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Government issues warnings to property guardians

Property Guardianship / 05 June 2018

Last week, the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (the “Ministry for Housing”) published guidance entitled “Property guardians: a fact sheet for current and potential property guardians”. 

The guidance states that the “government does not endorse or encourage the use of property guardianship schemes as a form of housing tenure. It is important that anyone currently acting as a property guardian, or considering entering such an arrangement should fully understand their rights and responsibilities, as property guardianship differs from a residential tenancy

The guidance suggests that the government’s approach to property guardianship is that property guardianship is a security solution which provides temporary accommodation as a by-product rather than an accommodation alternative. The Ministry for Housing’s current policy is focussed on:

  1. Buying your own home (but that is unaffordable in many parts of the UK)
  2. Encouraging a private rented sector with long tenancies

Yesterday, the Ministry for Housing also published plans for new regulations which will allow Councils to relaunch new towns and deliver 300,000 new homes per year by 2025.

On a positive note, the guidance recognises that property guardianship schemes differ to residential tenancies and that property guardians have less legal rights. The guidance is a stark reminder of your need to work hard to promote best practice in the sector and ensure your current or prospective property guardians fully understand their rights from the outset. As always, we are on hand to help with this.

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