Kirstie Goulder

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Our perspective on the evolution of property guardianship in the UK

Property Guardianship / 19 October 2020

It has been over three years since we wrote our first edition of ‘Property Guardianship Insight’ so we wanted to take some time to re-introduce ourselves to subscribers, old and new and to consider the evolution of the property guardianship sector and our relevant work experience.


2011: The Disputes and Regulatory teams, in particular, Kirstie Goulder, began working with property guardian companies during her training seat in the Disputes team. She assisted the property litigation team with some ‘trespass possession’ claims for a leading international property guardian company.


2015: By this time, Kirstie had acted on almost 100 claims against property guardians and developed a key understanding of the practical, operational and commercial issues affecting property guardian companies.


2017: We had developed key client relationships with many of you and was lucky enough to view various buildings occupied by property guardians as well as meeting some property guardians themselves. Kirstie also travelled to the Netherlands that year to investigate the similarities, and differences, between the Dutch and English legal structures. You can read her full update on this here. The London Assembly Housing Committee also launched its investigations into property guardianship towards the latter end of this year.


2018: This was a big year for the property guardianship sector. The London Assembly Housing Committee published its report ‘Protecting London’s Property Guardians.’ there were changes to the rules on HMO licensing: and we finally had an appeal judgment on the legal status of property guardians in the case of Khoo v Camelot Guardian Management Limited.


2019: This year saw property guardianship debated at the House of Lords and the inauguration of the Property Guardian Providers Association.


2020: The government published non-statutory guidance for current and potential property guardians on 29 August 2020 with a similar update from Shelter on 10 September 2020 The Government’s consultation on additional regulation and monitoring for property guardian companies, estate agents and others in the property sector closed on 4 September 2020 and we await further news on this.


The current climate
Countless retail, leisure and hospitality tenants are currently struggling to survive as well as many office occupiers looking to move towards fully remote working. This will undoubtedly result in increased empty space and potential opportunities for the property guardianship sector. Last week, Inside Housing published its results of a survey in conjunction with Global Guardians relating to the role of property guardians for social landlords, including a call to use property guardianship for more social good, including tackling unemployment and homelessness issues. You can read the full article here.

As ever, we will keep you updated on present and future issues pertinent to the property guardianship sector.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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