8 November 2017 | News and features | Back to Blog

The Law on Property Guardianship: Dot Dot Dot helps to publish white paper regarding safety

Property Guardian Providers Cooperate to Raise Standards Across the Industry

A white paper published today sets out the legal and safety obligations for property guardian schemes. It has been issued jointly by seven leading UK property guardian companies to drive up standards, to inform stakeholders and to help safeguard the interests of both property owners and guardians.

‘The Law on Property Guardianship’ details the current legal status for guardians, the compliance requirements and the health and safety obligations that providers of property guardian schemes must meet. The white paper was written by a prominent and independent legal team, comprising a leading housing lawyer, Giles Peaker, from Anthony Gold, along with Andrew Arden QC and Andrew Dymond from Arden Chambers. This benchmark sets out to ensure better practice in the industry through a minimum common standard.

The 40-page paper is freely available now (accessible via the form below). Three key points emerging from it are:

i) Health and safety requirements apply to all buildings where Property Guardians live, whether they are commercial, residential or other types.

ii) Fire safety, gas safety and any potential on-site hazards fall under the same regulations as tenants, and are enforceable by the same authorities.

iii) Property guardians sign-up as licensees, not tenants; two of the key differences include non-exclusive occupation of the premises and shorter notices to leave. In return, guardians live in low-cost accommodation.

Dot Dot Dot’s view

Our Founder and Director, Katharine Hibbert, says:

“It is part of Dot Dot Dot’s mission as a social enterprise to drive up standards in the property guardian sector, and this new legal survey is a key strand of that work.

“For the first time there is now a clear and detailed outline of the law as it applies to property guardianship, allowing property owners and property guardians to understand the non-negotiable basic standards that they are entitled to.

“Whilst Dot Dot Dot’s business model is built around exceeding these minimum standards wherever possible, we believe that this document will provide stakeholders with the means to hold all providers to account, and will give guardians in particular peace of mind that their right to a safe home is based in law, rather than being a matter of company policy.

“We look forward to seeing what impact this white paper has on property guardianship in England, and to working with other providers to continue to improve and develop the sector.”

View and download the white paper now by filling in the brief form below. We would be very happy to answer any questions you have about this. Please don’t hesitate to email us.

Download “Law on Property Guardianship” White Paper

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More info about the seven providers

Seven of the UK’s leading property guardian providers (Ad-Hoc, DEX, Dot Dot Dot, Guardians of London, Live-in Guardians, Lowe Guardians, VPS Guardians) have been meeting during 2017 to discuss the issues within the sector and to explore the potential for collaboration and cooperation on key issues in the industry. By commissioning the white paper, the providers aimed to benchmark the current legal status of a guardian, and what the obligations are for the owners or management companies for those premises being used to house guardians. This document, we hope, will help inform all stakeholders – including building owners, local authorities, and policymakers – and support the providers’ joint aim of promoting best practice across the sector, advocating that all legal and safety standards and regulations are adhered to, or exceeded, by all providers.

About the authors of the white paper

Giles Peaker is a partner at Anthony Gold Solicitors. A specialist in housing, leasehold and property disputes as well as judicial review. He helps people who are facing serious problems in their housing, or where the relationship of landlord and tenant has become difficult. He works for those facing homelessness or eviction, and aids leaseholders and freeholders in lease disputes, including service charges, breach of lease and forfeiture cases. Described in Legal 500 as ‘among the best housing lawyers around’, he is a former Chair of the Housing Law Practitioners Association.

Andrew Arden QC, is recognised as being at the forefront of the development of housing law and has been described by Chambers and Partners UK as the “pre-eminent expert on housing and local government law” and “head and shoulders above anyone else in housing litigation”. He founded Arden Chambers in 1993 to provide a centre for specialist practice primarily in the area of housing law. Andrew is a leading author on both housing and local government matters, (Housing Law Reports, Housing Encyclopaedia, Journal of Housing Law, Arden & Partington’s Housing Law, Homelessness and Allocations, Manual of Housing Law, Local Government Constitutional and Administrative Law and Local Government Finance Law).

Andrew Dymond, barrister, is a founder member of Arden Chambers who advises and represents both public and private sector clients, including local authorities, private registered providers, registered social landlords, private landlords, leaseholders, tenants and the homeless. He is recommended in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading junior in social housing law. He is Deputy General Editor of the Housing Law Reports, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Law.