If you’ve ever thought of becoming a property guardian, you may be wondering what actual property guardians really get into. It certainly isn’t a glamorous way of living – at least not at first. Also, you can’t expect to have much stability in the business (there’s usually a short-term contract and you should be willing and able to move out on a short-term notice). On the other hand, for those with a goal of saving money for a specific purpose, it’s often the perfect way to get them on the right track. So what’s the deal with guardianship deals? Here are the ins and outs of being a property guardian – and what you can expect from it.
A little history
The concept of property guardianship goes back to the Netherlands. During the 1980s the country (along with many other European nations) experienced a lot of property crime, and during the 1990s there were a growing number of artists and students who struck deals with property owners for cheaper living. The concept became formalised and during the past ten years it has become popular in many other countries including France, Belgium, Germany, and Ireland. In the UK, more and more people are becoming property guardians; the latest figures indicate that at least 3000 people are living under a guardianship scheme.
Living life the exciting way
It’s not camping – of course not – but guardians do have to be prepared to live with a lower standard of comfort than those who would rent under the normal letting agreement. The rent is much lower, but the amenities are often bare and often it’s not possible to improve the living conditions. As a matter of fact, it’s important to understand that contracts are often short-term.
You’re providing a service
It’s not just about paying lower rent – it’s also about providing a service. Whilst property guardians are not expected to physically protect the property from intruders or vandals, it’s important to understand that guardians have to take care of the property. There are legal obligations.
Chances are that property guardianship schemes will continue to gain in popularity, for two simple reasons: the rising prices in the housing market make it more and more difficult for younger people to get a comfortable place of their own, and the economic times dictate that more and more younger people will have a hard time getting by financially. At the same time, more and more crime and property violations will force home and property owners to look for guardians. It’s a scheme that’s on the rise – and it’s a scheme that benefits everyone. As long as you know what you’re getting into, of course.
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