Move into Leeds millionaire's row – as a home-sitter

Tykes with a Bohemian streak or perhaps facing 2011 on the breadline could become one of 30 Leeds-based "guardians" sought to help care for empty buildings which may otherwise be at risk from vandals, thieves or squatters.

Owners of large vacant properties such as old mansions, vicarages, farms, mills, hotels or sheltered-housing complexes are often faced with significant bills for making sure their investment is secure.

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Security fencing, boarded-up windows, surveillance and 24-hour patrols are all common options for landlords or developers awaiting planning decisions or for sales to go through.

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But Ad Hoc Property Management is now offering Leeds professionals another alternative - sourcing "guardians" willing to move in on a temporary basis, paying a nominal fee for a roof over their head which they then help to monitor and protect.

No duties are involved; the guardian's presence is the only required deterrent and, in return for using their property as their home, each pays between 35 and 45 a week - sometimes living at an address worth millions.

It's not an option open to all; Ad Hoc only considers people over 21

who are in employment. No pets are allowed, parties are banned and Ad Hoc retains a right to unannounced access at any time.

However, spokesman Steve Pursey says responsible guardians come from all walks of life with nurses, artists, musicians and even lawyers and doctors taking up residence in properties owned by the company's clients.

"Obviously, it's not a lifestyle which is going to appeal to everyone as when the client sells or is ready to progress with development, there may only be a couple of weeks' notice to vacate the building.

But, it's an option which suits quite a few people who can be flexible or who are looking to make considerable savings."

There are two large properties in Leeds - an old converted mill and a former mansion - which require guardians at the moment, prompting Ad Hoc to announce a recruitment drive in the city.

HGV driver Andy Wriggles, from Pudsey, 40, was one of the first to move in just before Christmas after a split with his partner.

"I'm still paying my share of the mortgage on our house at the moment and I can't afford another big bill," he said. "I was living in a bedsit but the electricity kept going on and off so I was looking for something else when I first read about becoming a guardian on the internet.

"It's a real solution for me; I work long shifts but it's good to know I have somewhere decent to stay."

Anyone interested in becoming a guardian or wants more details can contact Ad Hoc by emailing or by telephoning 01904 652594.

238,000 people in Leeds ‘not getting minimum levels of exercise’