In the UK, there has been a rise in property guardians, which are basically people who choose to pay a cheap rent in order to stay and live in an empty property which may be a residential home, empty commercial building etc. They are a great way to keep squatters out of your building or construction sites, read on to find out more.
So what exactly are property guardians?
In the UK, there has been a rise in property guardians, which are basically people who choose to pay a cheap rent in order to stay and live in an empty property which may be a residential home, empty commercial building etc. Property guardians are quite different from normal renters, since the “rent” they pay is significantly lower. Being a property guardian has often been called “legal squatting” since it is the only way many people are able to have a roof over their heads. It works when a guardian pays a licence for a room in a building or space within a building or home and this money is much less than the money for a private rental agreement. As a result, the owner of the building earns a little cash while keeping away actual squatters.
The number of property guardians has risen over the years, simply due to the extremely high cost of housing in the UK. By the year 2020, first time home buyers will need to have a salary of at least £64,000 as well as a deposit of £46,000 in order to buy a home. The price of buying a home is only rising in the UK and it currently costs £202,436 to buy an average home. Additionally, renting in the UK is also quite challenging, since average rental costs also keep rising. Presently, the average cost of rent per month is £764 and in London, its double that at £1,543 per month. These figures keep rising, which makes it even harder for renters to save for a deposit to buy their own home.
However, property guardians can pay half of the typical rental fee, which is the main reason why property guardianship is on a drastic rise. As mentioned previously, they typically stay in vacant properties and these properties are usually ones that are awaiting planning permission so they can be changed into something else. As a result, the types of properties that are usually available for guardianship include schools, hotels, fire stations, police stations, churches, pubs, offices etc. If you’re interested in becoming a property guardian, then there are actual agencies that exist in order to match potential guardians with properties. Some of these agencies are Dot Dot Dot, Ad Hoc Property Management, Live In Guardians, Camelot etc, we strongly recommend VPS Property Guardians, we have used them before within the UK.
Requirements For Becoming A Property Guardian
Different agencies have different requirements, but for the most part, you will need to be employed without any dependencies or pets. Many agencies require that you are able to move almost immediately and they usually don’t accept people who will smoke in the building or want to host parties there. Some agencies don’t accept undergraduate students, so be sure to check out as many different agencies to find out more specifics on their requirements and if you fit the bill.
According to the agency, Camelot, they say that 42% of their property guardians are between the ages of 36 – 65, 47% are between 26 – 35 and only 11% are between 18 – 35 years old. Another agency, Live In Guardians has stated that most of their guardians are in their first or second professional job and they are guardians so they can save money for the deposit on their own home. Of course, there is another percentage of people who become guardians simply because they don’t want to spend 80% of their income on rent and would prefer to spend it on their social life.
The Advantages Of Being A Property Guardian
As you may have gathered, the main advantage of being a guardian is the extremely low rent you’ll have to pay. It will cost you about half or even less than half the typical amount of rent you’d have to pay for an apartment or residential home. As a result, you’re able to save a lot of money so you can buy a home or simply spend it as you please.
Another benefit according to many property guardians is the ability to live in a non-conventional and interesting space. You can choose to live in an almshouse, church, commercial building, fire station etc. It’s definitely a great experience, especially if you enjoy an unconventional way of life.
The ability to become a property guardian has enabled many people to live cheaply in the UK and London, whereas they wouldn’t have been able to afford rent otherwise. This has provided a fantastic housing opportunity that many people in the artistic and charitable fields have taken advantage of.
The Disadvantages Of Being A Property Guardian
The main disadvantage is that as a property guardian, you won’t be an actual tenant which means that you won’t have a tenancy agreement or the rights that come with that type of agreement. If the owner needs you to move then you will only have a short notice to do so and not the 6 months in most tenancy agreements.
If you have any properties in the Netherlands, like many Brits, you might want to check out VPS NL for what they call antikraak, they also service the Amsterdam area.
In closing, we have just looked at exactly what is a property guardian as well as the advantages and disadvantages of being one. So, be sure to continue learning more before you decide whether you want to become a property guardian or not.