A campaign group claims that current MPs in the House of Commons make as much as £2m a year.
38 Degrees, which operates online, describes itself as “a community” and in a new report says: “For renters across England, the housing system is neither fair nor respectful. In fact, the country’s private rental market is broken. For the nearly one in five households made up of private renters, an unsafe and unfair system means a roll of the dice with every new tenancy. Meanwhile good landlords must watch as irresponsible ones bring their reputation into disrepute.”
It calls for the rapid introduction of the Rental Reform Bill - which suggests the report, although only just released, was written some time ago before Housing Secretary Michael Gove committed to launch the bill this week.
The report, based on an analysis of the House of Commons Register of Members’ Interests, says 101 MPs declared rental properties of any type earning more than £10,000 annual rent in 2022/23 - that’s 15.5 per cent of elected MPs.
The report then states: “This means people who claim rental income are significantly over- represented in Parliament: by comparison, just four per cent of the total UK population are landlords. As a result, MPs are almost four times more likely to be landlords than the population as a whole.”
Looking at England specifically, it suggests that 87 MPs declared rental income. Of these 87, some 53 claimed rental income from one home and 34 from two or more properties. Ands of the 87, some 68 are Conservatives. 16 are Labour, two are Liberal Democrats and one is a Scottish National Party MP.
The report says that based on the ‘£10,000 minimum’ rule for a declaration, at least £1.67m a year is being made in rent from MP-owned homes in England, but it then speculates: “In reality, the amount earned is likely to be higher, since many of the properties listed will earn more than £10,000 a year in rent. Indeed, there are good reasons to think many earn a lot more.”
The report then speculates that: “66 of the rental properties declared were in London - more than in any other English region. With a minimum of £10,000 a year rental income each, the total for these 66 was at least £660,000. But the latest ONS statistics suggest London’s median monthly rent is £1,475 pcm, or £17,700 a year. That’s £7,700 higher than the £10,000 a year threshold for declaration. So if every London property listed earned the capital’s median rent - instead of the minimum £10,000 - the estimated rent from MP- owned properties in the city would collectively be £508,200 a year more.”
It also speculates that the number of private landlords in Parliament is likely to be higher than outlined as MPs are only required to declare rental income over £10,000.
Government estimates suggest median monthly rent across England is £800 a month, or £9,600 a year and the report adds that: “Therefore, any MP charging a tenant the median national rent would not be required to declare it - severely limiting transparency on landlord interests in Parliament.”
After further speculation about other parts of the country, the report suggests MPs earn in excess of £2m a year from rent.
38 Degrees says five members of the current cabinet declared income from properties in England this year. This includes the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, who has seven apartments in Southampton, as well as Suella Braverman, Gillian Keegan, Alex Chalk and Lucy Frazer.
Former PM Boris Johnson, who pledged Renters’ Reform in his 2019 manifesto, has also declared rental income on three properties.
One member of the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee has also declared rental income - the is Conservative MP Bob Blackman, who holds six buy to let properties in Welwyn Garden City.
Three members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet also earn rental income: David Lammy, Emily Thornberry and Lucy Powell, who each declared income from one property.
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