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Property guardianship

edited 28 September 2012 at 1:05PM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
18 replies 8.6K views
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  • Just a note to all those looking into being Guardians of properties. If you are paying to live there even if it is a reduced rate.
    Make sure the landlord/owner has planning permission.
    If not you may find yourself in a situation of being visited by council Enforcement officers and then homeless.
    I work in planning and this has come up a couple of times. With i am sure upsetting results for the Guardians.
  • I looked into being a Property Guardian a couple of years back - a friend of mine had pretty much a flat to himself in Aldgate, whilst another guy I knew lived in a school in Bromley (and used a bike to get from his room to the 'lounge').

    I think it was Adhoc I went to the office of. I signed up, then...... nothing. I phoned them up week after week and they could never offer me any properties to view (I guess people who need rehousing get priority - fair enough).

    I forgot about it.... months later I finally got an e-mail along the lines of "terraced house in Homerton available, come view it this afternoon, first-come first-served, bring cash deposit to viewing"

    After going from zero to high pressure, I decided it may be wasn't for me.

    The deposit they charge is pretty high (about 2 month's worth of rent) and from what I've read online elsewhere, they're not all that keen on giving it back.

    The rents advertised never seemed that cheap. Once you totted up other fees, the fact you'd likely not see your deposit back, and the hassle of living that way compared to renting a room in a shared house... I never saw it as the great deal it had been made out to be.

    It's interesting to hear from GuruJon. Anyone else managed to get a place as a Property Guardian and can inform me better?

    Now that squatting is illegal, is there less possibility of living as a Property Guardian? Or are the properties just more likely to be commercial than residential?
  • insurgente wrote: »
    Now that squatting is illegal, is there less possibility of living as a Property Guardian? Or are the properties just more likely to be commercial than residential?

    It does not make any difference since being a "property guardian" has nothing to do with being a squatter.
  • jjlandlord wrote: »
    It does not make any difference since being a "property guardian" has nothing to do with being a squatter.

    But potentially the illegality of squatting in residential premises would put some people off doing it, meaning a landlord wouldn't see the need to for property guardians?

    (I don't have the stats, I have no idea)
  • GuruJon wrote: »
    So I did this for a year nearly (mid 2013/14). It's not for everyone and I am not going to suggest if you should or shouldn't. I will however tell you my experience and some pitfalls you should be aware of.

    You are given a licence and it does not afford you pretty much any rights. So what that means is that if they give you the requisite 4 weeks' notice you have to move out. No ifs no buts. They can ask you to move out without a reason. There is no recourse on these grounds. I mention this point because it can be construed as similar to notice from shorthold tenancies. It isn't. And there is no obligation to rehouse. You can look at the list again but you have to pay a further £25 to move to the new place. Even if they have asked you to move.

    Okay so the nitty gritty You are asked to go to an induction. You will need to be employed. If accepted, you will be given a list of properties on their books to look at at their offices. You can then choose to visit them. A couple at a time max. You typically don't get to meet the people living there(they'll be at work). And vice versa. Select one you like and hand over 2 grand for deposit and a few months' rent. You will also have to buy the mandatory fire extinguisher, smoke alarm and other bits and bobs for a further £80. They'll have a pack

    Typically you will get a 2 bed or more. There will normally be one person or 2 living there. If it is an old hospital or the like. Expect to be living there in a big group 20-30 strong. Great if you want to party and meet people. Not so great if you want to hold down a nine to five.

    You don't share rooms. The condition is usually poor to appalling. If it's got central heating, you are laughing but if it breaks, providing it's an easy fix, they sort it. You may have to wait a month though and that's not uncommon. If it does break and is an expensive fix, they will condemn it and you will have to buy heaters. Typically, you'll be on a pay as you go electric tariff, so it'll be expensive. If you are worried about mildew or damp. They won't fix it.

    Broadband can be an issue. If you are happy with mobile broadband its fine. But if you are on the thrift, you'll be wanting to save and buy home broadband. Issues with this will be the contract length, you'll have to move it with you when you move if it's an option and you will be stuck with the length of the contract if you can't.

    My experience wasn't the best. I was spoilt and used to furniture and heating without having to pay the earth. Not sure you save that much if you are paying premium for bills, not to mention hassle when getting furniture, cooking facilities and fridges etc. Moving also adds cost. So things to consider. If you have parents with a garage, a van, and spare furniture it's a good deal. If you have a partner that will put up with it, and you both sign up. It could work.

    Just remember it's a business for them, and the less you hassle them the better. They just want you to pay the fees and not rock the boat. It doesn't do what it says on the website.

    Hope this helps someone.
    Yes I agree, it really is only for people who can be really flexible and are happy to move at very short notice. This really isn't for people who want a reliable, quiet, and steady rental property.
  • Hi everyone!

    I have been a guardian twice, I still am, and for me it worked out well every time. I have enjoyed meeting new people and I have found them being very nice persons, ready to help every time, and they are very quiet people, since all of us are full time workers. I might have been just lucky, I can't say, but I loved to share this place with them. And it goes without saying that the price is hard to beat, especially for London.
    Right now I am a guardian with Oaksure property, in London, and I will recommend them highly because I have had a very good business relationship with them.
    You can check out their website if you are willing to share and want a nice and cheap place to live in. (sorry I'm not allowed to post the link, but they are just a 'google' step away).

    Good luck! :rotfl:
  • theartfullodgertheartfullodger Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Corina1 wrote: »
    ......Right now I am a guardian with Oaksure property, in London, and I............
    See..
    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08102670

    A £1 company currently late filing it's annual return.

    The three most common reasons for being late in filing are...
    a) Stupidity by Directors...
    2) Incompetence by Directors....
    iii) Fraud/criminality...

    In this case I'm sure there's a simple explanation... but I'd not build long-term plans on the current track record...
  • theartfullodgertheartfullodger Forumite
    11.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Recent case, 24th Feb 2017, Bristol, has found a "Property Guardian" license was actually an AST: Deposit protection action to follow.
    https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2017/02/aint-way-property-guardians-licences/

    Good!
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