London: Among the property guardians

Pic from protest at Rectory Gardens in 2012.

Rectory Gardens, a residential mews in Clapham Old Town, is being emptied, one household at a time. Henry, who has lived in the street since 1985, is among those waiting to be rehoused. When he leaves, Lambeth Council will probably hire Camelot, a ‘vacant property management’ company, to install ‘guardians’: people who pay the company for the privilege of staying in disused buildings and keeping out squatters. There are several property guardians already living on the street.
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Netherlands: Camelot is using people in need of housing as ‘real estate pawns’ and as ‘out-sourced dwellers’ that only serve to facilitate speculation

Camelot_antisquatted_castle

Accusation of Camelot Europe by Bond Precaire Woonvormen

Camelot Europe is an international vacant property management company, that started in the Netherlands. Their business is vacant property management services to provide real estate clients with a ‘cost effective, high quality and flexible solution’ to protect vacant properties against vandalism and such. Camelot provides these services in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium and is now attending Mipim 2014.

Its ‘services’ to the real estate sector are in fact a way to maximise profit from vacant properties by exploiting people in need of a house. Camelot was one of the first Ductch ‘antisquat’ companies that came up with the idea of having people in need of housing live in empty buildings as ‘property protectors’ on temporary flex-contracts and without any tenants rights. These dwellers can be kicked out of their house on a two weeks notice, are deprived of privacy as Camelot will randomly inspect their premises to see if they ‘behave properly’, and are forced to agree to a set of conditions that constrain their freedom of behaviour and mobility. [Read More]