UK’s Leading Vacant Property Security Provider
Amendments to the rules relating to squatters are contained in Chapter 33, Part V (Public Order: Collective Trespass or Nuisance on Land) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994. Additional regulations relating to squatting are contained in the Criminal Law Act 1977. Basically, if a property is vacant and unused then it has the potential to be squatted, and the owners will need to obtain a Possession Order, granted by a County Court or High Court. The Order will need to be served on the occupants of the property before they can be evicted. This is a costly and sometimes lengthy process.
Vandalism and Theft
Vandals and squatters often cause significant damage to the interior of the building, smash windows and spray graffiti on walls. A number of properties protected by Ambika contain valuable architectural features, industrial plant and household items. Ambika caretakers are trained to patrol the property and monitor valuable items. Replacing architectural features is often impossible, and damage caused by vandals’ increases insurance premiums. Without being “lived-in” the structural integrity of the building and operation of heating systems deteriorates, often requiring significant investment to correct the problems caused by lack of use.
Travellers target open spaces capable of providing parking for vehicles. Once in occupation sites are quickly turned into rubbish disposal areas, and clean up costs can be significant.
Ambika is contracted to “occupy” and protect the property, whilst our caretakers sign a non-tenancy agreement, accepting that they have no legal interest in the building.
Our standard contracts offer two types of property protection, designed to meet all budgetary requirements.
- 24-Hour Vacant Property Security: trained and vetted caretakers are on-site 24-hours a day, seven days a week
- 12-Hour vacant Property Security: trained and vetted caretakers are on-site between 2000 – 0800 hours, seven days a week
- 24-Hour Security from £PLEASE ASK per week plus vat (0000-2359 hours, seven days a week)
- 12-Hour Security from £PLEASE ASK per week plus vat (2000-0800 hours, seven days a week)
- Multiple units on a single site from £PLEASE ASK per week plus vat
Getting a Quote
Before Ambika accepts an instruction we visit the property and undertake a risk assessment that focuses on security. The client is provided with a quote or a detailed proposal if required.
- Signs of occupancy
- Lighting – both internal and external
- Rubbish bags being left for collection
- Vehicles in the driveway
- Ambient noise from televisions and radios
Installing our trained caretakers provides the following basic service;
- Ambika resident caretakers are on-site as scheduled, seven days a week
- Ambika provides security using SIA (Security Industry Authority) licensed caretakers
- Our caretakers communicate any issues relating to security, damage to the fabric of the building and other issues that may arise
- Our caretakers patrol the internal and external areas on a regular basis, seven days a week
Ambika provides a residential security service. As such our caretakers ‘live’ in the property.
- Our caretakers bring a small amount of essential items and personal belongings
- The caretakers’ possessions would be left at the property. This form of security guarantees that the property cannot be legally squatted
- Our caretakers would ensure that the property is neat and presentable at all times
- Ambika would ensure that the building is vacated and handed over to the client as per the requirements of any disposal or development schedule
As Ambika provides resident caretakers to undertake security at the property we would need to provide the following;
- A room or private area that may be used as a bedroom (one per caretaker on-site) A room that may be used as a communal lounge / sitting room
- A room or area that may be used as a kitchen
- A room or area that may be used as a bathroom (to contain a working toilet and a source of hot running water for bathing)
- An electrical supply (in basically safe working order)
- A water supply
The security requirement of every property is different. Factors such as vulnerability, contents, location, and disposal schedules will influence the level of protection. If 24-hour resident security is provided;
- Ambika would provide one dedicated caretaker to undertake site management at the properties
- Ambika caretakers would be the main contact for the client, all contractors, visitors and other authorised people to access the building during standard office hours
- General condition of the property
- Electricity and hot running water (bath or shower) is available at the property
- The property is wind and water tight
- No other rubbish or debris (including sharps) likely to cause a danger to caretakers
- Issue that may impact on Fire, Health & Safety
- Issues that may impact on welfare
Ambika Senior Managers are qualified to undertake Fire Risk Assessments and Health & Safety Risk Assessments. The assessments are intended for the internal use of Ambika, but can be made available to clients on request.
All Ambika caretakers sign a Caretakers Agreement. Clause 4 in this agreement says “I acknowledge and confirm that I have no tenancy or legal interest in the property and I will make no claim in respect thereof.”
The Caretakers Agreement was originally drafted by Crown Estate Solicitors, and no legal issues have arisen since the company was formed in 1988.
- Care homes
- Country Estates
- Houses and Family Homes
- New Developments
- Housing Estates
These organisation range for Government Agencies to Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Property Advisers, Charities, Universities, Investment Trusts and wealthy individuals.
- Employers Liability to the sum of £10 million sterling
- Public Liability to the sum of £5 million sterling Full liability insurance details are provided for all clients upon request.
- We can replace locks or gain entry through locked doors (including steel doors)
- Vulnerable windows and doors can be secured or boarded-up
- Stand alone shower cabinets and electrical showers can be installed to provide hot running water. This can be done in properties where there is no hot water supply or to enable the boilers to be switched off
- Full cleaning service enabling squatted or dirty properties to be occupied
Recruitment of Caretakers
Ambika prefers to accept caretakers by personal recommendation. We do not place advertisements and all new caretakers are sourced through our website or by personal recommendations from existing caretakers. This ensures that we only have members of staff that are personally known to others within the organisation.
All new caretakers are required to attend an Induction Course held at Ambika’s offices. The modules are designed to ensure that the caretakers have the ability to provide an effective service. Once a caretaker is on-site additional training is given, and the type of property and duties governs the duration and complexity of the training.
- Introduction to Ambika
- The Role of a Caretaker
- Basic Rules and Responsibilities
- Fire, Health & Safety
- First Aid
- Communication Skills
Security Industry Authority (SIA)
All Ambika caretakers involved in the provision of security are licensed by the Security Industry Authority.
All new caretakers are required to provide Ambika with the following documentation prior to being accepted.
- 10 year Curriculum Vita
- Ambika standard application form
- Police Subject Access Letter (details of any previous convictions)
- In addition each caretaker signs a Caretaker Agreement acknowledging that they have no right of tenancy or any other legal interest in the property.
Managing the Caretakers
A small management team closely manages all Ambika properties and caretakers. Regular telephone contact and personnel reviews are undertaken and a quarterly newsletter is distributed to all caretakers ensuring that they are fully informed about the latest developments, company news and employment opportunities.