NPS helps Sandwell Council to generate £1.8m

25 March 2015
Sandwell Borough Council Logo 440 x 220

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has generated £1.8m in additional revenue, thanks to Northgate Public Services (“NPS”), who helped them to identify occupied properties through NPS Empty Properties Service.

The Empty Properties Service review, which was completed in 10 weeks, identified 226 properties out of 1571 reviewed in the Sandwell area which were identified as occupied, when previously categorised as empty.

Using market leading credit reference data, NPS experienced Council Tax team manage the entire review process, including handling all customer contacts, system updates and, where required, carrying out physical property inspections.

To ensure value for money, NPS carries out the review on an attractive risk/reward pricing structure, which means there are no up-front fees and payment is only made against properties confirmed as occupied.

Ian Hubball, Revenues and Benefits Manager at Sandwell Council, said: “We decided to seek an external partner to carry out the review and chose Northgate Public Services because they were able to offer the right mix of skills and experience, rapid resource deployment and value for money.

“The NPS Empty Properties service was quick and easy to complete. There were no up-front fees and we paid on delivery of results. We were impressed by the quality and professionalism of the NPS team who carried out the review. This has helped to bring in extra revenue for the council, which we can spend on valuable services.”

Northgate Public Services Executive Director, Joe Bradley, said: “With an average of an additional £8,736 to be gained for each property brought back into use, councils can gain substantial income by reviewing their empty properties. As well as increasing the amount of Council Tax revenue raised and improving the accuracy of Council Tax records, it also helps to reduce fraud.

“We know that reviewing domestic properties registered as being empty is a resource intensive exercise. Financial pressures and additional demands on resources mean that it can be difficult for councils to review properties that are classified as empty. Because of this, many local authorities have not had the resource to conduct a review for some time and this is where NPS can assist.”