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Property Guardians

Property Guardians

Our guardians take care of empty homes in exchange for low cost and flexible accommodation. Property guardianship is a relatively unknown housing choice in the UK but it is a rapidly growing phenomenon. 


Our focus is on ensuring that our property guardians are securing our clients’ properties whilst living in a safe and comfortable space. We take great care in the safety and well-being of our guardians, as well as the buildings that they occupy. As a property guardian, you will be a working professional who enjoys a normal lifestyle whilst working with Avalon Guardians to protect our clients empty buildings. In exchange, you benefit from living in areas at up to 60% below market rental rates. We are currently looking for new guardians who can take on the responsibility of keeping properties secure.


Property Guardians

About becoming a property guardian

As a property guardian, you will benefit from flexible living and savings on your accommodation costs in exchange for your help in protecting our clients’ buildings. 

Your role is to be the eyes and ears for the property owner and to report on any security or maintenance issues that arise at the property you are living in. 

We offer guardian spaces on short term basis, at up to 60% below market rent levels.

Living as a property guardian is very different from being a tenant in the private rented sector as it doesn’t have the security of tenancy on offer if you were to rent a property though the traditional AST route. You will however join a growing guardian community, live in varied and unusual spaces and  make savings on your living costs.

Find out more

Read our blog which gives the latest guardian related information and news. 

Why become a property guardian?

  • Make savings on your cost of accommodation
  • Live in a flexible space that requires 28 days’ notice to leave
  • Bring formally empty buildings back into use
  • Take responsibility for looking after a building
  • Become a part of our community
  • Take advantage of the support on offer from Avalon Guardians when leaving Guardianship if you plan to rent privately or buy a property 

History of guardianship

Property guardianship started out in the Netherlands, where it is known as ‘anti-kraak’ (anti-squat).  It was first developed in the 1990s to allow students and artists to benefit from low cost and temporary ‘live/work’ space in cities. As its name suggests, it was created to prevent widespread squatting which was a big problem for the owners of buildings at the time. 

Property guardianship grew quickly as a form of temporary housing and by 2007 it was estimated that as many as 8,000 people lived as property guardians in the Netherlands. 

Over time, the scheme has spread to other European countries such as the UK where it is estimated that 10,000 guardians look after buildings. 

Avalon Guardians are working hard to become a leading guardian supplier. We are focused on delivering quality spaces and affordable prices and will work to increase standards across the industry. 

As A property guardian you agree to

  • Take care of the space that you are living in, following Avalon Guardian’s protocol
  • Follow the building security and health & Safety protocol. 
  • Sign up to a non-exclusive licence agreement. 
  • Give 28 days’ notice before leaving the property
  • Leave at the end of the 28 day notice period if the building is being returned to its owner

Key workers

Avalon Guardians work closely with the NHS Trust and trade unions to advertise our spaces to Key Workers.

Key Workers are the most valuable and at times undervalued professionals in our communities. As such, we prioritise our spaces for key workers to ensure they are given the opportunity to live in a space at affordable rates.

We offer housing advice to key workers to help with their housing choices when they decide to move away from guardianship. We advise on getting on the housing ladder by connecting our guardians with free impartial brokers and have a specialist team who can advise on affordable and intermediate housing options.

Head guardians

Our head property guardians go above and beyond to protect the properties they live in. If a guardian shows an ability to take responsibility for property related issues, they can be nominated as a head guardian to support us in the management of the building and ensuring the property is secured and well maintained. In exchange for the extra responsibility, head guardians are given discounts on standard rates. 

Register as a Guardian! Find out about our available spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

The costs of living as a guardian is always lower compared with private renting. The license fees charged
can vary from £195 to £1000 per month depending on the location and space. Fees are up to 60% lower than market rent.

The length of time someone spends as a property guardian is also much longer than the presumed ‘temporary’ living ethos would suggest. A survey found that guardians were spending on average 12 months in one property, with the longest duration six years. 

Of course! The only reason we would restrict this is if we are at capacity based on a property’s licensing conditions or if a room is only big enough for single occupancy. 

You must always let us know as you would both have to sign up to our license agreement and the license fee may be adjusted to reflect double occupancy.

Please register as a guardian and we will send over a list of buildings as and when they become available. 

Register using your public body email address and give us some information about your current position as a key worker. We will always prioritise key workers for our guardian spaces.