Connecting owners of vacant properties with people in need of housing

What are we looking for? Unoccupied, empty buildings, such as those in the process of development or awaiting planning decisions, and in less than perfect condition. With a small amount of work from our experienced volunteer maintenance team, such buildings would hugely benefit the people described by Shelter and Crisis as 'hidden homeless'. FullStop Housing provides various forms of support to our occupiers, from installing facilities to co-ordinating access to specialist services. We allow people the time and space to stabilise their lives and the space to grow and move forward.

Guardian companies often provide the owners with more hassle and are more expensive than it's necessary. With FullStop Housing, not only will the owner wins financially, but they are also a part of soling London housing crisis.

Our Brochure

Read our brochure here or get in touch for a printed copy


Testimonials

Before living in a full stop space, I had been homeless for around 10 years. Since I was 22. During that time I have slept on the streets, on sofas and in squats and empty buildings. I come from a very abusive childhood/background and don't have any close family at all besides my mother who has a mental illness. As a result I found myself in quite a precarious position when I left home at 16. Even though I worked hard to be the first member of my family to go to university and studied while homeless, the unemployment crisis meant I found it hard to get a job and the housing crisis meant that I couldn't afford a home even if I could find a job. I was also completely alone with no support. Having some stability in terms of housing for the first time in almost a decade has given me more than I could possibly explain here. It has given me the chance to breathe and rebuild mentally and physically and I feel as if now I have a chance to be able to be ok and look forward to a future with some stability, security and support.
Simon
We did not want our property to lay empty while were awaiting the planning permission so FullStop occupiers was a great solution. The co-ordinators of FullStop took care of all the paperwork and logistics so there was very little effort involved. When the planning permission was finally received FullStop occupiers were very helpful to our builders and architects. We are happy that the property was always utilised and never stopped being a home.
Owner
We are a young couple who struggled to rent in London due to us having a low collective income. We spent a lot of our time moving from place to place. Hostels, couch surfing, sometimes sleeping rough. This meant that finding work was very difficult. Trying to maintain this lifestyle was a downward spiral.

Once we had been with Fullstop for a while we regained the confidence and stability to pursue work and provide enough for us to be happy. The project allowed us time and energy to concentrate on more than just day to day survival.
Violet & Zache
After dealing with some fairly unpleasant guardian companies, FullStop seemed as a very straightforward deal with no middlemen. We were happy to get to know the people living in our properties and felt good to assist people in their moment of need.
Owner
I'm a media student, 25 years old, and for the past 3 years I've been bouncing from couch to couch and house to house, juggling with work and being able to keep up with the rest of my responsibilities. FullStopHousing has granted me the opportunity to make ends meet and given me stability to move forward with mental stability and peace of mind to organize again and participate in community projects with different communities. Facing the housing crisis FullStop Housing has been my only possibility for getting out of homelessness.
Mary
FullStop Housing occupiers stayed in my property for about 6 months during which I was pleased with the level of attention given to the property. The occupiers landscaped the garden and even fixed the roof! My property looked even better after their occupancy than prior.
Owner
I am a 25 year old humanities student and writer. X Project has been fundamental to be able to have the space to study, work and stabilise my mental health. London is becoming increasingly impossible to reside in unless one has their parent's support or have connections to access cheaper accommodation. I do no possess such support and FullStop Housing has provided me the space to be able to catch up between payments at work in order to save up for the deposit.
Katrina
I inherited this property and for two years didn't really know what to do with it – it wasn't really fit for many purposes. FullStop Housing occupiers took care of it and even inspired my ideas as to the final layout of the property after development. I'm still in touch with a couple of them!
Owner
Living in London has involved a constant battle – meeting the costs of a stable and safe place to live being in direct conflict with taking care of my mental health. After experiencing difficulties with depression, I had to leave the multiple jobs I was holding down, to recover from what I have now realised was a significant breakdown. I stayed with friends, in empty buildings, in sublets and temporary accommodation, often moving every few weeks or more.

The pressure of working relentlessly in order to afford extortionate rent and living in unpredictable circumstances left me physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, and I have been grateful for the space and stability that FullStopHousing has given me to recuperate.

