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 March 2018 there are ten (four residential and six commercial) properties in Lambeth secured by 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 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
  • Dot Dot Dot
  • Live in 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 for the financial year 2017/18 are £19,608 which equates to £1,634 per month.

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.