22 January 2019 | News and features | Back to Blog

Frequently asked questions, answered.

We’ve provided answers to our customers most frequently asked questions about being a Dot Dot Dot guardian. From questions about refundable security payments to the notice period and everything in between, we’ve got what you’re looking for.

Q: How much is the refundable security payment?

A: Each guardian will need to pay a refundable security payment before they sign up. This is calculated based on 5 weeks’ of fees, which will vary from property to property. We return security payments within 28 days of receiving your keys and all necessary information, and will only make reasonable deductions i.e. if there are belongings left behind, you haven’t paid your bills or there is significant damage to your property. All security payments are paid to us electronically through a third party which provides direct debit guarantees, and are then held in a separate account.

Q: What other fees do I have to pay before moving in?

A: At Dot Dot Dot there are no fees or hidden costs – we do not charge any agency, admin, fire safety, rehousing or reference fees. All we ask is that our guardians pay the refundable security payment and the monthly licence fee.

Q: What documents do you require from me?

A: Prior to your sign up meeting, you must be able to provide proof of identity, proof of current address, and proof of income. You will receive more information on these documents when we invite you to sign up.

Q: Are the properties furnished?

A: Most of our properties come unfurnished, which means you will have to provide your own bed, storage and white goods. Make use of websites like Freecycle to furnish your property on a budget.

Q: Are there any rules for living in a Dot Dot Dot property?

A: At your sign up meeting we will run through our rules and regulations. If you are new to property guardianship, you may be surprised by some of them, as they are often more comprehensive than those of a tenancy. However, having a clear set of rules is the best way to protect the health and safety of our guardians and to ensure that the properties are secure and well looked after. Standard rules include:

  • No smoking or vaping inside your property, on landings or in corridors
  • No candles or naked flames, including incense
  • Do not play loud music or use tools at unsocial hours
  • No children under 18 are allowed to stay overnight at the property
  • Permission required for a guest to stay more than 3 consecutive nights
  • No pets in the property
  • Written permission required if you are planning a trip away for longer than 14 days

We do regular unannounced visits to all properties to check that the property is safe and that you are not breaking any rules. We will always knock loudly before entering and leave a note to say that we have been.

Q: What is the notice period?

A: If you wish to move out, you must give 28 days’ notice in writing by emailing your Relationship Coordinator.

We will give you a minimum of 28 days’ notice once we have been informed that the property is to be returned to the owners. When this happens we always prioritise rehousing great guardians i.e. those who have complied with our policies and done good volunteering. We cannot guarantee however that we will always have properties available at the same price or in the same area.

Q: What is the volunteering all about?

When you sign up as a Dot Dot Dot guardian, you are agreeing to volunteer for at least 16 hours a month for a charitable cause of your choice. This could include volunteering in a charity shop, community gardens, or mentoring a young person – just to name a few. As a social enterprise, part of our mission is to create social value through the way we work and supporting the volunteering efforts of our guardians is one of the ways we do that.

At the beginning of every month we’ll email you a form where you’ll be asked for a summary of your volunteering in the last month. This helps us ensure everyone is completing their volunteering and enables us to share great volunteering stories on our website.

Over a seven year period, Dot Dot Dot guardians collectively gave over 160,000 hours of volunteering to good causes. That is the equivalent of a century of full-time work volunteered for charities big and small, contributing in a huge range of ways.

If you want to find out more about being a Dot Dot Dot guardian take a look here, hear from some of our current guardians in this video or check out our available properties.