Instead of leaving two large council properties empty and at risk of antisocial behaviour and dilapidation, DEX’s trusted property guardians moved in to protect and secure the premises in return for a safe and affordable housing solution.
In late 2016, a South London Council approached DEX after deciding 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 and local residents about squatting, vandalism, and dilapidation of the properties. In response, the council determined that utilising Property Guardians would be the optimal solution to safeguard the properties from vacant-related risks.
By employing Property Guardians, both sites were able to maintain meaningful use, benefiting the entire community and offering affordable temporary accommodation. The flexibility of Property Guardianship allowed the council to ensure vacant possession once the plans for the sites had been finalised in January 2024.
A DEX Account Manager inspected both properties to determine necessary work before guardians could move in. In both cases, DEX installed temporary showers to ensure the properties met required HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) standards. DEX also ensured the properties complied with health and safety requirements and verified the necessary certifications were in place. All these services were provided at zero cost to the client.
Guardians were able to move into both properties within 10 working days. One care home accommodated up to 40 Guardians, while the other had 13.
Guardians secured and protected the properties 24 hours a day, reporting any issues to DEX Property Management. All Guardians enjoyed access to DEX’s 24-hour alert service and the expertise of DEX’s in-house Maintenance Team.
Every Guardian underwent a careful selection process through our robust vetting system, and each property was assigned a Head Guardian who assumed additional guardian responsibilities.
DEX conducted monthly inspections of the sites and ensured continuous access to the properties during planning and development processes.
After almost 8 years of managing the properties, DEX was able to provide affordable London accommodation to over 200 Property Guardians.
Guardians ensured the properties remained in meaningful use, maintaining site security and overall upkeep. The properties remained under the protection of DEX Guardians until the Council was ready to redevelop the sites in January 2024. DEX returned the property 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 received revenue for each of the Guardians that is in situ – turning a security risk 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.