The price of property in London is at an all time high.
With housing prices soaring there is, at the same time, a vast number of empty buildings in the capital. This combination of circumstances has led to both a boom in property guardianship and the growth of vacant property security companies like Oaksure Property Protection that make the lifestyle possible.
Most property guardians pay a greatly reduced “rent” in exchange for providing security and maintenance services to their allocated empty property. Just as not every building is made for housing, the occupiers are not considered tenants but licensees.
Could property guardianship work for you?
A lot of property guardians are young professionals, mature students and recent post graduates looking to launch careers in the capital who can’t yet afford to get themselves on the housing ladder. In a nutshell, becoming a property guardian can provide the opportunity of heavily reducing property-related expenditure.
The costs of the property guardianship form of “renting” can be reduced by up to a third for palatial properties in great locations. Some vacant property management companies will also cover all utility bills and provide furnishings.
Another advantage of property guardianship is the flexibility on offer. This short-term occupancy arrangement is perfectly suited to those that prefer to be on the move, opting for an atypical and variable lifestyle. Being a property guardian is a temporary substitute to the ongoing housing issue but it is by no means a permanent solution.
What are the drawbacks?
To challenge a view that has been presented by Channel 4’s short programme “Living the dream”, property guardians won’t always be living in cosy conditions. Even if they are, that doesn’t mean the surroundings will be particularly pleasant.
Some property guardians may find themselves in buildings that are being refurbished following substantial developmental changes like asbestos removal. For asbestos removal companies like OCS Environmental Services, asbestos is still a common discovery in many offices that forces them to close.
Another challenge property guardians can face comes with the fact that they are not legally classed as tenants. According to an article on Best Growth Stock the affordability and flexibility offered by guardian companies comes at the cost of the rights of occupiers. This allows for guardian companies to evict occupiers with only two weeks notice. Contrary to the perks associated with flexibility, this appears to encourage transience and uncertainty with regards to viable housing solution options.
Will you save enough money?
Property guardians can expect to pay far less than if they were renting property, but there are some factors that need to be considered.
Significant care must be taken to ensure that property guardians only work with like minded vacant property management companies. Some property guardian companies require that occupants pay council tax and provide their own furnishings, telephone and internet services.
Ultimately, for those that are money conscious and frugal, choosing to stay at a vacant property as a guardian could be an intelligent financial choice but it may not be so wise on a personal and practical level.
Property guardianship is not going to provide an answer to the affordable housing crisis and that was never one of its objectives. It simply offers a convenient solution to businesses looking for cost-effective security and business rates relief and is also one of the better cheap-housing options available for individuals willing to be mobile.