Ad Hoc Property Management explains how a former school in Birmingham is being protected from unwanted trespassers by placing temporary property guardians on its premises.

The number of commercial properties across the UK being boarded up while transitioning between new ownership or development is steadily on the rise. In the UK, there are more than 10,000 commercial properties sitting unused and more and more we are seeing communities with properties that have broken windows and graffiti-covered walls costing property owners thousands in repairs. This doesn’t have to be the case.

When buildings are left empty, they begin to deteriorate quite quickly. Older buildings are already prone to damage, but this is made worse when no one is around to monitor and maintain the premises, plumbing and electric works. Often, buildings will be broken into, and copper and brass will be taken as they have an attractive scrap value, but this can lead to bodily harm and in even more serious cases, electrocution.

The plumbing in a building is also very important. Taps in commercial buildings often need to be run regularly otherwise Legionella can form in the pipes and cause serious health problems for those who come into contact with the water. Property owners have a duty of care, even to intruders of their buildings, and they must ensure their properties are protected to avoid injury at all costs.

“In the UK, there are more than 10,000 commercial properties sitting unused.”

Simon Wright, Ad Hoc Regional Manager for the South West, said: “Schools in particular are vulnerable to anti- social crime as they tend to sit on larger areas of land and have many access points. There are usually windows lining the building and multiple doors which anyone with the skills of breaking and entering can get into.”

On the east side of Birmingham lies a former school which closed down in the summer of 2015. The property, which is owned by Birmingham City Council, sits on roughly three acres of land and boasts a dining hall, kitchen, gymnasium and many other large rooms. In order to ensure the property was well-maintained during the transition between uses, Birmingham City Council chose Ad Hoc Property Management to help secure it and ensure it didn’t fall victim to the behaviour of anti-social criminals.

“The guardians live in the property at a below market price and in exchange, their presence wards off intruders.”

Since 2015, Ad Hoc has successfully managed the property using its property guardianship solution. They have provided a range of carefully-vetted professionals who have taken up temporary residence in the property until its future is decided building cosy living spaces and a small community of their own. The guardians live in the property at a below market price and in exchange, their presence wards off intruders.

Some of the guardians who reside in the school are a group of vibrant and enthusiastic females who perform in the circus. The space has worked out perfectly for them as the gymnasium has been turned into their training space where they practice everything from contortion and aerial tricks to rope manoeuvres and stilt-walking. Being able to live in a space with so much room has allowed the women


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