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Housemark data reveals increases in ASB, arrears and non-emergency repairs

Social landlords saw a 30%+ increase in reports of anti-social behaviour in April, COVID-19 impact monitoring by Housemark has suggested.

The membership organisation, which is owned by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation, said: “Landlords are facing challenges diagnosing and dealing with ASB due to many of the usual channels being unavailable.

“However, some landlords are making use of quick solutions such as injunctions.”

The COVID-19 impact monitoring document also found, amongst other things, that:

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  • Arrears were up a further 10% in April: "Median arrears increased further in April to 3.29% compared to 2.99% in March, representing over £100m of additional arrears since lockdown began. Further increases are expected when the government’s job retention scheme ends."
  • 800,000 non-emergency repairs built up in April. “Although reporting and recording of non-emergency repairs is much lower than ‘normal times’. With almost a fifth of sector staff not working, social distancing pressure and backlogs in other operational areas compounding the repairs challenge, this is expected to remain a key issue as landlords plan recovery through the autumn.”
  • Gas safety compliance was down to 91.2%: "Representing an estimated 380,000 properties UK-wide without a valid gas safety certificate. Expect this shortfall to be prioritised as lockdown eases."

The impact monitoring document, the second produced by Housemark on the effect of the pandemic and published in late May, can be found here.

Housemark said: “COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our society, economy and personal lives, and the social housing sector is no exception. Social landlords provide a critical front-line service to many of the most vulnerable people in society and have had to rapidly adapt to a crisis that could not have been foreseen only a few months ago.

“Good data has never been more important. Whether it’s about identifying vulnerable tenants to provide better support, or forecasting the impact of arrears and rent lost due to vacant homes, landlords are seeking out the data that will help them make the right decisions now and for the future.”

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