The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has recently published a new report on the number of leasehold dwellings in England. This report entitled ‘Residential leasehold dwellings in England‘ estimates that in 2012/3 there were a total of 4.1 million leasehold dwellings in England only.
This figure is a massive increase on the DCLG’s previous estimate that there were only 2.5 leasehold dwellings in England in 2011/12. The DCLG has adopted a different, and it believes more accurate, way of estimating the number than it did in 2011/12. The 2011/12 estimate was considered to be defective in its focus on households rather than properties, and the way it recorded leaseholds in the rental sector, very long leaseholds and leaseholders who own a share of freehold.
Of this 4.1 million, some 2.4 million were owner-occupied (ie used as a residence by the leaseholder) and the remaining 1.7 million leasehold dwellings were let in the private rented sector. Notably absent from this analysis, however, are the large number of leasehold properties which are owned by social landlords and let in the social sector. The DCLG doesn’t seem to have taken account of this and recorded them as a separate group.
Defects in the analysis aside, these new statistics underline the importance of leasehold as a form of property ownership in England, and also support claims that the issues faced by leaseholders, particularly around their Service Charges, need to be given attention by the UK Government.