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On the emergence of Property Guardianship company Ad Hoc in Cardiff

Squatters & Travellers Against Repression (STAR) Cardiff | 17.01.2013 16:33 | Free Spaces | Wales

Disclaimer: This statement is not on behalf of the whole of Cardiff
Squatters Network, just a handful of individuals who are part of it and
squat in Cardiff.

Ad Hoc Property Guardians
Ad Hoc Property Guardians

Groups such as Ad Hoc rely on the prejudice that squatters only damage the
properties they occupy, using the term ‘squatters’ interchangeably with
‘vandals’ and ‘addicts’. Their guardians have no tenancy rights and are
unwaged security guards for the company. Ad Hoc state on their website ‘As
a Guardian you would be allocated a room or property in an area to suit
you, with prices ranging from £150 to £350 per month.’ [1] It appears that
they do not pay guardians - they charge their guardians for
accommodation. However it is not rent in the contract and therefore does
not give them the rights of a normal tenant. The anti-squat company acts
as the middle man (or ‘managing agent’) and as such receives payment from
both the landlords and guardians in exchange for doing spectacularly

We know that Ad Hoc is already well established in the Netherlands and it
was revealed in a documentary that in their contract both the anti-squat
company and the owner reserve the right to enter the property at any time
and without giving notice. Minors are not permitted to live in Ad Hoc
managed properties so according to their contract falling pregnant and
giving birth would be enough reason for them to evict someone with only 2
weeks notice although their contracts also state they do not need to give
any reason at all if they want someone out of the property. [2]

The emergence of these companies represents a dangerous erosion of
tenants’ rights and a further step toward the complete
institutionalisation of bad housing. The change in the law that made
squatting residential properties illegal means that the anti-squatting
service is redundant in cases where they are renting out empty houses. If
Ad Hoc conduct themselves in Cardiff as they have done in other countries,
posing as an affordable housing solution, many people will find themselves
paying for inferior accommodation without any basic tenant’s rights,
protection of their privacy or guarantee of being rehoused.

In order to solve the ‘squatting problem’, companies like this make a
profit off people in similar circumstances of financial insecurity as
those who squat. They rent out the same empty buildings to guardians that
could have provided a squatter with a home – except by signing the
contract guardians have even less protection of their rights. These
companies are security companies who have found a way around paying for
live-in security guards by posing as affordable housing providers and
getting people to pay them for unreliable sub-standard housing.

As squatters we are less concerned about ‘vulnerable property’ than
vulnerable people needing places to live and find shelter.

~Some Cardiff Squatters



Squatters & Travellers Against Repression (STAR) Cardiff
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