Unfortunately, there have been cases where property guardians have argued they are Tenants as opposed to Licensees. In 2021 a judgement ruling (Global 100 Ltd v Laleva EWCA Civ 1835) determined that property guardians, even in residential properties, occupy vacant buildings as licensees, rather than tenants. This is particularly important for landlords with vacant properties, who are perhaps nervous about the legalities of using property guardians to protect their vacant properties.
To reflect this judgement, going forward, we will adopt the term ‘Licensee’ as opposed to ‘Guardian’ once an individual has signed a legally binding Licence agreement to occupy a LOWE property. We will continue to use the term ‘Property Guardian’ on our website, as this familiar term best describes this particular sector of our industry.
During our onboarding process, all new Licensees are asked to thoroughly read through their Licence Agreement to ensure that their duties and responsibilities are fully understood. For any support or questions, our team is always on hand every step of the way.
We can guarantee that this adjustment will not alter how we operate as a business, nor how our Licensees live with us. Our priority is always to ensure we keep our vibrant community safe and secure.
To remind both Licensees and Property Owners, here are some important differences between a Licence Agreement and a Tenancy Agreement:
- Licensees are not tenants: licensees sign a licence agreement, not a tenancy agreement, and pay a licence fee, not rent.
- A licensee does not own the property, nor do they have exclusive possession of any part of that property.
- Licensees live under a weekly rolling contract and have the right to 28 days’ notice to vacate.
- Licensees are professional working people who have a responsibility to secure the living space that they are occupying.
- LOWE Property Inspectors are permitted to enter every property, on a monthly basis, to conduct an inspection, without providing prior notification of the visit.
- LOWE Property Inspectors are required to take photos of each property to support their monthly report.
- LOWE Property Inspectors and the LOWE Maintenance Team are permitted to enter the building, at any time, without notice. They will always knock first, but if there is no answer, they will access the building using their key set.
- Licensees are required to raise a ticket via FixFlo if there are any maintenance requests for the property.
- LOWE reserves the right to move licensees around at any time. This is not often, but on rare occasions it is necessary to ensure the safety of the occupants.
- Pets or anyone under the age of 21 are not permitted in a LOWE property.
- Licensees do not have the right to run a business from their property.
If you would like any further information on what this means for you, do contact us and we’d be happy to talk through our processes.