WITH tens of thousands of residential properties in Northern Ireland lying empty and an estimated one in five shops unoccupied (almost twice the UK average), a new concept is coming to Northern Ireland which will help owners protect and maintain their empty properties whilst also providing affordable accommodation to prospective ‘guardians’.
Camelot Property Management, the largest ‘Property Guardian’ company in Europe, secures buildings by filling the empty space with people looking for affordable housing, with monthly costs starting at just £100 including all bills.
Having experienced significant growth in Great Britain over the past two years with a 50 per cent increase in the number of Guardians signing up to the initiative, Camelot now has its sights set on the Northern Ireland vacant property problem which presents a number of risk and cost implications to empty property owners including squatting, theft and vandalism.
Camelot has organised a free breakfast briefing on October 15 at the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast to give local councils, housing associations, commercial surveyors, owners and administrators of vacant property a chance to look atavailable solutions and find out more about the Property Guardian concept.
“With tens of thousands of commercial and residential buildings lying empty in Northern Ireland, managing vacant property has never been more critical for organisations, for communities and for economic growth,” said Belfast-born Damian Woods, regional manager for Camelot Property Management.
“Without adequate protection these properties can be subject to misuse and either deliberate or unintentional damage, which is where our Property Guardian solution comes into play.
“For more than 20 years across Europe, owners of vacant developments, offices, warehouses, convents, pubs and other buildings have turned to the Property Guardian solution to protect their assets. Not only has this resulted in a reduction in dilapidation, vandalism and crime in the direct surrounding areas but we are also utilising properties that would otherwise be vacant,” continued Mr Woods.
“Our protection by occupation scheme currently houses thousands of Guardians across Europe who enjoy living in this unique and very low cost way. There is a clear parallel between the interests of the Guardians and of the building owners. The Guardians make their homes here and put their belongings into the premises, so they will take immediate action when there is something wrong,” he concluded.
Camelot was founded in Holland in 1993 and in 2002 became the first company in the UK to introduce protection by occupation via its Property Guardian solution. Protecting properties through occupation not only prevents crime and the anti social behaviour associated with vacant property but also provides an affordable housing solution with average costs ranging from £25 – £50 per week, often including bills.
Camelot will accommodate those over the age of 18 who have proof of a regular income and no criminal record. Each property that Camelot protects is wind proof and water tight with functioning water and electricity. The monthly Camelot fee is on average 40% lower than market rental values with large spaces in unique properties available.
Camelot will be hosting a free breakfast briefing on 15th October in Belfast to introduce the concept to the Northern Ireland market with guest speakers from Marsh UK and Camelot Europe.
To register for the briefing event or find out more about Camelot Property Management and its services, visitwww.camelotproperty.com or call 020 7566 6534.