ICAB’s Decant Contingency Plan Blog published by PfH

We are delighted that our blog has been published on the Procurement for Housing (PfH) website this week.

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The UK’s housing sector has been grappling with several challenges in recent years, and it has become a constant topic in the media. One of the main challenges facing this sector is the ongoing housing crisis, which has led to cladding and mould issues being highlighted in the introduction of Awaab’s Law, plus the announcement of government funds that have been set aside for this area of need.  Additionally, climate change has led to an increase in large-scale flooding in some parts of the UK. Remedial works are costly and time-consuming for housing associations, councils, and landlords, and they pose a significant challenge to execute.

Personal cost

However, the most significant cost of these challenges is borne by the residents. Finding a suitable alternative accommodation is highly personal and can be very stressful. Decanting from one’s home is never easy, and it can cause significant inconvenience and stress to the affected families. Finding a place to stay, such as a hotel, serviced apartment, or rental, that meets individual needs can be complicated. For instance, families with children need to be close to schools, while those with pets need to find pet-friendly accommodation. Additionally, those with disabilities may require wheelchair access, making the process of finding suitable accommodation more challenging.

The Importance of a Decant Contingency Plan

Whether the issue is related to the structure of the building and can therefore be planned for, such as cladding issues, or due to an emergency, such as flash flooding or fire; landlords, housing associations, and councils must have a robust decant contingency plan in place. The decant of residents on a large scale must be carefully planned to help customers through a difficult and stressful time. It needs to have the right balance of empathy and efficiency to ensure that the customer is placed in a property that suits their needs, while also taking into account the budgets set by the housing association or council.

The Journey to a Smooth Decant

Navigating the complexities of major decants needs to be carefully coordinated with a single-source solution, taking into consideration:

  • Early Coordination – Moving swiftly to communicate with accommodation partners as soon as instructed
  • Resident Communication – Pro-actively communicating with each resident throughout the process
  • Accommodation and Booking – Having an extensive network of hotels, serviced apartments, and rental properties to ensure cost-efficiency
  • Belongings and Moving Out – Coordinating necessary removals and delivery of personal belongings
  • Ongoing Communication – Providing weekly updates of all aspects of a decant


2024 is going to be a busy year with several national building enforcements coming into play.  Those responsible for residential buildings will need to act swiftly to get a plan in place and consider a standardised seamless decant solution prior to work commencing.

ICAB is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and can take instructions for emergency relocations at any time.  We have a dedicated team to work on major decants for multiple units, harnessing our experience in this industry for over 25 years.  Our aim is always to ensure the resident is settled into alternative accommodation as soon as possible whilst working with social housing organisations to provide the most cost-effective and amenable service possible.

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