Case Study

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

When the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) proposed that a new additional and selective licensing schemes be introduced to the borough they approached Rocktime. verso™, Rocktime’s licence application management platform allowed the borough to quickly go live with an online application process which transformed the way both applicants complete a complicated process and how the council validates and issues licences to successful applicants.

The council introduced the new licensing schemes to better protect tenants from rogue landlords, while also protecting honest landlords from badly-behaving tenants. The council already operates a mandatory licensing scheme for properties which have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more people with at least two households. Evidence showed that the proposed additional and selective schemes would apply to approximately 8,000 private rented properties within the borough, and would present a significant uplift in the workload to be undertaken by the borough’s licensing team.

The Challenge

It was estimated that in the first year of the scheme approximately 8,000 new applications would need to be processed along with any renewals that where due from the existing mandatory scheme. It was therefore essential that the developed solution would:

  • Allow landlords to apply online and attach supporting documentation
  • Allow discounts for accredited landlords
  • Undertake appropriate ‘Fit and Proper Person’ check
  • Allow monies to be paid, and accommodate ‘split payments’
  • Post data automatically into the IDOX Uniform database
  • Utilise LLPG files for property validation
  • Utilise third party and legacy software for further data validation
  • Issue licenses electronically
  • Provide a workflow process for offices to manage applications
  • Offer specific functionality for portfolio landlords and letting agents to manage multiple properties
  • Provide remote access and allow an optimised view for mobile and tablet devices

From a technology perspective the chosen supplier was required to meet the following brief:

  • A proven solution built on either ‘Open Source’ or ‘Open Standard’ platforms
  • Windows based .Net infrastructure
  • Competent and experienced systems integrators
  • Provide a high level of data security
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of property licensing and the process of licensing

The Solution

Working closely with LBHF officers and IDOX Group, Rocktime deployed its proven verso™ licensing application platform to transform the borough’s property licensing offering. Using our extensive experience, we configured verso™ to provide an effective process logic that would allow the borough to capture all of the required licensing requirements wrapped up in the borough’s branded user experience (UX).

Built on an Open Standards .Net Architecture verso™ provides an intelligent platform to capture information in a dynamic form, only requiring applicants to provide information pertinent to their application, reducing the time required to complete the application process and validating information in real time. Payments are fully integrated with the borough’s Northgate Paris payment platform and are split in line with the Hemmings Vs Westminster judgement. verso™ employs user-friendly functions such as a ‘password free save/resume’ function along with a number of robust options for ‘Fit and Proper Person’ checks.

  • Automating the HMO Licensing process as much as possible
  • Freeing up LBHF staff time by validating data and preventing incomplete applications
  • Simplifying and reducing the time needed to complete a user application
  • Reducing the level of contact with the licensing team by providing an effective online help system

The key technical advantages of using verso™ are:

  • Hosting and application support provided by Rocktime.
  • Expertise in a company with a successful record of supplying similar platforms to other local councils
  • Experienced systems integrators with IDOX, Payment platforms and LLPG files
  • Provide a high level of data security, including consideration for GDPR compliance
  • The provision of disaster recovery by dual PCI-compliant hosting at separate data centres
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Success

Rocktime deployed the verso™ application process on the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s network, on time and on budget on the 5th June 2017. Applications have started flowing into the borough for officers to process. Feedback has also been good with users commenting on the user experience and significant interest coming into Rocktime from other councils who are looking for similar deployments.