Property guardians are becoming increasingly popular with economic downturn forcing tenants to look for new alternatives. As rental rates increase across the country, the opportunity for property guardians also increases. Property guardians are people who pay a rent to live in currently disused buildings. The advantages are twofold – cheaper rents for the tenants and for the property owner – onsite ‘guardians’ to protect the building from squatters and vandals. Sounds like a win win. The added bonus can be as a tenant you get to live in some pretty cool, unusual buildings. some buildings include – an old school, a science lab, disused council offices and a former mental asylum

According to the BBC Kevin Harris has been doing this for 8 years and is living in an old EMI office building in West London ” “I’ve woken up and counted myself lucky that I’ve got an amazing place to live in which is a little out of the ordinary,” he says. Residents pay an average of £350 per month, including utility bills.

Properties are generally subject to health and safety regulations, so should be kitted out with suitable sleeping, cooking and washing facilities, if they don’t already have them. They must also have functioning water and power supplies and be clean and safe. The management companies look after the buildings on behalf of the owners.

The Property Guardian Providers Association (PGPA), which represents management companies, says that in 2020-21, some 32,000 people applied to become guardians. It expects that to rise to 50,000 this year and says there now may actually be more guardians than space available

It’s not for everyone as Guardians are subject to a monthly licence agreement that affords them fewer rights than a full tenancy – they can be given just 28 days’ notice to leave and don’t have the right to exclusive occupation of the property. As a result it wouldn’t necessarily suit older people or people with families but it does represent an increasingly popular choice for younger tenants.

Source BBC –