Property Guardianship services - any experiences?

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    Property Guardianship services - any experiences?

    I am thinking of buying a building which I am hoping to convert into flats, but the planning process will take around a year.

    Due to security concerns and the expense of otherwise paying someone to undertake weekly inspections (which would be required by the insurance), I am considering using a property guardianship service. On the face of it this would seem a really good solution but it also seems a slightly dodgy sector. Even the former market leader, Camelot, has faced successful criminal prosecution and has now seemingly reformed under a different name: Property Guardians, vanishing companies and still getting it wrong - Nearly Legal: Housing Law News and Comment

    Can anyone share any experience of property guardianship services from a building-owner point of view? Does the building owner generally need to pay or does the guardianship company receive all its income from its guardians? Can anyone recommend specific guardianship companies? Grateful for any thoughts.

    #2
    Nearly Legal has done a number of posts on property guardians.
    I suggest you read them all to see what pitfalls there might be, and then combine the PG approach with housing law to see if there might be others..

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      #3
      What tenancy/lodger/licence type a guardianship occupier has been found to have various answers depending on circumstances. Could be an AST but occupant not served with EPC, GSC, "How to Rent" etc etc etc so the owner is somewhat stuffed.

      See the experts in landlord/occupant matters here.....
      https://england.shelter.org.uk/profe...erty_guardians
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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        #4
        Thank you both. I have now read up about it.

        As far as I can see, there are a number of risks to both the resident guardian and the guardianship company. The former (ostensibly) has very few rights and may end up living in a substandard or even dangerous property; the latter risks getting into trouble with the authorities for failure to comply with relevant requirements such as HMO standards or HHSRS (particularly as many of the properties which are subject to guardianship cannot be easily or cheaply adapted to meet such requirements).

        In terms of risks to me as the building owner (which is obviously my primary concern), the primary risk is that -- dependent on the facts -- the resident guardian may be deemed to have an AST rather than a licence. I am not sure that is such a great risk per se as even with an AST there isn't security of tenure, and if the resident guardian refuses to leave the guardianship company would need to obtain a court order either way to get them out.

        As such, I don't think there are that are particularly great risks to the owner of the property. I also note that in London some pretty big commercial landlords and institutions routinely use guardians, which gives me some confidence. Am I missing something, however?

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