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Housing Property guardians demand the government protects their rights

LONDON Assembly Members are demanding more action to protect property guardians in the city.

A report published today by the assembly’s housing committee calls on the mayor and Westminster government to improve the rights of those legally living in vacant buildings.

Owners of empty residential and commercial buildings often draft in property guardians, who have a licence agreement but no tenancy rights, on cheap rents to deter squatters.

The committee warned that many guardians are low-paid and forced to accept substandard living conditions and said legislation should be reviewed so that they benefit from improvements made to the private-rented sector.

AMs said guardians need guidance about their legal rights and a place to raise concerns about a property guardian company.

London Assembly housing committee chairwoman Sian Berry said: “Most guardians are simply working Londoners on lower than average wages who don’t see any other affordable options.

“We want to see action from the mayor and government to make potential guardians more aware of their rights and close the gaps in the law to give these most vulnerable renters more protection and security.”

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