We’re a group of researcher/activists interested in property guardianship.
Property guardianship represents a growing housing and security sector in the UK, but so far has been held up to little legal and academic scrutiny. We have serious concerns about the spread of property guardianship. Whilst it can be seen as a good opportunity for those with low/irregular incomes and others to have ‘cheap rent’, especially in major cities like London, it has a huge number of disadvantages.
1) It places people in legally precarious situation – a license to occupy, not a tenancy
2) It often places people in physically dangerous circumstances – rubbish, leakage, poor heating and other systems which may have to be fixed by the ‘guardian’
3) It excludes those with children, pets, those with physical disabilities, those unable to move at short notice, those unable to relocate quickly due to work, those on benefits, those without other immediate housing options, and others
4) It is an unregulated sector, with even fewer constraints than the private rented sector – for example, there is no deposit protection scheme, and no requirement to apply ‘decent homes’ or other housing standards.
5) It undermines secure tenancies by creating in people on low/irregular incomes an expectation of low-quality housing with multiple conditions/constraints around occupation.
6) Local authorities increasingly see it as a solution to the securing of empty buildings, not only non-domestic properties like offices but single houses and estates. This reduces the opportunity for more secure forms of temporary or permanent tenancy, such as short-life housing cooperatives.
These are just some of the concerns that are raised about property guardianship, but often marginalised in media coverage. We hope to use this site as a way of :
a) Sharing our and others’ research
b) Generating more research and discussion and scrutiny of property guardianship
c) Creating a body of evidence that overlaps with wider critiques of housing, urban management and the relationship between work and dwelling in the UK.
d) Being a source of info for present or potential guardians so they can be as informed and supported as possible.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or below.
You can also find us on Twitter @PG_research