Kathryn Gilbertson

+44 (0)1733 887621 kgilbertson@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Property Guardianship debated at the House of Lords

Property Guardianship / 04 April 2019

Property guardianship providers should be aware that the subject of property guardians was raised in the House of Lords once again on 26 March 2019.

Key issues posed by members were:

  1. Standardising the definition of a property guardian, and their legal rights
  2. The future regulation of the sector, and the possible use of a similar kitemarking scheme as seen in the Netherlands
  3. The role of a local council in both using property guardianship providers and ensuring the rights of guardians in their area
  4. Regulating conditions – these include providing own safety equipment, and non-disclosure agreements surrounding the media.

The full transcript of answers can be viewed here. 

Outcomes:

Lord Best commented that his working group would be very happy to look at the regulation of property guardian providers, alongside his current portfolio of estate agents, letting agents and managers of leasehold properties.

In response to this, we would make the following suggestions to property guardianship providers:

The regulatory aspects of property guardianship is the standout issue. As Lord Bourne said “ensuring that property guardians have a bedrock of rights in all situations so that people are properly protected. That is the key.”

The issues that we often encounter include disrepair such as penetrating damp or condensation mould growth; through to unmanaged compliance issues such asbestos, faults with fire alarm panels, lack of electrical and gas safety certificates.

Consider:

  1. Where would your company sit in a ‘kitemarking’ scheme – would you have a good rating, if the main definition is the standard of your living accommodation?
  2. Do you have non-disclosure clauses in your contracts? Are they working well for you and have you taken legal advice on the wording?

How can we help:

  1. Reviewing your contracts and any proposed non-disclosure agreements, and considering if they are fit for purpose
  2. Regulations – don’t just wait for something to go wrong – be prepared for a kitemarking scheme by ensuring you have plans and policies in place for a good rating.

Our specialist team can advise on all areas of property guardianship, so please do get in touch.

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