I have become self-employed, and been able to make massive progress working on projects which improve my mental health, and bring my skills and abilities to people and projects who can benefit from them too.
Rob
I'm lucky enough to own a few properties and feel good being able to provide shelter for those less fortunate.
Owner

Frequently Asked Questions

Because we offer the same service, with the same benefits – but for no cost. In working with FullStop, owners and developers would be helping us provide tangible, demonstrable and significant benefits to those unable to access London’s overstretched housing services. FullStop provides a much better service to the owner than guardianship companies, who are rapidly alienating landlords and developers with their hidden costs and obstructive behaviour. Guardian companies exist to make money from renting out empty property, and they over-occupy poorly maintained buildings in order to maximise profits. Guardian companies are notoriously bad at communicating and are infamous for their exploitative practices – they do not offer security or value for money. They are instead symptoms of housing crisis.
Co-odinators of the Fullstop Housing check new occupants, organise contracts, and live on site. We regularly meet with occupants and have frequent meetings with them to ensure that any issues are addressed promptly and effectively. Our service is excellent in responding to any concerns or requests from owners or representatives immediately. We value the opportunities we are given, so we take care to maintain good relationships with owners/developers.
Through working with Fullstop Housing, owners/developers of empty property found that there was no disruption to their plans, and were happy that they were able to put their buildings to good use during drawn out application processes. They compared the agreements favourably with previous contracts signed with for-profit property guardian companies.
Furthermore, FullStop will fit out all buildings to an acceptable living standard, at no cost. If desired, any fittings can be removed when the agreement period is concluded.
Reputation is everything – it isn’t in the interests of FullStop Housing to vacate an agreement in this way, as this will only lead to a stressful eviction process, and damage the ability of FullStop to continue our work. Second, FullStop Housing works openly with property owners, councillors and third parties, and in negotiations its organising members are accountable and identifiable. They are therefore liable for the costs of an eviction to be awarded against them by a court.
FullStop Housing is a membership organisation, which means that all people who are housed with us must become members of FullStop Housing before they can start living in a property. This includes signing the FullStop manifesto, agreeing to our constitution and ethical code, and signing an assurance that they have read and understood the terms and conditions relevant of each property. Owners and developers cannot be held liable by FullStop for any injury or loss that occurs on the site to its members. Insurance companies recognise the benefits of having people occupying buildings, and with this sort of agreement, the benefits outweigh any risks. Bills for utilities are paid by FullStop members, as part of their contract. Buildings that are occupied for at least 6 weeks after a period of standing empty are exempt from business rates for up to 6 months.
FullStop Housing has been set up by people with experience working with and around vulnerable adults, many of whom would be, as pointed out, unfortunately unsuitable for the project. This should not obscure the fact that there are thousands of people who definitely will be suitable. We have included testimonials here and on our website, and we urge people to reconsider their understanding of homelessness, and to understand the scale of this housing crisis.

Resources

My Real-Life Experience As A Property Guardian

My experience suggests that implementing even the most rudimentary customer service values and processes would make a measurable difference to the property guardian experience. But for myself, I want no further part in this monetisation of the housing crisis.

Scandal Of Working Poor Living On Streets

Ros Wynne Jones uncovers the poverty scandal of a cleaner, a chef and bricklayer whose hard work is not enough to get them a roof over their heads

The Homelessness Crisis In England: A Perfect Storm

Last year, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless in England – a 26% increase in four years. At the same time, the number of people sleeping rough in London grew by 75% to a staggering 6,437.

The UK's 'Property Guardians' Live in a World of Constant Anxiety

"There were hypodermic needles in the fireplace and on the carpets, rats in the basement, the walls were pushed through and copper piping had been ripped out so it leaked whenever it rained."

5 Things C4’s ‘Crashing’ Tells Us about Property Guardians and the Housing Crisis

Channel 4’s comedy series Crashing is halfway through and, apart from some excruciating sex scenes, the laughs are a bit sparse. Nevertheless, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s series breaks new territory by being the first fictional representation of property guardianship on our screens.

The high price of cheap living: how the property guardianship dream soured

Property guardianship was once a win-win situation: empty buildings secured and bargain rents offered. For many the reality today is different: an underclass of renters with limited rights in grim conditions – and landowners milking the system to pay less tax. So has this small housing revolution died?

Contact Us

To get in touch please fill out the form bellow, email us at contact@fullstophousing.org or phone us at +44 (0) 7535 813261