My big break setting up Lowe Cost Guardians came when I was asked if I knew of a guardian company to occupy and provide live-in security for a vacant mansion on Bishops Avenue.
After Googling the Bishops Avenue, infamously dubbed ‘billionaires row’, I discovered the mansion came with an indoor swimming pool, billiards room, Jacuzzi and its own football pitch- not exactly the hardest sale. Quickly after, Lowe Cost Guardians was formed!
The ‘Mansion’ had been left vacant for five years while it’s ‘owner’ had subsequently disappeared. It was a pretty surreal building with some very interesting touches…
I found eight guardians to move in and took a crash course in property management, maintenance and health and safety. I also moved into the building which gave me an excellent insight into how best to run a Guardian building and ironing out any future mistakes!
What really struck me was the abject waste of usable space in London, symbolised perfectly by the decaying relics littered along Bishops Avenue. Despite widespread anxiety about a shortage of housing supply, government figures suggest there are 610,123 empty homes in England. Of these, 205,821 have been unoccupied for six months or more.
I would strongly recommend a stroll down the Bishops Avenue followed by a pint in the Spaniard Inn afterwards. It is an eye opening experience. And, if you are wondering what happened to my former home, have a read here.