The security of empty commercial or social housing properties is a major concern for any landlord, however, according to a new white paper from vacant property experts Orbis, the introduction of property guardians, who essentially act as baby-sitters for inhabitable empty properties, provide a cost-effective security solution and peace of mind.
With many individuals struggling to pay market rents and and an increase in the number of vacant properties as a result of the recession, the introduction of property guardians – who rent a property such as an office, warehouse or council house from between two weeks and two years at low cost – is considered to be a natural market evolution.
Currently 4,000 people perform a guardian role, delivering a valuable contribution towards society. Without the guardianship option, government would have to source homes for these individuals and key workers would struggle to find homes near their work, having a knock-on effect on public services according to the white paper.
Aimed at property owners, people considering becoming guardians and those with an interest in property guardianship, the paper explores the drivers towards property guardians, the different types of people who opt to be guardians , the risks involved for both parties and provides best practice recommendations about changes that need to be made to make the experience fairer for all concerned. In particular, the document calls for clear and compliant standards around guardian recruitment and highlights the need for high standards of property selection focusing on areas such as security, compliancy with fire regulations, electricity and running water and ensuring that the property has been adapted for residential use with a bathroom and kitchen area.
To download a copy of the white paper, please click here.