New chapter for library
London Borough of Barnet
The London Borough of Barnet is the second largest London borough by population with 331,500 inhabitants and covers an area of 86.74 square kilometres (33 sq mi), the fourth highest. The Borough engaged Ad Hoc Property Management’s services to protect a valuable portfolio of properties since August 2011. Ad Hoc Property Guardians and Flexi-Guardians have protected a school, sport centre, library, museum and residential properties.
In the media spotlight through squatter evictions and a high profile court case one particularly vulnerable property, a library, had been closed following a strategic policy review and financial cuts. Even though higher risk measures had been taken by the authority to secure the property, which included security bars at the windows and metal sheeting blocking the access ways, it was targeted and occupied by squatters. Following the outcome of legal proceedings which went in favour of the council to regain possession, the council then engaged with local residents who responsibly wanted to take on the property to reduce eviction costs and associated reputational damage through unwelcome media attention.
Ad Hoc immediately implemented a strategy whereby a ‘Flexi-Guardian’ moved into the property to provide 24 hour security in the premises to prevent re-occupation by the squatters. This was a challenging case as the property had established community use and activities at the property.
“Ad Hoc Property Management offer an excellent service to protect vacant properties. Their flexible and effective approach means I know there will be a presence in the property from day one and a smooth hand-back when the property is required once again. This Flexible and immediate solution was successful and kept the property safe during a vulnerable time, enabling the council to peaceably regain possession”.
A Property Guardian service is an ideal way to keep our vacant properties protected and in use. I have peace of mind, knowing there is a presence in the property, and local working people benefit from cost-effective accommodation”
Ad Hoc staff members are reliable and provide a beneficial service, I look forward to continuing our relationship in the future. Ad Hoc have an excellent reputation and I would not hesitate to recommend their services to other councils and similar organisations.
Suzanna Lewis, Principle Valuer Property Services, London Borough of Barnet