Estate Regeneration: Guardians Living Alongside Tenants
The regeneration of housing estates is an extremely complicated process which requires huge amounts of planning and co-ordination. Anyone who has worked in a regeneration team will have experienced issues with delays, challenging decants and changes of personnel.
At LOWE, we specialise in regeneration projects as they present a fantastic opportunity for affordable housing, community engagement and the retention of local key workers. By simply investing in the vacant properties we can have a financial and social impact for both our clients and those living locally.
Whilst using property guardians as a form of security is not a new concept, there have been issues. The main question we are asked by our clients is;
“Can you ensure that the guardians and tenants live alongside each other harmoniously?”
There are two important ways in which we do this, education and understanding. It’s important that we educate the tenants on who the guardians are, why they’re there, and what backgrounds they’re from. We take time to explain that the guardians are there to protect the properties, reduce anti-social behaviour, help with local community projects and also that many are actually key workers from the local area.
The understanding aspect stems from being aware of the sensitive nature of the process. Many of the residents have always lived on the estates and have forged lifelong social and emotional connections to the area. So it’s of the utmost importance that we are respectful and compassionate to the challenges that they face.
The first step we take to build relationships between guardians and tenants, is by introducing ourselves to the community as a business and then familiarising ourselves with the tenants on a personal level. We contact the tenants to inform them of our presence and make them aware that they may see some new faces around, be it contractors, LOWE members of staff, or prospective guardians viewing the flats.
Secondly, we will organise what we call a Town Hall Meeting. This is where we provide tenants with a platform to air any questions or concerns that they may have. This personal approach makes us relatable, and helps them to understand who we are, what we’re doing and how we’re working alongside our client, their landlord.
Leon Joseph from Ealing Council says “Not only has LOWE saved us from significant security costs, but the social value of having responsible property guardians living in the estate has also been enormous. The flexible nature of their legal agreements fits perfectly with our ongoing plans for regenerating South Acton Estate with quality, affordable homes. We are especially proud to be housing key workers from the surrounding areas.”
So, in answer to the question: Yes, guardians can live harmoniously alongside tenants if time is invested into the community. If it is done properly, it can even help heal the relationship between the tenant and landlord.
If you have a vacant property and you would like to find out how our bespoke service can work for you, contact us today for a free consultation report with our recommendations on how best to protect your building.
T +44 (0) 207 856 0171