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Moving to another country is no easy or cheap feat and one of the biggest moving tasks that weighs on the mind is finding a roof to put over your head. With property prices all over the country soaring, a new property guardian initiative could help you relocate to a country Irish castle on the cheap.

What’s a property guardian? If you’re looking for somewhere to stay but can’t afford the Dublin rental market, becoming a property guardian allows you to house sit empty buildings to save them from vandalism and disrepair until a decision is made about what to do with them.

Camelot is a vacant property management company seeking tenants to occupy properties in some of Ireland’s most sought-after areas. Property owners approach Camelot with properties that are due to stand empty for considerable periods of time. These properties may be awaiting demolition, renovation, sale, letting or redevelopment.

Although not quite as cheap as woofing or couch surfing, if you’re staying in Ireland for a long period of time, becoming a property guardian offers a nice alternative to renting especially in the capital city. Currently, you’d be lucky to find a room in Dublin for $570 a month.

As a property guardian, you can take your pick from the available properties without paying full rent for the room. Paying Camelot’s monthly management fees, you can expect to pay anywhere in between $39-$158 per week. You will also be asked to put down a fully refundable deposit of $457 for properties in Dublin and $343 for other properties, purchase a fire pack and pay an administration fee.

Dutch company Camelot are the only vacant property management company in Ireland currently offering this kind of service. If you’re traveling to Ireland for a shorter period of time i.e. just for a few weeks, it may not be advisable, as you could end up with a place to stay for much longer than you originally estimated.

Unfortunately, you never know exactly how long you’re going to have in any of these rooms for so maybe hold back on spending a fortune in Ikea for now. Once a house is sold or renovation/demolition schedules are set out you’ll be asked to move along. Sometimes this can happen after a few months, sometimes you could be there for a number of years. Not the best way to plan for the future. 

Once the fate of the property is decided, guardians have two weeks to vacate and, hopefully, move along to the next property, although Camelot don’t guarantee this so we’d have a hostel lined up just in case.

Another of the drawbacks is that this is just for the singles out there. No families are allowed, not even your beloved pets. Apart from this, if you’re available and able to move in immediately, have no criminal record, are aged 18 or older, able to prove a regular income and have a valid residence permit, apply for the property of your choice and let the house-sitting adventure begin.

Is a beautiful manor house in south county Dublin on your bucket list? No need to wait until you’ve made your millions. You can now rent a room in a manor on Gleanageary Road for as little as $342 a month.

Prefer the west of Ireland? Apply for a room in Ardrahan town Castle, fit with it’s own four-poster bed. This trip back in time will cost you as little as $230 a month. Pretty amazing!

Right now, there’s not a massive selection of places available in Ireland but we’re sure this will increase once the trend kicks off.

Would you be interested in becoming a property guardian? Is this a good initiative? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

* Originally published in May 2015.