Nearly £2bn worth of vacant property unclaimed.

There is currently £1.744bn worth of vacant property unclaimed across England and Wales.

The latest research was carried out by StripeHomes

London and the South East had the most unclaimed property.  The majority of the estates have been left by people who didn’t pass them on in a will, normally when they has no immediate or extended family.

Across England and Wales there are currently 7991 estates lying unclaimed with an average value of £218,000 per estate.  (London inflates this figure with average estates their exceeding £500,000.)

Each unclaimed estate on the government list remains on the list for 30 years before title is passed to the treasury. The only people eligible to claim an estate or share of an estate that isn’t bequeathed in a will are blood/distant relatives or a spouse.  This does not include non-married partners, civil partnerships or stepchildren.

James Forrester, managing director of StripeHomes, said: “Finding out you’re eligible to claim one of the thousands of unclaimed estates across England and Wales is probably one of the most fortunate but unlikely ways of getting a foot on the property ladder.

“It makes for quite depressing reading when you consider the struggle many are facing to secure a property of their own while such a substantial value of bricks and mortar is currently left tangled in red tape, only for the Government to take control of it after 30 years.

“While procedures need to be followed to ensure anyone with a legitimate claim has the right to do so, 30 years seems a very long time to leave an estate lingering in limbo when it could be contributing positively to the current housing crisis. Particularly when you consider that the majority of these estates are located in London where the ratio of demand to the shortage of housing is probably at its worst.

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