People are moving into our homes quicker than ever and recent figures show that at the end of February, we had the lowest number of empty properties ever.
We had 40 empty homes at the end of February, a number which has fallen even further at the time of writing and now stands at just 36! The improving figure means we are making great progress in our continued drive to reduce the number of empty homes on our books. This is great news for those waiting for a PCH home!
It means that more people will be able to move into the home they’ve bid for – which has been repaired, cleaned and decorated – sooner than ever before and that PCH isn’t losing out on vital income.
Our empty homes figures have been gradually improving ever since we reviewed our empty properties process – which is the way in which we get our homes ready to let.
Following our review we discovered it was taking too long from the time an outgoing tenant departed their home to the time the new tenant moved in. Now, when tenants give us their notice, we send in an inspector much sooner to do a full two-hour property survey.
By doing the inspection more rapidly, we can quickly identify what issues need addressing sooner rather than later. For example, if there are any repairs that need to be carried out we can programme in the works and order materials to ensure it is completed before the next residents move in.
We can also arrange a key handover date to allow the repairs to be planned in and we can make sure we have all the correct details about the property so that when we create the Devon Home Choice advert everything is accurate.
Sue Shaw, Director of Homes and Neighbourhoods, said: “These good results are testament to the hard work of everyone involved, the teams have done an amazing job – particularly our housing, repairs and allocations teams.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done at the end of one tenancy to make sure a property is in fantastic condition for the new tenant. Our teams understand the importance of this, and the proof is in the very high levels of satisfaction reported by our new customers.
“We are now in the top quartile of performers when compared with similar housing associations, and our speedy letting means that we can put a lot more rent income back into PCH to use for building new homes and refurbishing older ones. It’s a real win-win position for the tenants and for PCH’s goals for growth.”