A solution to the problems associated with empty commercial property could be property guardians, suggests a January 2018 article at OpenAccessGovernment.org
Empty commercial property can attract a number of problems, including metal theft, vandalism, squatting, and graffiti. The owner could employ security guards 24 hours a day to stop intruders, but this is expensive. Vacant commercial property is a financial drain, with owners needing to pay for insurance and rates. There can also be monthly repayments for the commercial mortgage used to purchase the building.
Stuart Woolgar, the CEO of Global Guardians, has suggested a solution to the vacant property issue. His company can take over property maintenance and also generates an income instead of a financial drain. His company does this through using property guardians who live in the vacant building. They pay rent so that the property generates an income, but rents are below those of housing rents. As well as income, the guardians provide security for the building. An occupied building will not attract intruders like an empty one.
Most guardians are single people or couples without children. They typically become property guardians to save money for a deposit to purchase a house, or to have more disposable income for socialising and running a car. They prefer buildings close to where they work to save on travel costs.
The guardians are fine with the semi-permanent nature of the arrangement. If the owner of the vacant building finds a commercial tenant, the property guardians know that the guardian company can find them another commercial building.