What is it?
- it can help keep a property ‘lived in’ and secure
- if you have guardians living in your empty home it means you could pay less council tax and insurance
- guardians living in a property can spot things that have gone wrong so they can be dealt with quickly
- guardians are NOT tenants, instead the property guardianship company grants a guardian a licence to occupy a unit.
Who are the property guardians?
Guardians are strictly vetted and are usually people who need flexible and affordable accommodation such as:
- key workers
- mature and post-graduate students
- people saving a deposit to buy a house
- people ‘trying out’ living in an area before they buy
- people who need accommodation for career purposes like nurses and engineers
How does it usually work?
When an owner is interested, the property guardian company usually arranges a visit to see if the property is suitable. In some cases they may pay for and carry out repairs if needed. Usually the owner grants the property guardian company a Property Protection Agreement for the premises.
The owner and property guardian company usually have the right to enter the property at all times. There may be no set period of contract, for example just 31 days’ notice for hand-back.
Property guardianship doesn’t appeal to all empty home owners as there are not big financial benefits but it could appeal to those with a ‘social conscience’ and for those whose properties take a long time to sell.
There is no overall regulatory body at the moment for property guardianship, so the decision on which company to choose (as an owner or guardian) will be down to your careful research. You may like to read this article from the Herald Scotland newspaper, 19 January 2016.
Please use the following links to external companies as a starting point for your own research. We found these companies during online research in February 2016. This could help you decide the best way to bring your empty home back into use. As the council we can't recommend any one company.