The ArgusNew business launched to stop empty shop squatting (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

New business launched to stop empty shop squatting

The Argus: New business launched to stop empty shop squatting New business launched to stop empty shop squatting

A former royal security guard has launched a new business designed to protect empty shops from squatters by moving in low-paying renters.

Former police officer and bodyguard Jennifer Kehoe has launched Intuitive Guardians - an agency that finds temporary occupiers for empty properties at bargain basement rates.

Miss Kehoe hopes that by encouraging residents to live in the empty commercial premises while a new use is found for them, squatters will be deterred from moving in - potentially causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and expense of legal action.

The Brighton-based businesswoman argues it is a low-cost option with property owners paying as little as £50 a week to have their property secured while prospective guardians can get living space in Brighton and Hove at a heavily reduced rate of just £50 a week.

The firm will supply basic shower block and kitchen amenities while residents moving in will be expected to bring with them everything else.

Miss Kehoe, 32, says that the business will open up a wide range of unusual locations including pubs, churches, offices, shops and former care homes for people to call home.

The company will also offer a house sitting service for people who might work away or be on holiday.

The new scheme aims to close a loop hole in 2012 legislation, campaigned for by Hove MP Mike Weatherley, which made squatting in residential properties a criminal offence but does not stop squats being set-up in commercial properties.

Brighton and Hove has seen several high-profile commercial property squats since the law's inception including the former Choccywoccydoodah shop in Duke Street last month, Montpelier Peace Baptist Church in March and the former post office in Ship Street in August last year.

Miss Kehoe said she already had ten people signed up for the fledgling company.

She is now looking for property owners to sign up to bring the scheme, which has already been successful in London and the Netherlands, to the streets of Brighton and Hove.

Miss Kehoe said: “The scheme is already quite popular in London where they have empty properties on a much bigger scale and I just thought with all the problems that Brighton has had with squatting I better bring it down here quick.

“Many owners choose to board up their premises, which looks very unsightly and also makes it very clear the property is empty and attracts unwanted attention.

“Our solution is cheaper than all the other security options.”

For more information visit www.intuitiveguardians.co.uk, www.facebook.com/intuitiveguardians or search for @intuitiveguard on Twitter.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:16am Fri 9 May 14

Baffled of Brighton says...

Except the tenants moving in and living in the shop could turn out to be squatters themselves.
Except the tenants moving in and living in the shop could turn out to be squatters themselves. Baffled of Brighton
  • Score: -15

7:34am Fri 9 May 14

hyram77 says...

Great concept which has the desired result and has worked well elsewhere. Good luck with your new business and let's keep those squatters at bay.
Great concept which has the desired result and has worked well elsewhere. Good luck with your new business and let's keep those squatters at bay. hyram77
  • Score: 22

8:17am Fri 9 May 14

rogerthefish says...

If its a big place the squatters will just move in with them.
If its a big place the squatters will just move in with them. rogerthefish
  • Score: -16

1:15pm Fri 9 May 14

notaconspiracy says...

As above, I don't see why this would stop determined squatters.
As above, I don't see why this would stop determined squatters. notaconspiracy
  • Score: -9

2:12pm Fri 9 May 14

Wakewaterblue says...

If the squatters don't have a living space to be able to move into, there is no point in them trying. They won't exactly get along with employed people paying to live there if they try and move on in, the guardians would call the police upon any attempt break in anyway so it's a more immediate response!
If the squatters don't have a living space to be able to move into, there is no point in them trying. They won't exactly get along with employed people paying to live there if they try and move on in, the guardians would call the police upon any attempt break in anyway so it's a more immediate response! Wakewaterblue
  • Score: 7

5:55pm Fri 9 May 14

vivahate says...

If someone is living in the place and squatters try to break in they can be arrested for breaking and entering. If the property is vacant then they have some sort of squatters rights and have to be evicted.
If someone is living in the place and squatters try to break in they can be arrested for breaking and entering. If the property is vacant then they have some sort of squatters rights and have to be evicted. vivahate
  • Score: 9

9:01pm Fri 9 May 14

thevoiceoftruth says...

It's a great idea and also helps people who haven't got a lot of money for rent to find accomodation, on a temporary basis at least. Can't see what there is to complain about.
It's a great idea and also helps people who haven't got a lot of money for rent to find accomodation, on a temporary basis at least. Can't see what there is to complain about. thevoiceoftruth
  • Score: 7

11:36pm Fri 9 May 14

NickBrt says...

Lucas will be livid when she reads about this.
Lucas will be livid when she reads about this. NickBrt
  • Score: -3

11:40pm Fri 9 May 14

FatherTed11 says...

**** the tavellers!
**** the tavellers! FatherTed11
  • Score: -2

8:32pm Sat 10 May 14

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

FatherTed11 wrote:
**** the tavellers!
Agreed.

When I first saw the headline I wondered if there was scope for extending the business to stopping travellers squatting (and doing their business) in our parks !

Sadly not having read the story - good luck with the business anyway.
[quote][p][bold]FatherTed11[/bold] wrote: **** the tavellers![/p][/quote]Agreed. When I first saw the headline I wondered if there was scope for extending the business to stopping travellers squatting (and doing their business) in our parks ! Sadly not having read the story - good luck with the business anyway. Idontbelieveit1948
  • Score: -2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree