Posted on

Save thousands on property costs post-pandemic with DEX

As things return to the new “normal” post-pandemic, the UK government have unsurprisingly reversed plans to launch a campaign encouraging a mass migration of workers from their homes to the office.

Amidst the backlash, some companies are making their own decisions about how they will work. Capita, for instance, have opted to close over a third of their offices, whilst banks such as Virgin Money and Lloyds Banking Group are looking at ways to convert their high-street branches into alternative office spaces.

It’s anticipated that the UK could lose £480 billion if home working continues, and the property market isn’t exempt from this.

Surveillance and security are costs many property owners haven’t factored into forecasts, and with the likelihood that many buildings will go and/or remain unoccupied, this could become an expense that’ll inevitably end up eroding revenue.

Property Guardianship can save you thousands. As a leading Property Guardian Provider, we take the headache out of the entire process, meaning you can focus your efforts on how you can remain profitable amidst the pandemic. Our trained staff are on-hand to answer any questions you may have about registering your property with DEX Property Management. Call us today on 0800 0855 994 or register your interest here.

 

Posted on

Tomorrow’s FM – On Guard

vacant property services

Property Guardians offer owners an alternative to traditional security in empty commercial properties, writes Rogier Donkersloot, Managing Director and Founder of DEX Property Management, provider of vacant property services

Tomorrow’s FM: April 2019 

When buildings are left unused or awaiting a refurbishment, they can be left vulnerable to squatters and break-ins.

Boarding up property is often unfavourable and can have a negative effect on the local community and the surrounding area. Additionally, there’s the issue that unused buildings often deteriorate in condition if left vacant for a long period of time.

Recent research suggests that more than 11,000 UK homes are empty for 10 years or more. With traditional rents in London ever increasing and pricing young professionals and workers out of the property market, property Guardianship makes economic and social sense.

A report from the Centre for London from 2018 estimates that there is almost 30 million sq.ft of commercial space in the capital alone that has been vacant for over two years. That’s a lot of empty space potentially susceptible to damage, theft and squatting. In addition to this, there are estimated to be 200,000 empty homes also sitting dormant in the UK.

Guardianship and Vacant Properties

Property Guardianship has revolutionised vacant property services and security over recent years. There are currently an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people living as property Guardians across the UK, according to the UK’s leading property resource Zoopla.

While it is considered a relatively new phenomenon in the UK, property Guardianship has been widely used as a solution to many property security issues in the Netherlands for a number of years now. In the Netherlands, around 20,000 people are living in low cost properties that would otherwise be redundant thanks to Guardianship.

Property Guardians pay a licensing fee, which is typically much cheaper than a traditional rent to live in a vacant building for a period of time. This allows a building to remain used and functional while generating income for property owners and building owners.

Security and Maintenance

Vandalism, metal theft and arson have become particularly prevalent issues in the UK over recent years. Not only is vandalism unsightly for local communities, but also costs property owners and local councils thousands to remove. Preventing vandalism where possible (by taking precautionary measures such as placing Guardians in properties) can save time and money in the long run.

Guardianship is suitable for any commercial or residential property that is water and wind proof and that has electricity and water active. DEX manages all types of property including unused hospitals, churches, office blocks schools to name a few.

Many of the buildings that house Guardians are based in sought after locations, meaning a monthly fee for a Guardian that’s much cheaper than traditional rent, but also security for a property that may otherwise be sought out by squatters or burglars. It isn’t just the capital and major cities that Guardianship is confined to; there are Guardians all over the country looking for vacant buildings to temporarily call home.

Property Guardians

Property Guardians are vetted by DEX prior to moving in to a property and many of our Guardians are key workers or young professionals who want somewhere affordable to live while finding their feet.

Allowing Property Guardians to live in a vacant property helps to strengthen entry points against intruders, keeps a steady stream of people around the property and ensures buildings are not visibly empty.

Guardianship also ensures public buildings – some of which have historic and architectural significance – are protected. Local authorities are also accountable for the use of their empty buildings; Guardians ensure properties are not left unoccupied while the UK is in the midst of rising rents.

By helping facilities managers exercise control over the mounting costs of building maintenance in the lead up to a refurbishment. Ensuring a property is well maintained and habitable can help to extend the life of the property’s resources.

How Does it Work?

Such is the increase in Guardianship in the UK over the last few years; the Property Guardian Providers Association (PGPA) has been formed to give an industry standard to properties. This includes making sure buildings meet safety and standard requirements. If a building is to undergo a regeneration or large scale refurbishment and the property has been empty for a significant amount of time, cleaning costs before the project begins can soon begin to mount up.

It’s not unheard of for clean-up operations on this scale to run in to thousands of pounds before a building can become habitable once again. Keeping a building regularly maintained and allowing Guardians to move in ensures maintenance and cleaning is regularly undertaken.

The process of turning your building in to a Guardian friendly property isn’t lengthy and is tailored to your property. At DEX, we have a team of property managers who will conduct an initial site visit to determine what requirements need to be met. Facilities managers then receive a bespoke report for their property, outlining what needs to be done to prepare the building and our team will then set about fitting the property with the appropriate appliances. We can safely say we have property Guardian occupation and the property secure with a maximum of 10 working days.

A Specialist in Vacant Property Services

As a founding member of the PGPA, we at DEX have more than 10 years’ experience helping property owners and local authorities ensure vacant buildings are secure and protected through the use of property Guardians. Since our formation in 2009, we have built a rich history in helping councils, housing associations and NHS trusts to make the best use of vacant properties.

