Property Guardians are a new model of protecting and reusing empty buildings that has been introduced in UK since 2000s. This solution allows owners of vacant properties to reduce their rates providing at cheap price to people that can’t afford private rents or that want to save some money. In return Property Guardians will occupy the building to protect it from vandalism, theft and squatting, looking after it.
This way of life has become very popular due to sharp increase of housing prices that British people have faced for many years and that has made even worst with the economic crisis in 2010. Many key workers, students, post-graduates and freelance professionals have embraced Guardian’s lifestyle to afford an accommodation in major cities all over UK, allowing them to live in central neighbourhoods, near they workplaces or universities. Some Guardians live in these properties during the week, coming back to their homes outside the city in the week-ends. Others, thanks to the wide range of buildings available, from stately homes and schools, to hospitals and offices, use the site as accommodation and workspace at the same time, like artisans or artists, that need big space but also central position in the city. This is the eventuality of Alec and Thomas, two young stylists, that, with Ad Hoc Properties, they transformed their temporary accommodation in their workplace and style atelier also.
As said, many properties can be very big, as healthcare facilities, hospitals and office spaces, and landlords can divide some of them in different dwellings or separated accommodation with shared areas. This allows Guardians to create a community where they can live and help each other, monitoring the building better .
Moreover, occupying vacant buildings helps to prevent neighbourhood from becoming depressed, attracting criminality and vandalism. Recovering idle buildings can only positively affect the surrounding area, keeping it safe and enjoyable to live in.
Many owners are unable to privately rent their properties because the buildings are intended to be renovated or demolished shortly. Ad Hoc Properties guardianship system works on 28 day notice period with 31 day hand back period, allowing landlords to have their site available when they need and Guardians to organise themselves moving in another property. It’s also in Ad Hoc Properties’ interests to find as soon as possible new accommodation for their moving Guardians. Today, thanks to the new Ad Hoc community system, Guardians that are looking for a house to occupy can easily find and communicate with owners with an available property, thanks to Ad Hoc’s website and services.
Many are the reasons why Property Guardians are good for community. They occupy empty properties that could attract criminals, vandals and squatters otherwise, they protect them from any risk of unauthorised accesses and thefts, they contribute to preserve the neighbourhood and the surrounding area, reusing buildings that would remain idle, if not occupied. And besides, it’s a way to help low salary workers, that can’t afford a private rent at the moment, and to help owners saving money and recovering their rates and security costs.