external repairs, work at height and any work to do with gas and electricity, asbestos and emergency repairs. For doing their own repairs, customers can be rewarded in to the value of £300 per annum.
For the housing management element, customers responsibilities include dealing with any low-level neighbour issues, not using Bromford's contact centre (unless in an emergency) and not needing Bromford's involvement to deal with matters such as arrears or anti-social behaviour. Customers who sign up to this option and successfully complete the year will be rewarded with £200 at the end of the 12 months.
Darrin Gamble, head of neighbourhoods (West Midlands) said: "The majority of our customers who have signed up to the Home Rewards Club have wanted both elements so will be entitled to claim £500 by the end of the year. It's a win-win situation as it means that customers who have the ability and desire to do more in their homes can do so and we can pass on to them the savings that we would normally spend on repairs and contractors."
Savings are made in many ways: reduced repair costs; reduced void costs; less customer recharges; less arrears and a reduction in administration. As well as the reduction in reported repairs, other improvements reported for those customers who have signed up to the scheme are as follows:
- 42% reduction in customer contact.
- 34% improvement in rent collection.
- 16% reduction in housing management activity.
- 16% reduction in anti-social behaviour activity.
- 13% reduction in emergency repairs reported.
Darrin summarised: "We are pleased with how things are going and we have asked our customers to complete a repairs diary so we can monitor DIY being carried out and see how they are using their rewards. We are continually learning and hope that by 2013 we can roll this out across the group."
Mary, the Cotswolds
"I love a nice home and the Home Rewards Club is a great option as my partner, Mark, is a carpenter and very good at DIY. It means that we can have our house exactly as we want it. It enables us to be self reliant and helps us to do the things we want to. This is our home and we hope to be here for the foreseeable future. Andy has made a lot of improvements but everything is so expensive these days and we wouldn't have been able to do all that we have without knowing that we will get £500 back."
Big Tel, Lichfield
"I can put my hand to anything. I've got pride and like the fact that I can get on and do the work. Try it yourself before you knock it! I like to put all my money into my property and have a nice respectable home. I know it's not actually my property but it is my home and the way I like to live. A lot of people around here could do it and I do recommend it. Do it - do it yourself."