Newspaper, blog and TV features about property guardianship in the UK tend to be recycled press releases from guardian companies, essentially acting as free advertising for them. Some have been more even-handed. Below are some good ones.
The Temporary Home – Live-In Guardians in the Neoliberal City (March 2014)
Sets out the main criticisms and anxieties about property guardianship in the wider housing crisis and the ‘securing’ of the city.
Live in a stately home – but don’t get settled (July 2013)
A good overview article including critical angles on property guardianship
Criminalising squatting, empty homes and property guardianship (Feb 2013)
A piece SQUASH (Squatters’ Action for Secure Homes) blog on the links between squatting, property guardians and empty homes policy.
Property Guardians and social housing (Aug 2013)
This is a long but really good, dense interview with ‘decanted’ tenant – from a housing association-managed tower block in East London. It now hosts property guardians before it is ‘redeveloped’ and sold to private tenants.
Squatters replaced by guardians in Brixton, SW London, and wider housing issues in the area
Various articles – the first one is an excellent overview of some of the drivers of the housing crisis in SW London.
These articles can help us understand more about the legal status of property guardianship and how it might be challenged as a form of housing.
Who Guards the guardians? (Jan 2013)
Really thorough article around some of the possible legal challenges to a property guardian license. Also good short overview of legal questions about property guardians by the same solicitor here.
The Home Guard (June 2012)
A good housing industry journal overview piece, featuring lots of analysis of the companies involved, wider housing issues, a woman’s very poor experience of guardianship and a case study from a housing association.
Landlord Law Blog – articles exploring the law around Property Guardians (March 2013)
There are a number of good films about being a property guardian. ‘Carefree Vacant Property’, about the Dutch experience, is still the most comprehensive.
Carefree Vacant Property (54min, 2010)
Documentary on property guardianship in the Netherlands and a great introduction to what it’s like to be a guardian. In Dutch with subtitles.
Short interviews with Camelot property guardians and Camelot representatives in London (2011)
There is very little academic research on property guardianship and currently none published in the UK. This section is coming soon.
ORGANISATIONS and RESOURCES
Bond Precaire Woonvormen – Federation of Precarious Tenants in the Netherlands
This was set up as a membership organisation fighting for the rights of ‘flexible’ tenants, mainly those who are property guardians, known as ‘anti-kraak’ (anti-squat) dwellers. They have lobbied and campaigned against the use of property guardians by local authorities and housing associations and run campaigns such as ‘Change The Lock!’ encouraging property guardians to take direct action to secure housing rights. The site’s in Dutch but we’re planning to interview representatives of this organisation soon. In the meanwhile – Google Translate!
Radical Housing Network (London)
Exciting new initiative (‘a group of groups’) of private rented tenants, general housing/welfare groups and others around action getting to the root of the lack of secure, affordable housing in London.
SQUASH (Squatters’ Action for Secure Homes)
Organising, research, updates on squatting and precarious housing
Brilliant website about squatted spaces, social centres and housing struggles in cities worldwide, esp Europe