Housing disrepair refers to a property that is in need of repair in order for it to be safe or suitable for tenants to live in. Today there has been an unprecedented increase in the amount of housing disrepair claims against private landlords, local authorities and housing associations resulting in fairly significant financial costs.
Housing estates and their tenants are being aggressively targeted by PPI companies encouraging them to file for disrepair. These organisations are increasingly targeting tenants via various methods such as door to door calling or letter dropping persuading them to file disrepair claims against their landlords or local housing association.
In order to create a robust history and audit trail of property monitoring and action, housing associations need to implement systems so that these claims can be dismissed. In this blog, we take a look at how integrating technology can help evidence and monitor disrepair occurring and how these systems can help housing associations prevent disrepair claims.
Housing disrepair claims are on the increase
Claims for disrepair are today certainly on the increase. In an annual report written by the MOJ claims management regulators, it showed there had been a 100% increase in reported revenue from housing disrepair claims in the past 12 months. With the average claim ranging from £5,000 to £50,000, it poses a real concern for housing providers. However, claims compensated will depend upon how severe the damage is. According to research carried out by Anthony Gold, a typical disrepair example of a plumbing leak in one room over four years continuously works out at the value below:
- Rent: £600pcm
- Value of rent for the whole period of the claim: £28,800
- Compensation at 25%: £7200
PPI companies can install an effective tactic as housing organisations may be forced to offer settlement rather than face the time, costs and affect it will have on their organisation. Not only are there incurring costs involved for landlords or housing associations but also appearances in court and their reputational damage at stake.
What impact does technology have?
Today, technology is ever evolving, and the introduction of modern, intuitive housing repairs solutions are now an enabler to deliver a high standard of service delivery while remaining compliant and responding quickly and effectively to repairs jobs.
In order to complete the work within a set timescale and to remove immediate threats to health and safety caused by disrepair, access to the right technology is paramount.
Technology such as mobile workforce management, dynamic scheduling, IoT and job management solutions can accurately help repairs’ teams capture information from each visit and prove that the repairs were carried out. It could be a case that repairs staff have turned up but haven’t been able to gain access to a property. These failed attempts are logged which show the worker tried to gain access, and proof of attendance is recorded. Furthermore, scheduling capabilities enable efficient delivery of jobs which ensures better response times to repair visits.
By deploying IoT sensors within tenants’ homes, housing associations can proactively prevent and rectify any disrepair issues occurring before they become a problem as the sensors can detect risks in advance. Furthermore, sensors can collect data on temperature, carbon monoxide, humidity and energy efficiency allowing for a range of maintenance issues to be anticipated before they become more expensive to fix.
By implementing technology, housing associations can ensure all information is easily accessed and documented appropriately. Information such as completed visits, photos and signatures are accurately captured ensuring housing associations are in a better position to show compliance and defend themselves against claims.
Totalmobile solutions for the housing industry
At Totalmobile, we provide housing organisations with flexible technology solutions which enables them to deliver services efficiently and record information accurately.
Our Job Management and IoT capabilities ensure disrepair is proactively monitored while enabling you to evidence information accurately. For further information on our job management software, our Housing & Property Solutions or our overall Field Service Software, contact us here.