Global Guardians, a London property guardianship company, is said to be advertising derelict properties for the same high rates as private rentals. Photos of the properties surfaced and were posted online, much to the disbelief of social media users. Included in the company’s listings was a disused factory in the Rainham area that was available to rent for £600 a month.
A property guardian firm offers vacant buildings for others to watch over. These people are not classed as tenants and should benefit from reduced rental fees. Arrangements of this type enable people to live in cheaper accommodation with the added benefit of flexibility.
Clearly, any prospective property investor commissioning a building survey London or across the country will be on the alert for any such sub-prime offerings.
Not just residential properties
Other properties, including offices, police stations and historical buildings, can be tenanted in this manner without having to be licensed as a rental property. The Global Guardians website states that it is one of the leading providers of ‘security by occupation solutions’. It goes on to say that it secures and manages properties and issues short-term residential licenses to responsible working adults.
The derelict state of some of the properties listed on the site understandably caused a furore. Any prospective lender commissioning a building survey London or elsewhere would be unlikely to pass these properties as fit for habitation, with images of the buildings showing shabby interiors and exteriors, stained carpets, and bathrooms with bizarre showers in the middle of the room.
High rental rates
The firm claims that its property portfolio is ideal for commuters and offers rooms for £400 to £600 a month. It also suggests that many of the spaces are large and very affordable; however, others counterclaim that some of the rooms are being marketed for well above the average for the area and property type.
The state of the rentals was first highlighted by a journalist on Twitter who was exploring the idea of property guardianship. She argued that people in these situations are basically paying to live in squats and used examples from the Global Guardians social media accounts.
There is considerable governmental guidance on guardianship schemes, which is worth reviewing prior to considering accommodation of this type. When the guidance is followed, property guardianship can often be a viable option.
Once these issues were highlighted, considerable outrage ensued. Citing that this is by no means the only firm to take this approach, the issues have called into question the guardianship schemes running in the capital. Many people are forced to live in properties such as these due to homelessness, with vocal members of the public believing that taking extortionate rents from these people is unfair.
To engage in a guardianship scheme, the renter must be over 21 and in employment. There are also certain rules they must follow to ensure the building remains secure.