‘Property guardianship’ or ‘anti-squatting’ is a phenomenon which started in the 1990s

Criminalising squatting, empty homes and property guardianship

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‘Property guardianship’ or ‘anti-squatting’ is a phenomenon which started in the Netherlands in the 1990s and has now spread to five other European countries, including the UK. Property guardians are essentially unofficial security guards, who pay to inhabit a building as their home, under the tenure of ‘license’.

Crucially, this is not a tenancy, and has none of the corresponding automatic rights of security of tenure. ‘Guardians’ usually pay £15-100 a week to do this, depending on the company involved, and the area they are in – the cost is always below market rent.

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