Osborne Says Social Landlords can Bounce Back from Summer Budget

The chancellor called on social landlords to become more efficient in his Summer Budget, but savings can be found without compromising on customer service.

This is the message from Osborne Property Services, as social landlords come to grips with Summer Budget measures including an annual cut in housing benefit payments worth £1.44 billion a year by 2020/21 and a reduction in the cap on overall household benefit payments to £23,000 in London and £20,000 elsewhere.
Osborne has just marked the first anniversary of its ‘total asset management’ contract to repair and maintain the 10,500 homes owned by Dacorum Borough Council. During this time Osborne has worked with Dacorum to generate efficiencies and increased income worth £1.1 million to the council by April 2016.

Nick Sterling, Managing Director at Osborne Property Services, said: “George Osborne didn’t pull his punches on pushing social landlords to become more efficient. A number of landlords had already begun examining bring their repairs and maintenance services in-house with the aim of cutting costs, but this outcome is far from certain. We would argue that you can deliver more efficient services, while improving performance and hence raising customer satisfaction. Besides our work with Dacorum, independent analysis by HouseMark and HQN has demonstrated Osborne’s ability to deliver this with Ascham Homes too.”

The Ascham Homes reports show Osborne has helped the 12,400-home landlord cut its cost per property of repairs to £230 below the median of its London peers, while customer satisfaction with the overall repairs service had risen 6.4 percentage points since 2012.

Nick also pointed out that the reduction in the total benefit cap would likely mean an increase in void properties for social landlords, as some tenants struggled to pay their rent.
He said: “This increase in void property turnovers will mean landlords need agile and experienced service providers to deliver on time and at a quality that can measurably increase much-needed rental income.”