A lot’s been going on with property guardianship in the last few months – a quick roundup and also some edits to our other pages is needed!
New useful information
- Squatters Action for Secure Homes (SQUASH) guide to PG
Our friends over at SQUASH have put together a very critical page on PG, including testimonies from former guardians with Camelot and Ad Hoc and our guide for guardians/ potential guardians. It’s very thorough, also covering UK Govt position on PG (‘not a/our problem’) and a very handy table building on our research of the main 4 different types of PG companies. Gotta catch ’em all!
- Camelot using ‘legal nonsense’ to potentially illegally evict guardians
The ever-reliable Nearly Legal has been given Camelot’s eviction warning letter, which he calls ‘ pseudo-legal and semi-literate gibberish.’ If enforced, these notices would constitute an unlawful eviction in breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977; indeed on 28th Sept 2016, Camelot sent in private bailiffs without a court order and the occupier is now seeking legal advice. One to keep an eye on.
Of course, the role of private bailiff firms in (often unlawful) evictions in the ongoing housing crisis is a whole issue in itself, and it’s worrying if they are playing a bigger part in the enforcement of the property guardian mechanism.
News and campaigning
- London Assembly Green Party researches and criticises PG
Sian Berry and Green Party activist Samir Jeraj have researched local authorities’ use of PG in London, finding that in 2016 over 200 local authority buildings were used for PG. In terms of properties, Lambeth, Lewisham and Newham came out as the biggest users of PG. She suggests that PG properties would be better used as community spaces, or if for housing, should be fully recognised as tenancies and not licenses. Berry has asked the London Mayor to call for clarification of the law to allow buildings used by property guardian companies to be classified as Houses of Multiple Occupation and allow minimum standards of health and safety to be enforced.
- Squatting becomes more precarious, while guardianships flourish
This article by the impressive Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth nicely juxtaposes the statistics on squatting and PG to reveal ways in which the repression of squatting and the rise in guardianships are interrelated.
- Squatters have occupied a former Camelot office in London
We think that’s called irony!
A meditation on guardians, meanwhile use and incarceration in Reading Gaol.