Posted on

Local Council Secures Empty Care Homes Using Property Guardians

Empty Property risks


Instead of leaving two large council care home empty & at risk of antisocial behaviour & dilapidation, DEX’s trusted property guardians move in to protect & secure the premises in return for a safe & affordable housing solution.



A South London Council, came to DEX in late 2016, after taking the decision to close two, elderly residential care homes in the area. Both properties were situated in central, residential areas.

While plans were made for the development of the empty properties, there were concerns from the council & local residents of squatting, vandalism & dilapidation of the proprieties. The council decided that Property Guardians would be the best solution to secure the properties from vacant risks, including anti-social behaviour, squatters & dilapidation.

Both sites would remain in meaningful use, benefitting the whole community & providing affordable, temporary accommodation. Given the flexibility of Property Guardianship, the council would still be able to ensure vacant possession when plans for the sites had been finalised.

Getting the Properties Ready

A DEX Account Manager inspected both properties to establish what work was required before guardians could move in & in both cases, DEX installed temporary showers to ensure the properties covered the necessary HMO requirements. DEX ensured the properties were meeting health & safety requirements & ensured that the necessary certifications were in place – all at zero cost to the client.

Guardian Protection

Guardians were able to move into both properties within 10 working days. There are currently 40 Guardians in one care home & 13 in the other.

Guardians are able to secure & protect the properties 24 hours a day & report any issues to DEX Property Management. All Guardians have access to DEX’s 24-hour alert service & DEX’s in-house Maintenance Team.

All Guardians are carefully selected via our robust vetting process & each property has a Head Guardian in situ who takes on additional guardian responsibility.

DEX carry out monthly inspections of the sites & are able to provide constant access to the properties whilst they are going through planning & development processes.

The Outcome

In the nearly 6 years that DEX have managed the properties, the buildings have provided affordable London accommodation to nearly 200 Property Guardians.

Guardians have ensured the properties have remained in meaningful use & that the sites are secure & well maintained. The properties will remain protected by DEX Guardians until the Council are ready to redevelop the sites. DEX will then hand the property back, fully vacant, within 28 days.

All of this was achieved at zero cost to the council. In addition to making significant savings compared to traditional security costs, the council receive revenue for each of the Guardians that is in situ – turning a security risk into a revenue opportunity.



Since its formation over 12 years ago, DEX Property Management has been at the forefront of the empty property management industry, building a rich history in helping commercial entities & other property owners including; councils, dioceses, housing associations & NHS trusts make use of vacant properties.

DEX is now the trusted property guardian provider for over 50% of the G15 housing associations & 1 in 3 London councils.