The threat of homelessness is forcing thousands of people into becoming live-in property guardians, often in poor living conditions with virtually no legal protection, according to a new report.
Erm? Very low or even rent free and peeps complain about this?
The people I’ve known in London to do this are people in their 20s who have unconventional jobs and/or are coders or entrepreneurs who do it for the space, location and cheapness.
It’s a considered choice
Yet five years earlier, the complaint would have been: “Empty properties left abandoned instead of being turned into accommodation”. You can’t win.
As the properties are occupied Corbyn can’t steal them should he get into Downing street.
I got to do this for six months when I was a grad student. It was brilliant, a complete stroke of luck.
I did it for a while decades ago. I also had to feed the cat. So you are to imagine me opening the kitchen window on a winter night and bellowing into the darkness “Petticoat!”.
It’s only a couple of years since the Grauniad was running articles on these building sitters saying how wonderful a gig it was.
Some friends of my parents had a cat called “Whisky” when they moved into a rather nice housing estate occupied by young/middle-aged ICI executives and their wives.
I was going to do this a year or so ago, so researched thoroughly.
The ‘lack of legal protection’ is that you don’t get a tenancy agreement, with all the associated protections – a nightmare for a landlord if you get a nuisance tenant who refuses to pay rent. What you get instead is a contract, the most onerous term of which (from the several examples I saw) is that you will get at most 2 weeks to vacate. Two of the companies I was dealing with stated that in any case, they almost always had other available property and while the notice period could be a week, it almost never was (usually 2 months).
The cost for 2/3 bed place was about £250 – £300 pcm (normally £700 – £1000 for an assured shorthold tenancy). I wasn’t looking anywhere near London.