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Cost of living drives more people to apply to become property guardians

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UK, 19thJanuary 2022


Property guardians: cost of living crisis highlights desperate need for safe, affordable accommodation


As the cost of living continues to rise, reported to be the fastest increase in thirty years, the number of people seeking to become property guardians is also soaring, according to the Property Guardian Providers Association (the PGPA).


Temporarily vacant properties are kept secure and protected by placing property guardians to live in them. If and when the properties are required for redevelopment, the guardians are given 28 days to move to another location, and in return for this short notice, they pay around half the costs of an equivalent private rental.  


"Almost all guardians stay in the same property for over six months, and often for a year or more. It's not unexceptional for guardians to be in a property for several years, and save tens of thousands of pounds in accommodation costs." explains Graham Sievers, chairman of the PGPA, the government-recognised trade body that independently audits member management companies for safety and security. "Accommodation charges, such as rents and utility bills, are at record levels, and comprise most of people's cost of living. Yet this little-known alternative, property guardianship, can cut that in half."


As examples, the PGPA listed three of their members' current offerings:


  • In Loughborough,Ad Hoc Propertyhave rooms going from £265 a month, including council tax and energy bills. They also have rooms available from Bootle, Liverpool, to Barnet, London.
  • In and around London,Live-in Guardianshave spaces from Highbury and Islington to Banbury in Oxfordshire, from £350 per month.
  • In Felixstowe, Suffolk,VPS Guardianshave large rooms available in a home near the sea for just £250 per month, including council tax, water, gas and electricity  costs. 


"The number of people wishing to become property guardians has soared these last few weeks, and with the rising costs of standard accommodation, with bills on top, it's no surprise. We estimate over 100,000 applications have been made in the last 12 months, but we recommend both prospective guardians and owners of empty properties select only members of the PGPA. These companies are the only ones in the UK that must comply with strict, independent audits and best practice regulations that we set." Mr Sievers adds. "We urge more property owners, who are sitting with vacant properties on their books, to get in touch with our members, to help protect their assets at zero cost."





Editor's notes:


The mission of the PGPA:

To promote best practice, safety and standards across the Property Guardian sector, to ensure that all legal and safety standards and regulations are adhered to or exceeded by its members.

We believe that property guardianship not only helps to secure temporarily vacant properties, but should be a safe and viable low-cost accommodation, where all stakeholders can benefit from the best practices business model the PGPA expects of its members.


The PGPA members provide for over 70% of all UK's guardians accommodation.


For guardians and property owners:

choosing a provider that is a member of the PGPA affords you security and peace of mind that you are with a reputable company. Should any member fall short of the high standards we set, you can seek redress via the PGPA.



For Property Guardian providers and management companies:

we welcome new members, so long as you meet the criteria, and agree to apply and operate to the standards we set. Members must be able to prove that they do so.