On becoming a property guardian in Queen’s Park, London

Property guardian flat in Queen's Park, north west London. Image shows kitchen at sunset.

David recently moved from Essex to become a guardian in Queen’s Park. We caught up with him about his decision to become a property guardian, how he’s settling in and what he loves about his new north London base. He also has some great decorating and volunteering tips for new guardians.

Why property guardianship?

David didn’t know much about property guardianship before his hunt for low-cost housing in London.

“I was looking to live by myself somewhere in the Greater London area,” he tells us. “But I was struggling to find anything within my price range. Then I came across property guardianship. I was intrigued by the idea of paying a bit less and looking after otherwise empty buildings.”

“Applying to Dot Dot Dot was an easy decision for me,” David explains. “As an avid volunteer, I really like their volunteer-based approach and they were also really upfront about what being a property guardian entails.”

Getting to know Queen’s Park

Before moving to north west London, David lived near Essex. It took him an hour and a half to drive to work.

“I thought living alone in London was going to be impossible. But as a guardian in Queen’s Park, I’m now a stone’s throw from my office,” he says. “Not to mention, the flat is very spacious – I couldn’t find any reason not to become a guardian here!”

“I’ve been a guardian for about a month now and I’m really enjoying the local area. Paddington Recreation Ground is just round the corner – I’ll take a book there or do some exercise. On my way back to the flat, I’ll stop in at one of the bakeries and grab a pastry. There’s a good variety of independent shops and cafes practically on my doorstep.”

Settling in

When it comes to decorating the new flat, David is enjoying taking his time.

“The flat is a work in progress,” he says. “I recently put laminate down…this was a cheap way to improve the space – it only cost about £50. I’ve used some leftover paint to spruce up the walls. Next, I’d like to put up some wallpaper.”

“As a guardian, you are looking after the space temporarily,” David goes on. “My advice to new guardians is to not invest too much in the flat. Be resourceful in the way you make the space feel like you. Take it slow and buy second hand.”

Guardian flat in progress.

David's living room when he moved in.

Guardian laying lino flooring down in the living room.

A work in progress. David is currently laying laminate flooring down.

Volunteering in the local area

David is no stranger to volunteering. In fact, our volunteer-based approach is one the things that drew him to Dot Dot Dot.

“I’ve volunteered at foodbanks and in green spaces since I was young,” David tells us. “It’s been such a good way to keep active. Since moving to Queen’s Park, I’ve started volunteering with City Harvest. We receive surplus food from different businesses and then ship them to organisations that cook or distribute meals to people across London.”

If you’ve never volunteered before, or are concerned about how you may fit 16 hours of volunteering each month around your daily life, David has some good advice.

“Volunteering for an organisation like City Harvest is really great because it’s so flexible,” he explains. “You can book shifts online and choose dates that are suitable for you. It’s really easy to fit around my social calendar.”

“Volunteering is such a great way to connect with others. I meet new people at each shift. We share stories of our travels and adventures while we sort through donations. That’s what I enjoy most about volunteering.”

Images of guardian volunteering.
A person opening their front door

Want to become a guardian in Queen's Park?

Start our application process now! The first step is to join one of our virtual intro sessions hosted by someone from the Dot Dot Dot team.