The Benefits of Property Guardians
Why use property guardians?
Effective deterrence to squatters
It is estimated that there were around 20,000 to 50,000 people squatting in the UK in 2016. While squatting has been illegal in residential properties since 2012, this has only led to an increase in commercial squatting, with the worst affected areas being London, the South-East and Wales. Our solution guarantees against squatting by ensuring the property is continuously occupied.
Reduce incidents of vandalism and theft
Property guardians can provide better protection from anti-social behaviour (ASB), squatting, property fraud and metal theft than other forms of vacant property security such as metal shutters, CCTV and staffing properties with guards. A constant live in presence is a huge deterrent to those who commit acts of vandalism such as graffiti on buildings.
Maintain condition of building and grounds
Property guardians ensure that the fabric of the building is maintained. Repairs and issues are reported far earlier than under other methods of property protection. Guardians can also maintain gardens which can become overgrown and run down at long-term empty sites.
Make positive social use of empty space
Property Guardianship offers huge benefits to those who can’t get on to the property ladder and are desperately looking for affordable housing. Property guardian schemes offer thousands of low cost and flexible living spaces in some of the most sought after areas in the UK.
Monetise vacant property assets
Guardianship can provide an income for property owners. Some property owners, including local authorities, receive a proportion of the licence fees paid by guardians.
The use of guardians can also provide a financial saving compared to other physical property protection measures. In some cases, guardianship can save up to £2,000 per week compared with using professional guards, or up to £400 compared with using physical steel protection and alarms.
Reduce utilities and council tax
Property guardians can relieve the burden of council tax for empty residential buildings for property owners. The cost of council tax usually falls to the guardian or the guardian company, providing significant financial savings for the property owner.
Reduce business rates
Guardianship can provide savings on empty business rates for commercial property. When a vacant commercial building is occupied by property guardians the property’s use changes to residential. According to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) a ‘property is domestic if it is used as living accommodation, so there is no reason why such a scheme should not succeed in reducing tax liability. This means that the property should be revalued as residential (and so pay council tax) instead of commercial (when it paid business rates). Council tax is much cheaper than business rates and is normally paid for by the guardian or the guardian company. A property owner can save up to 90 per cent of their business rates bill this way.
Reduce insurance premiums for empty buildings
Using property guardians can reduce a buildings insurance premium by up to 50 per cent. Clients using guardians can save thousands of pounds a month by using property guardians to protect their vacant property. From most clients, the perspective cost savings are the primary driver for using guardians.