People could rent a place in Fulford for £300 a month – including bills – as part of a scheme to help keep empty properties safe.
As part of their first venture in York, company Live In Guardians is offering residents the opportunity to rent a room in Frederick House, formerly Shepherd HQ, on Fulford Road.
The building is set to be turned into 393 student flats in the future.
An estate agent has said the lets are “exceptionally cheap” for York, a city where the average one bedroom flat costs £675 a month.
Danny Schindler from Live In Guardians said there are already doctors, teachers, restaurant staff and people working for the army and the police living in the building, which has 40 rooms available for rent.
Danny added it is the first time the company has taken over a property in York, saying:
Our guardians are all young professionals and are carefully vetted.
There are ample kitchens, toilets, showers and also communal areas where the guardians can meet up and socialise. In addition there is car parking.
For the guardians it is the opportunity to live in unusual spaces, near to where they work at prices far less than the traditional renting market.
He said the scheme means residents have the opportunity to save money so they can go on to buy their first home.
For more details visit liveinguardians.com.
Anya Mathewson, managing director of Letters Property Management, said the rental market has grown hugely since 2000 as people struggle to buy property.
They are going to be snapped up pretty quickly, that’s exceptionally cheap for York.
Rental prices have increased substantially in the last couple of years. It’s levelling out a bit now but the right property in the right location can and does rent quickly for a high rent.
Anya said family homes are popular too because many families “can’t afford to buy anymore – people who are in good jobs and have got a good income but may not have the deposit they need.
“We really feel for people who genuinely can’t afford even to rent in the city – it is tough for them in the current market.”
She added that Fulford is one of the most popular areas to live in the city, as well as the city centre, South Bank, Leeman Road and the Groves.
An updated planning application has been submitted for Frederick House, with fewer student bedrooms and a storey removed from the designs for the building in response to concerns from neighbours about the height of the development.
A spokesman for the developers said: “Through the planning process period, we are keen to keep the building in active use and the live in guardians provide a positive, temporary, beneficial occupancy.”