Imaginative solutions to protect your asset and control your costs

If you have a vacant property, Westwater has the experience to guide you through the labyrinth of challenges that you may face. From business rates to buildings insurance, change of use applications to handling squatters, Westwater will source creative solutions to suit your specific situation.

Read on to discover some case studies and examples…

Former Foundry pub, 1-3 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London

A ‘cultural guardian’ security solution

The problem
  • Vacant building plus car rear park, in the heart of London’s vibrant east-end, a potential redevelopment opportunity
  • A large Banksy mural that required to be preserved
  • Squatted twice in a short space of time, costing the landlord significant sums of money in eviction proceedings and repair works
The Solution

Simon realised there must be a better way to secure the building and approached some locals active in the arts scene. An occupation agreement was agreed and Red Gallery took over the building in April 2010, commencing one of London’s longest running cultural hubs in the process.

The adjacent car park followed thereafter – this was to become the city’s first ever late night street food market, a concept that’s now been copied many times over in London.

The Red Gallery

During the period of Red Gallery’s occupation agreement the landlord benefitted by only being liable for minimal management costs. All business rates liability was passed to the cultural guardians. Red Gallery vacated the site in August 2018, the site has planning permission for a hotel scheme which commenced construction in early 2020.

Former Metropolitan Police HQ, Tintagel House, 92 Albert Embankment, London

A residential guardian security solution

The Problem
  • Soon to be vacant building plus car park, situated on the south bank of the River Thames near Millbank Tower, an office redevelopment opportunity
  • Significant empty business rates liability
  • A sizeable target for squatters
The Solution

In December 2011, after the police had vacated the property, a live-in guardian company took occupation and placed 4 guardians in the building just in time for the Christmas break. This occupation prevented the building from being squatted and remained in place until the asset was sold to a serviced office provider in 2015.

Through imaginative collaboration with the live-in gardian company, the landlord’s empty rates liability was dramatically reduced.  This allowed a very significant saving for the landlord during the period of the occupation agreement.​