So, it seems many members of parliament think renting out property as buy-to-let landlords is a good thing to do as a second occupation.
Declaring rental income is something that almost 25 per cent, one-in-four of our MPs have been doing in 2015.
According to The Guardian newspaper their analysis shows that 153 MPs declared an income from renting out at least one property in 2015. This is up from 117 in 2010.
Many senior Tories were amongst the second property owners including Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis, but the list also included prominent Labour figures as well. These included two shadow cabinet ministers Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.
The Scottish Labour leader lets out a property in London. Three years ago, he was criticised for owning a property which he bought with taxpayer help just two miles from the Palace of Westminster, which he has let out.
The shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, also rents out a flat in London. During the expenses scandal it was revealed that he bought a flat in south London with taxpayer help. Mr Burnham defended his expenses claims, saying that he has consistently under claimed.
Left leaning housing campaigning group Generation Rent director Alex Hilton told The Guardian newspaper:
“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 MPs from voting on issues where they have significant, financial and personal advantages from doing so.
“MPs often say that they’re also tenants in their second home so have a 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,” he said.
All UK MPs are obliged to declare any rental income exceeding £6,700 a year and the register shows that more than 25 MPs who did not rent out property in 2010 have now become landlords.
Many have invested in properties in the south east where rising prices have produced excellent returns. Some MPs it seems are renting out homes that were part subsidised by parliamentary expenses.
A Conservative spokesman told The Guardian:
“Official statistics show that rents have fallen in real terms in this parliament. 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. And we are supporting renters who want to step up to home ownership through our Help to Buy scheme.”
A Labour party spokesperson said the rules are set independently by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. “It is right for IPSA [Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority] to decide their scope and MPs to abide by them,” she said.
153 MPs Declare Income from Renting Out Properties – http://t.co/k3jiq2Qoqt
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) May 8, 2015