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To avoid an empty children’s home being at risk of problems like antisocial behaviour and damage, DEX’s reliable property guardians stepped in to protect and secure the property, getting safe and affordable housing in return.


In April 2020, a Charitable Trust in Essex approached DEX to assist in safeguarding and preserving a large children’s care home in the Southend-on-Sea area.

As plans were formulated for the property’s sale, the Charitable Trust and local residents expressed concerns about squatting, vandalism, and dilapidation. In response, the Trust sought to explore the utilisation of Property Guardians to safeguard the property from vacant-related risks at minimal cost to them.

Through the use of Property Guardians, we revitalised the property and sustained meaningful use, benefiting the local community by deterring antisocial behaviour and providing affordable temporary accommodation during the challenging times of the COVID pandemic. The flexibility of Property Guardianship allowed the Trust to ensure vacant possession once the plans for the sites had been finalised in November 2023.


A DEX Account Manager conducted an assessment of the property to identify the required preparations before the guardians’ occupancy. Temporary showers, door closers, and fire safety equipment were installed by DEX to align with the necessary HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) standards. DEX further ensured the properties adhered to health and safety regulations, validating the presence of essential certifications. Importantly, all these services were delivered to the client at no cost.


DEX seamlessly occupied the property with guardians in just 10 working days. Over the 3.5 years of managing the property, DEX successfully placed a total of 67 guardians. Operating around the clock, guardians vigilantly reported issues to DEX, benefitting from the 24-hour alert service and the expertise of DEX’s in-house Maintenance Team. DEX’s thorough vetting process ensured each guardian’s suitability, with a designated Head Guardian assuming additional responsibilities for the property.

Monthly inspections were conducted by DEX to maintain property standards and allow continuous access during planning and development. Most notably, amidst the COVID pandemic, DEX facilitated the utilisation of part of the building by Southend NHS Foundation Trust for NHS Covid Testing, showcasing adaptability and community support.


After 3.5 years of overseeing the property, DEX offered affordable accommodation in Southend to more than X Property Guardians. Guardians ensured the property maintained meaningful use, handling site security and overall upkeep. The property stayed under DEX Guardians’ protection until the property was sold by the Trust and eventually transitioned over to the new owner in November 2023.

DEX efficiently returned the property entirely vacant within 28 days, ensuring furniture was removed and the premises were thoroughly cleaned. Importantly, all of these services were provided at no expense to the Trust. Beyond substantial savings compared to conventional security costs, the Trust generated revenue for each Guardian in situ, transforming a security concern into a revenue opportunity.


Since its formation over 14 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.