Landlords sometimes complain that those in Whitehall’s corridors of power do not understand the day-to-day challenges of being a landlord when fashioning new regulations and laws.
But now one of their own has been made a housing minister. Eddie Hughes MP, who was appointed to the housing ministry team on 18th January following the resignation of Kelly Tolhurst for family reasons, has told the MCHLG committee during his first parliamentary outing that he is also an ‘accidental landlord’.
At the moment this is not mentioned in the parliamentary Register of Member Interests, which requires rental income over £10,000 and properties worth over £100,000 to be declared.
Hughes is not alone – a recent investigation among MPs using the Register during May last year found that out of the 650 MPs in the current parliament 110 (17%) are landlords.
This compares to the general population, among whom just 5% or one in 20 are landlords.
More Conservatives are landlords than amost Labour or other party MPs; 87 out of 365 Tory MPs (24%) are landlords and 45 of those (or 15%) including Boris Johnson rent out more than one property.
Johnson has two rental properties – one in London and a 20% share in a rented property in Somerset.
The other parties are less landlord heavy. Two out of 11 Lib Dem MPs (18%) are landlords along with four out of 47 SNP MPs (9%) and 17 of 202 Labour MPs (8%).
These figures make the Conservative’s all-out assault on landlords all the more baffling – given 87 of its own party will personally feel the increased costs and taxation imposed on landlords since they took power in 2015.