PayBack Case Study: Cornwall Housing

Recovering Aged Debt

Cornwall Housing wanted a unique solution to recover former tenant debt on their oldest outstanding items before they fell out of limitation. This consisted of debt that was five to six years old, as after six years the debt becomes statute barred and is no longer recoverable. They couldn’t believe the immediate and effective return on investment by using TAIM PayBack to inform their approach to recovery.

1) Background

Cornwall Housing is part of Corserv, a wholly owned division of Cornwall Council. They deliver and manage over 10,000 high quality homes throughout Cornwall in the south west of England. Commencing their 2019/23 strategy, they work across a wide spectrum of housing and homelessness needs for the region.

At a glance

2018/19 performance

Stock: 10,285 homes

Turnover: £38.6m

Re-investment: £12m

Arrears (HRA): 3.88%

2) Needs Analysis

The age of the debts in question was widely believed to mean that they were in fact, ‘dead money’. In Paul Oxford, Finance Manager at Cornwall Housing’s own words: “We asked Housing Partners to visit us as we were looking at alternative ways to increase our income streams concerning our former tenant arrears (FTA). After a really productive meeting we agreed to look at 500 FTA cases that we had returned from our current supplier after they could not be traced and we were therefore left with no alternative than to pass these for write-offs.”

Counting the benefits

"Housing Partners has had a real positive effect on our FTA collection rate, as well as increasing our income stream. We would most likely have written these debts off had we not worked in partnership with them."

3) Results

Cornwall received their first file back from Housing Partners with details of names, traced addresses and a propensity to collect the debt that they were able to follow up on. This led to them  contacting some individuals by phone and some by letter. Over the next few months instalment plans and payments started coming in on a regular basis.

4) Outcomes

Lisa Howarth, Income Housing Manager at Cornwall Housing commented: “I’m delighted with the results, we didn’t expect it to be so good. We are now looking at using Housing Partners to help us collect other areas of former tenant debt.”

Greg Andrews of Housing Partners added: “The process is still ongoing for Cornwall Housing, with another 130 records in which investigations have recently begun.”


"The return on investment we have received to date has been fantastic. We have collected over five times what we have invested in TAIM PayBack, and this is growing every day."
5x ROI

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