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UK Border Agency: Empty Property

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to pages 80 and 81 of his Department’s Resource Accounts 2008-09, for what reasons the UK Border Agency made payments of £1.3 million to landlords for empty properties. (309310)

A large estate such as that occupied by the UK Border Agency is likely to have some surplus property at times, especially as it is consolidating the number of properties it has to deliver better value for the taxpayer overall. Where a property is empty the Agency is required to declare the costs associated with that property while UKBA retains the lease. In 2008-09 payments for the empty properties were £1,072 million, comprising rent, rates, and a nominal amount for utilities. This represents 1 per cent. of the cost of running the UKBA estate. Overall the agency has benefited from reduced property, IT and productivity gains from rationalisation that outweigh these costs.