The demographic of our guardians is a cross section of young professionals, key workers and creatives who contribute to the community, stimulate local economies and fill empty buildings with life. We are proud of the vetting process we have in place, as it sets us aside from our competitors and ensures only the highest calibre of guardian live in our properties.
The LOWE Vetting Process
We look for guardians who share our values, who are socially responsible and reliable individuals, and who take pride in the buildings they protect and communities they create. We want our guardians to contribute to the surrounding community, stimulate local economies, fill empty buildings with life and fend off disrepair and dereliction that some properties threaten.
Our strict application process ensures that those who occupy one of our buildings fit in with our ethos, understand their responsibilities as a guardians and meet our exacting criteria. As a result, we have built up a dedicated group of professional guardians who really take care of where they live.
Step 1: Meeting our criteria
Before filling out an application form to become a LOWE Guardian, these are our requirements:
- You must be over the age of 21
- You must be in full time employment or be able to provide proof of self-employment
- Deemed financially able
- Minimum £15k annual income (guarantors not permitted)
- Not an undergraduate student
Step 2: Online application
Our online application form takes around 30 minutes to complete, in which we ask that applicants supply the following documentation:
- Profile photo
- A scanned passport copy
- The previous 3-months bank statements (full statement pdfs required, those consistently in their overdraft will not be accepted)
- Job description and latest CV (any part time/freelance workers will be interviewed to ensure they are working whilst living at the property)
- An employer reference or proof of self-employment
** Applications will not be successful if the incorrect documents are supplied, and applicants will be required to re-apply with the correct documentation.
Step 3: Viewings
Successful applicants are invited to book onto and attend viewings at our vacant properties. We treat viewings as the second stage of vetting. Small viewing groups means LOWE can get to know the potential guardians and their suitability for the property prior to offering them a room. This allows us to assess whether the candidate has understood their responsibility as a guardian, as well deciding where best they will be a good fit and contribute to the building and community.
Step 4: Final checks
If after a viewing, the guardian wishes to reserve a space, they are required to make a security payment, and once that is received, we make the final checks ahead of sending the licence agreement. These checks are:
- A criminal background check undertaken by Gov.uk. Guardians are required to conduct this check themselves and pass the results to us.
- A reference letter from a previous landlord.
We will then send the License Agreement for the guardian to sign, whereby they agree to all LOWE terms and values (e.g. community values, fire safety, no pets, no smoking or illegal substances, 28-day notice period).
Step 5: Moving in
Once the application has been approved, the checks have been made and the guardian finds their ideal location to live, they are able to move into their new home within a matter of days.
At our properties outside of London, we appoint positive, outgoing and enthusiastic Head Guardians to foster community and structure in a large communal setting. Head Guardians act as a representative for their community and work with LOWE to keep us informed and aware of any potential issues. Amongst a number of varied and important duties, Head Guardians ensure the property remains compliant by doing weekly fire testing and patrols of the building maintaining clear fire exits.
Social Responsibility & Community Engagement
Our guardians are socially minded people who take advantage of the opportunity presented by the various vacant buildings in central locations. They contribute to the community by stimulating local economies, filling empty buildings with life, and fending off disrepair. When surveyed, 50% of our guardians said they chose LOWE for its positive reputation as a socially minded business. By providing budgets for social events, open communication with the LOWE guardian services team and the appointment of Head Guardians, we encourage guardians to buy into their communities and to increase the amount of voluntary work they carry out in the local communities; at the time of application, our guardians are asked about their involvement with any charity/not for profit organisations. We work with our clients to identify local volunteering opportunities within the borough, and present these to our guardians.
Choosing guardianship is choosing a lifestyle, and each guardian gets something different from it, be location, affordability, community or flexibility.
If you have a vacant building and you would like to find out how our bespoke services can work for you, contacts us today for a free consultation and our recommendations on how best to protect your building.