Property guardianship isn’t for everyone. It certainly isn’t for the irresponsible or those who don’t understand that there are certain duties to uphold. As a matter of fact, it’s reserved only for those who understand that they won’t be living like a king for a while, and for those who are willing to make some sacrifices. You see, property guardians don’t get the same rights as ‘normal’ tenants. Having said that, however, there are many perks to being a property guardian – which is why so many are attracted to the scheme. Here are the most important facts you should keep in mind about property guardianship.

How property guardianship came into existence

Property guardianship has its roots in the 1980s – during that time there was a lot of property crime, including squatting and vandalism, whilst housing went through a crisis and property owners didn’t know how to protect their vacant property. The concept of property guardianship came to be in the Netherlands in the 1990s as a way to provide cheap rent, mainly for artists and students, whilst providing legal protection against property crimes for property owners. It became formalised and the concept spread quickly, most notably in Belgium, France, Germany, and Ireland. Since then the idea has spread and become much more popular in the UK, with thousands living under a property guardianship deal at this moment, such as one from

What’s in it for the property owners?

Property owners get legal protection against squatters and vandals – since there are tenants living at the premises, any unauthorised person entering the premises can legally be prosecuted and be forced to pay damages. Furthermore, property owners are immediately notified when there is maintenance to be done.

What’s in it for the guardians?

Living conditions may not always be ideal, but the rent is very cheap – which means that those who are willing to become guardians can save a lot of money.

What does it take to become a guardian?

You need to have a goal: usually that goal is saving money. You also need a good reputation and need to be a responsible person – there are certain duties that are expected of a guardian.

The biggest complaint from the property guardians’ side is that there is uncertainty: you never know for how long you’ve got it, so long-term planning becomes very difficult. On the other hand, the greatest advantage for the property guardian is that, even for just a short time, they are able to save a lot of money by performing duties in exchange for very cheap rent. It’s often a great deal for people who have specific goals and are willing to work towards them. It requires being comfortable with an unusual lifestyle, but it often pays off very well in the end.

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