We currently work with 50% of the G15 housing associations and have been entrusted to place Guardians in a wide selection of different properties. We manage large scale regeneration projects with 50 plus Guardians through to one-bedroom flats. Some of the more unusual placements include an adapted convent and old dairy in Ladbroke Grove, and a police station.

In recent years we have also seen an increase in demand for placing Guardians in to religious buildings having taken on our first client in this sector in 2016. Just one of the current properties we have available for Guardians is the Archbishop of Westminster’s holiday retreat.

Read the full article on vacant property services in Aprils edition on Tomorrow’s FM…

Posted on

Why Property Guardianship Is The Key To Modern Property Security

Property Guardians

DEX’s Managing Director, Rogier Donkersloot, discusses why Property Guardianship is a great solution to modern property security issues.

 

Q: For the uninitiated, what is Property Guardianship?

A: Recent research suggests that more than 11,000 UK homes are empty for 10 years or over. A report from the Centre for London from 2018 estimates that there is almost 30 million sq. foot of commercial space in the capital alone that has been vacant for over two years. That’s a lot of empty space potentially susceptible to damage, theft and squatting. In addition to this, there are estimated to be 200,000 empty homes also sitting dormant in the UK.

Property Guardians pay a licensing fee, which is typically much cheaper than a traditional rent to live in a vacant building for a period of time. This allows a building to remain used and functional while generating income for property owners and building owners. With traditional rents in London ever increasing and pricing young professionals and workers out of the property market, Property Guardianship makes economic and social sense.

Q: Why is Property Guardianship needed?

A: Security is one of the biggest challenges facing owners of empty property. Whether property is commercial or residential, there’s no doubt that unused buildings or those awaiting refurbishment are vulnerable to squatters and break-ins. Boarding up property can also be unfavourable and can have a negative effect on the local community and the surrounding area. Additionally, there’s the issue that unused buildings often deteriorate in condition if left vacant for a long period of time. Traditional property security can be expensive, so Guardians offer an alternative solution.

Q: How many people are acting as Property Guardians in the UK?

A: There are currently an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people living as Property Guardians across the UK, according to the UK’s leading property resource Zoopla. And in a recent census of the Property Guardian sector, its clear that Guardians come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds – 30% of Property Guardians are key workers.

While it is considered a relatively new phenomenon in the UK, Property Guardianship has been widely used as a solution to many property security issues in the Netherlands for a number of years now. In the Netherlands, around 20,000 people are living in low cost properties that would otherwise be redundant thanks to Guardianship.

Q: What property security issues can Guardianship help prevent?

A: Vandalism, metal theft, squatting and arson have become particularly prevalent issues in the UK over recent years. Not only is vandalism unsightly for local communities, but also costs property owners and local councils thousands to remove. Preventing vandalism where possible (by taking precautionary measures such as placing Guardians in properties) can save time and money in the long run.

Allowing property Guardians to live in a vacant property helps to strengthen entry points against intruders, keeps a steady stream of people around the property and ensures buildings are not visibly empty. Guardianship also ensures public buildings – some of which have historic and architectural significance – are protected. Local authorities are also accountable for the use of their empty buildings; Guardians ensure properties are not left unoccupied while the UK is in the midst of rising rents. Property security is significantly enhanced when using the services of Guardians.

Q: What does my property need to have to host Guardians?

Guardianship is suitable for any commercial or residential property that is water and wind proof and that has electricity and water active. DEX manages all types of property including unused hospitals, churches, and office blocks schools to name a few.

Many of the buildings that house Guardians are based in sought after locations, meaning a monthly fee for a Guardian that’s much cheaper than traditional rent, but also security for a property that may otherwise be sought out by squatters or burglars. It isn’t just the capital and major cities that Guardianship is confined to; there are Guardians all over the country looking for vacant buildings to temporarily call home.

Q: What is the PGPA?

A: Such is the increase in Guardianship in the UK over the last few years; the Property Guardian Providers Association (PGPA) has been formed to give an industry standard to properties. This includes making sure buildings meet safety and standard requirements. As a founding member of the PGPA, we at DEX have more than 10 years’ experience helping Property Owners and local authorities ensure vacant buildings are secure and protected through the use of Property Guardians.

Q: What is the process of getting Guardians in to an empty property?

A: The process of turning your building in to a Guardian friendly property isn’t lengthy and is tailored to your property. At DEX, we have a team of Property Managers who will conduct an initial site visit to determine what requirements need to be met. Facilities Managers or Property Owners then receive a bespoke report for their property, outlining what needs to be done to prepare the building and our team will then set about fitting the property with the appropriate appliances. In the majority of cases works are carried out by DEX and at no cost to the Property Owner. We can safely say we have Property Guardian occupation and the property secure with a maximum of 10 working days. In many instances we can also offer a Flex Guardian service which means a Guardian could be living in your property within 24 hours while it is awaiting full occupation.

Q: Why should I choose DEX?

A: We currently work with 50% of the G15 housing associations and have been entrusted to place Guardians in a wide selection of different properties. We manage large scale regeneration projects with 50 plus Guardians through to 1 bedroom flats. Some of the more unusual placements include an adapted convent and old dairy in Ladbroke Grove, and a police station. We also offer fast turnaround times for placing Guardians in empty properties and making them habitable. We take care of your property security and our Property Guardians, making our team the perfect fit to help keep your property safe.

To find out more about how Guardianship can help to secure your property please email hello@dexpropertymanagement.co.uk 

References

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42536418
https://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/city-s-empty-buildings-and-shops-are-a-wasted-asset-a3953501.html
https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk-coastal-district-council-woodridge-melton-hill-hq-1-5911394
https://www.propertyguardianproviders.com/about