On the eve of the closest general election in decades, an interesting study has revealed that the number of MP’s earning an income from renting out a property has increased during the last parliament.
The report from the Guardian indicates that the number of MP’s owning a rental property has increased by a third during the last five years. Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis are 3 of 153 members of parliament who declared an income from rental property in 2015. This was up from just 36 members in 2010.
Statistics from the report indicate that one in four MP’s earn an income from at least one rental property. This data has been met with anger from housing campaigners, who argue that politicians in Britain are more bothered about maintaining equilibrium as opposed to helping improve tenants’ rights.
Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, believes that MP’s are not doing enough to combat rogue landlords. Hilton said that,’ there has been a quiet cross-party consensus in parliament in favour of landlords for decades. It’s time for full transparency, a full disclosure of all legislators’ land and property assets and a commitment to bar MP’s from voting on issues where they have significant financial and personal advantages from doing so.’
MP renters rise by a third
Mr Hilton went on to state that, ‘MP’s often say that they’re also tenants in their second home so have balanced view. But setting aside the fact that the taxpayer is paying their rent, unless they are in cramped and damp bedsits, they really don’t have a clue.’
Of the increased number of parliament members renting properties, many have chosen to do so in the south-east in England, where the market gives the most substantial yields. However, many MP’s are renting out properties that have been subsidised by parliamentary expenses.
A Conservative spokesman however was bullish on the report, stating that, ‘official statistics show that rents have fallen in real terms in this parliament. They argue that the Conservatives are, ‘increasing investment in new build private rented accommodation, clamping down on bad practice by the small minority of rogue landlords and strengthening consumer protection.’ Additionally, the spokesman said that the Conservatives are, ‘supporting renters who want to step up to home ownership through our Help to Buy scheme.’