The property guardianship industry came about because there was an urgent need for a solution that property owners of vacant premises needed against the vandalism or unwanted occupation by squatters and those with housing problems; the law is not as strict as they would like it to have and tends to be lenient towards those occupying land or property without written permission. The solution: if there is a guardian who lives on the premises, then any unauthorised person can immediately be charged with trespassing and removed. In return: the guardian is well-compensated for their presence and the responsibilities they are burdened with. There are, indeed, many perks. So what does it take to become a property guardian? Here’s a look at how guardianship works.

The contract

The guardianship agreement is a three-way contract between the owner of a property, a guardianship agency, and a guardian. Mind you, the agreement is not a rental agreement – it’s an occupancy license. There’s a big difference. It means the guardian does not have the same rights granted as others who sign a common, traditional rental contract. The guardian pays a very low monthly occupancy fee and is given an occupancy license.

The living conditions

The fact that there is no rental contract in a traditional or more common sense (as with flats, for example), also means that there are less obligations on the part of the property owner in terms of living conditions. Guardians have the right to basic facilities (like a kitchenette, a bathroom and the basic utilities of water and electricity), but Wifi or cable television may be lacking. Furthermore, some communal areas may be shared with other guardians if the property is large.

Buiding guardianship

The restrictions

Guardians can also face some restrictions that possibly affect their daily life. Guardians may, for example, not be allowed to have children or pets. They may be requested not to discuss the guardianship contract with the press. Other guardians are prevented from performing business activities on the premises and still others forbidden from smoking. Sometimes the restrictions can be put in place not by the property owner but by the insurance companies – for example, for fire safety, there should be no use of candles, no locking of internal doors, no installing of new electrical equipment.

So what’s in it for the guardian? A seriously reduced monthly expense – and being able to put a significant amount of hard-earned cash aside every month can make a big difference in somebody’s life, as property guardian organisations like confirm. Many a property guardian decides to save up for a deposit for a mortgage for a house of their own. Guardianship is indeed a very economical way of living. For those who qualify, the experience can have a positive effect on their whole outlook on the future.


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