Property Guardian services

Information on Property Guardian companies we use and licence fee received

When a non-residential property becomes empty, we will consider using guardian companies to look after the property until it's future use has been decided.

As at 1 April 2023, there are 13 properties in Lambeth (six residential and seven commercial) secured by a total of 64 property guardians.

Council policy

When council property becomes empty, we will consider the use of guardian companies where the immediate future use of the property is still being finalised, or it is earmarked for future use, refurbishment, redevelopment, or disposal. This applies mainly to non-residential premises.

Empty residential property is treated slightly differently because our policy is to use them for temporary accommodation for homeless families, providing they meet housing standards. Residential property that does not meet temporary housing standards is offered for property guardianship.

Any property not secured effectively is at risk of vandalism and being squatted. Property addresses are confidential for security reasons.

Property guardian services

Each property is assessed on individual needs as to what is required to secure and protect the premises. Services provided by property guardian companies include:

  • boarding up empty property
  • burglar / intruder alarm installation
  • CCTV and floodlight Installations
  • live in property guardians.

Guardian companies

We use the following property guardian companies:

  • Vacant Property Services
  • Ad-hoc Property Services
  • Lowe Guardians

Live in Guardian services

Property guardian companies select and vet live in guardians whose role is to occupy both housing and non-housing properties. These guardians pay their own council tax and utility bills.

Licence agreements and fees

There is no direct agreement between ourselves and the resident property guardians. We enter into a licence agreement with the property guardian company and receive a licence fee.

Annual licence fees received along with other property information for the last few financial years are set out in the table below.

Financial year Total properties Total Guardians Expenditure (£) Year income received net of VAT (£)
2022/23 13 64 0 £61,217.71
2021/22 14 38 0 £48,818.64
2020/21  14 38 0 £37,261.51
2019/20 22 66 0 £104,553.55

We seek to ensure that all income received covers all the direct costs of property maintenance and the income covers expenditure items such as property maintenance, health and safety compliance, pest control issues, signage, installation of floodlights, CCTV and fly tipping.