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Departmental Housing

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) empty and (b) occupied residential properties his Department owns; and what the (i) potential annual rental and (ii) total book value is of those (A) empty and (B) occupied residential properties. (313794)

The Ministry of Justice does not own any residential properties, however its agencies, HM Courts Service and the National Offender Management Service both own residential properties to support their operations.

HM Courts Service owns 19 residential properties, made up of:

Residential

Number

Book value at 31 December 2009 (£1,000)

Rent received (£1,000 pa)

Potential rent (£1,000 pa)

Up for sale

2

250

0

1

Empty

2

411

0

6

Occupied and rented out

4

1,055

17

0

Judges lodging (freehold)

11

14,554

0

1

Total

19

16,271

17

6

1 Not available for rent.

The empty and occupied and rented out properties are being held in connection with the construction of a new court scheme which is in the very early stages of development.

Judges lodgings provide accommodation for judges on circuit duty. For security these lodgings cannot be made available for wider rental. Where suitable alternative rental properties are available they are used and surplus lodgings have been sold.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) owns 397 residential properties, made up of:

Residential

Number

Book value at 31 December 2009 (£1,000)

Operational use

88

10,300

Occupied

198

24,600

Unoccupied

111

11,700

The operational residential properties are currently used for office space, training and other operations. The NOMS figures do not include prisons or approved premises used to house offenders.

Unoccupied properties are no longer required for NOMS operations and are currently being prepared for disposal.

Occupied premises are provided to HM Prison Service personnel to meet operational requirements and the individual prison officers pay rental depending on their job grade. As these properties are not available for rental on the open market, NOMS does not have a potential market rental value for them.

The balance sheets of NOMS and HM Courts Service contain both freehold properties and those on finance leases. For the purposes of this question we have included only freehold properties.