Voids (empty properties)
The scrutiny of ‘voids’ (homes that are empty) was carried out because the Scrutiny Panel wanted to understand the difference between published figures for void times (typically less than one month) and customers’ perceptions that some homes remain empty for much longer - sometimes up to three months or more.
The Panel identified that the published figures were accurate but only for empty homes that needed only minor maintenance and cleaning.
However, when significant refurbishments of empty homes were needed (referred to as 'major works voids'), they often remained empty for an unacceptable time (longer than a month - sometimes up to three months or more). This meant that there was a loss of revenue.
In September 2012, the Panel presented their final report on the outcomes of their scrutiny to Curo's Combined Board. The report, and Curo’s action plan to respond to the Panel's recommendations are below:
Reports and recommendations
The Panel’s review has highlighted where major works voids processes need to improve, and has made relevant and practical recommendations which are timely in view of the current restructure.
The Executive Team has already recognised the need to restructure the way voids are managed, and have no objections to the Panel’s recommendations. The Panel’s report gives more detail on how to strengthen the management and perception of major works voids.
Curo colleagues involved in managing voids have developed an action plan, supported by the Executive Team, that reflects the Panel’s recommendations. The plan aims to ensure effectiveness and efficiency, and also to increase productivity and improve perception. The action plan has now been completed and signed off by the Scrutiny Panel.