What You Need To Know

“We offer great people affordable housing”

Are you suitable to become a property guardian?

This page walks you through what being a property guardian with Dot Dot Dot is all about. Please read all the information carefully.

If you think you and Dot Dot Dot are a good fit…

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What is a property guardian?

Being a property guardian means living in a property that would otherwise be empty. This could be in a commercial property, like an office or church, or in a residential property. That means guardians can live for between £55-£95 a week (plus bills).

Property guardianship is different from renting in the private sector as the main role of a guardian is to protect the property they are in from squatters, anti social behaviour and from looking empty. This can be done by living in them as your home, and we look for reliable and flexible people who will look after the property.

Properties are empty for a variety of reasons. For example the landlord may be changing the use of the property, redeveloping it, or even knocking it down. This process can be lengthy so in the meantime properties often stand empty and unused.

Yes. We don’t expect you to be in the properties 24/7, so going away for a few days is fine but we ask you to let us know about it. As your role is to look after the properties, we discourage guardians from going away for long periods of time.

If the property owner needs the property back, then we will give you 28 days’ notice to leave. We will always try and rehouse guardians who are doing great voluntary work. However, this isn’t always possible so we cannot make any guarantees.

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What is different about Dot Dot Dot?

Dot Dot Dot is a social enterprise. This means that we are committed to making a social impact. We are different from other property guardian companies as all of our guardians do at least 16 hours a month volunteering.

We also encourage our guardians to build a community of guardians in their area, to support each other and to volunteer on group projects together.

We expect guardians to carry out at least 16 hours of volunteering a month, and many do a lot more than this. This can be for a charitable cause of your choice and we encourage you to so something you are passionate about. We can provide support in getting started and finding opportunities.

No, not all of our guardians come to us with a volunteering experience or a set idea of what they want to be involved in. All we ask is that you are committed to starting.

If you do already volunteer, that’s great. We don’t ask you to start any new roles, and we love to hear from people who are already making a social impact and would like cheaper housing.

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Who can be a property guardian with Dot Dot Dot?

Are you…

…looking for cheap accommodation but flexible about your needs?

…keen to be part of a brilliant community of guardians and neighbours?

Then being a Dot Dot Dot property guardian could be for you.

 


David

“I’m ready to move right now”

He’s just got a job in a new town, he needs cheap accommodation fast and he’s happy to start volunteering in his spare time.


Mikel & Rachel

“We can’t afford a private rental”

They want to move in to a flat together but local rents are too high. They’re ready to move and like the sound of local volunteering.


Petra

“I love being a volunteer”

She’s been volunteering for ages and is looking to try a new way of living which will give her more time to contribute locally.


Paul

“I’m an experienced property guardian”

He’s been a guardian with another organisation, but he’s been asked to move on. He likes the lifestyle and wants to try volunteering too.

We have some essential criteria:

  • You must be aged 18 or older.
  • You must not be looking to live with any children under 18.
  • You must not be looking to live with any pets.
  • You must not be looking to pay using Local Housing Allowance or any other benefits.
  • You must not be looking to use the property for business or public events. Residential use only.

Yes. Before we hand you the keys, you must agree to follow all of our rules and regulations. We will explain these to you at viewings as some are specific to the properties.

It’s fine to have a couple of friends over now and then or to have a partner staying over occasionally.

Parties are absolutely not OK and this means having no more than three guests at a time.

Yes but they will need to go through our application process too and be able to pay their own deposit and fees.

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How do I become a property guardian with Dot Dot Dot?

The first step is to fill out this quiz. If property guardianship is suitable for you, we will invite you to fill out an application form, where we will ask a bit more about you.

The next step is to attend viewings. When you find a property you like, we will hold a telephone interview with you. If you are successful you can secure the room by paying your deposit and providing the relevant documents. We will also contact your references at this stage.

The last step is to have a meeting in our office where we will go through the contract and hand you the keys.

After attending a viewing, it could be in the same week. Most of the rooms we hold viewings for are empty and we would expect you to move as soon as possible.

Deposit

Each guardian will need to pay a £750 security deposit. The deposit will be returned when you leave Dot Dot Dot as long as there are no significant issues.

Fees

We have no administration or sign up fees.

Each guardian will need to pay a weekly licence fee, typically between £55 and £95 a week.

Utilities and council tax

In most cases, it is guardians responsibility to set up, and pay for the utilities (gas, electric, water) and council tax for where they are living.

In some of our properties bills are included.

If you decide to move on from Dot Dot Dot, we ask you that you give us 28 day’s written notice.

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Where can I live with Dot Dot dot?

We house guardians across London and the south east of England. We currently have availability in:


Click here to see full listing of areas we work in

Most of our properties are flats but we do have some more unusual commercial spaces which have included offices and an old GP’s surgery. Take a look at our current properties to see the types that we have available.

All of our properties are safe to live in and will have running water and electricity but some of them will need a little care and attention. They sometimes require a lick of paint, a good clean or a new floor covering, and we can give you tips on how to do this cheaply.

No, most of our properties are unfurnished and have no white goods like ovens and fridges.

In most of our properties, yes, as long as you don’t make any structural changes to the property. Painting and putting up shelves is great, and you have the freedom to be creative.

We protect properties for varying lengths of time, but typically our properties are available for 3-8 months. We rarely take on properties that are likely to be available for less than three months, and guardians can sometimes stay in properties for more than a year. However, as the notice is 28 days, we can only guarantee the property will be available for 28 days at any time.

This depends on the size of the property. Most of our guardians share with other guardians, but we do also get one bedroom properties for individuals or couples.

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Still looking for more information?

Call us on 020 3005 2457 or email hello@dotdotdotproperty.com

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