By News Reporters
People living in a disused hospital property as live-in guardians are being denied access to daylight in their homes by property management company Camelot. People living nearby saw workers sealing up hoarding covering windows on the ground floor of the property and became concerned for the welfare of the residents inside.
Arthur Stanley House in Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia, is owned by UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and has been empty for several years. Although supposedly having been locked and protected by security guards it has twice been occupied by squatters. Now UCLH have engaged property protection company Camelot to secure the building by housing people on the ground floor of the building.
The residents do not have tenants rights but pay rent to live on the premises under licence. They can be asked to leave at short notice.
Fitzrovia News reporters spoke to the workers sealing up the windows and also to someone who identified themselves as being from Camelot Property Management. We were careful not to speak to residents living in the building but we understand from sources that there is virtually no natural light entering the building because all the windows on the ground floor have been sealed by wooden boards.
The workers sealing up the windows told Fitzrovia News that they were doing it to protect the building from being broken into.
There are several sites in Fitzrovia that have property guardians living in them due to the large amount of empty and disused buildings here. With property prices and rents in London so high many people have little choice to accept sub-standard housing such as this provided by Camelot.
We contacted Camelot for an explanation, but they declined to comment.
Originally developed in the Netherlands as a form of “anti-squatting” to secure buildings against uninvited guests, guardianship is a rapidly growing part of the UK property security industry, with around 20 private companies offering space for up to 10,000 guardians. Most are concentrated in London, where a plethora of redundant council-owned buildings awaiting demolition or refurbishment provide alternative interim bases for those happy to put up with basic facilities and short-notice periods – or what the company websites describe as “adventurous living”. — http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jul/22/live-stately-home-dont-get-settled
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