Like everything else at the moment, rental prices are rising sharply. Figures show that UK rents have leapt by 11% in just 12 months, adding yet another cost worry to tenants who are already facing spiralling energy and food bills.
Indeed, the average rent in the UK is now at its highest level in history, close to topping £800 a month. That is discouraging renters from moving, as naturally, they are worried about being charged even more when they sign a new contract.
But sometimes you have little choice but to move. You might be coming to the end of a tenancy anyway. You might need to move for work. Your current place might not be suitable for you anymore.
If any of those apply, now is a worrying time. You might be facing a stressful search for a new place you can afford. You might be wondering how the increased rental costs will impact on the rest of your life, and what sacrifices you will have to make. You might even be considering moving away from friends and family, your job even, just to find a place you can afford.
But what if someone was to tell you that there was a way to find a place in a prime location that could cost you half the going rental rate, with flexible terms that give you plenty of scopes to come and go as you please? Too good to be true?
It sounds like it, doesn’t it? But this is the kind of deal you could get by becoming a property guardian. Property guardianship is a form of vacant property management. There are many different reasons why premises of all types, both commercial and residential, sit empty. Very often, landlords have plans for a property they acquire, such as renovation or change of use, but face lengthy planning or legal processes before they can press ahead.
While they sit empty, properties are vulnerable. Left unattended for long periods, they may fall into disrepair naturally. But they also attract vandalism and misuse.
And besides, an empty property does no one any good. While it sits unused, the landlord is not making any revenue from it. It’s a wasted asset.
Property guardianship offers a perfect all-around solution. Tenants are invited to live in the property while it would otherwise sit empty. Whether it is a commercial or residential property, and whatever state of repair it is in, they are provided with living quarters and amenities that meet statutory requirements and have rights as tenants enshrined in law.
In return, their role is essentially to protect the property. They act as the landlord’s eyes and ears, acting as a deterrent to trespassers and alerting the landlord if issues with the property are spotted. The presence of people occupying a property boosts security and prevents it from falling into disrepair.
So what is in it for you as a prospective tenant looking for a new place to live?
The headline benefit of becoming a property guardian is that you get a place to live at unbeatable prices. Rental prices are typically cheaper than the going rate for a private tenancy. At Guardian Secure, we routinely offer rooms in London for less than £500 a month.
And not only is that a great rental price, but bills are included as well.
Live in the most in-demand locations
In a thriving city like London, to find affordable rents, you usually have to look further and further out into the suburbs. But one of the big attractions of guardianships is that properties crop up everywhere. Because so many premises put up for guardianship are vacant awaiting development after purchase, you get opportunities to live in some of the most in-demand locations around. And at a fraction of the going rate for rentals in that area.
Enjoy the benefits of flexible terms
Typically, when you sign a tenancy agreement for a rental property you are locked into a minimum six-month contract. Many landlords insist on 12 months minimum. This doesn’t suit everyone. You might be passing through a city for just a few months, your future plans might be up in the air. You may simply have concerns about committing to an expensive contract for as long as a year if you’re not sure how your finances will pan out over that time.
Not only is property guardianship a highly affordable option, but it’s also just as flexible. You only need to give 28 days’ notice if you want to move on. There’s no contract tying you down for any longer than that.
Become part of a community
Finally, guardianships are offered on a room-by-room basis. Multiple rooms are offered per property, and when you move in, likely, there will already be other tenants living there. Especially if you’re new to the area, this is a great way to meet people and become part of a community.