Housing Providers have invested huge sums of money into systems to help manage property compliance, but are they actually delivering what Landlords need?
Over the last decade or more, Housing Providers up and down the country have rightly been committing more and more resources to ensuring that the homes they provide are safe and warm. In many cases, this has included significant investment into new software designed to facilitate the often complex servicing, maintenance, inspection, repair and document management processes needed to deliver compliance.
However, in our experience, in far too many cases, systems don’t end up delivering what the Housing Provider needs. Organisations will often have invested six figure sums into systems that don’t cover the critical aspects of any property compliance system including:
- A link to the property and asset register that helps service managers to ensure that all properties are covered on a suitable compliance regime.
- Connections to and interoperability with the housing management, EDM, CRM or other systems to facilitate simple end to end management of risk, process, access and documents
- The ability to set up robust interfaces with contractor systems to minimise double handling of data and error prone data entry.
- Configurable and easily operated processes to manage the access process for compliance activities like the gas servicing programme.
- Robust links with document management systems that ensure that the correct supporting documentation is the “Currency of Compliance”
In our experience, what this often means is lots of manual data entry and spreadsheets, recording everything from property and asset records to risk assessment results and follow up actions. From a data management perspective, these are arguably the single greatest risk to the operation of the Property Compliance Service as they are usually:
- Undocumented and understood only by the creator
- Saved locally
- Prone to accidental deletion, typos, error and general data corruption.
We’ve seen a lot of property compliance systems over the last few years and we’re not saying that the systems out there are all bad, more that they’ve not evolved anywhere near quickly enough to deliver what Housing Providers now need to manage these services efficiently and give staff the information they need to help manage the work effectively.
Manifest are planning to complete some more research into the state of the property compliance software market. If you’d like to take part, please register your interest by clicking on the link below and completing the short form.
Peter Salisbury is Director of Housing Consulting at Manifest