Is buy-to-let still a good investment? MPs certainly seem to think so

Boris Johnson

Some property investors argue that there has never been a harder time to be a landlord in the UK. The pressures that the pandemic has created over the past 16 months on many individuals in the private rented sector are beyond what anyone could have predicted or needed.

Those who have invested in the PRS have already been challenged by legislation, financial restrictions, and regulatory pressures in recent years.

BTL landlords have been adversely affected by the scrapping of the ‘wear and tear’ allowance for furnished homes, the phasing out of mortgage interest relief and the 3% stamp duty surcharge, and yet the buy-to-let market continues to appeal to a number of investors, including the prime minister.

It transpires that Boris Johnson is among 90 Tory MPs to boost their income by at least £10,000 a year thanks to rental properties.

Johnson recently started renting out his Grade II-listed cottage in Oxfordshire last month, having reportedly advertised it at £4,250 a month.

The prime minister also part-owns houses in London and Somerset, which he also rents out.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, earns rental income from a farmhouse, land and other buildings in Somerset, as well as from a residential property in London.

Other landlords include Sajid Javid, the health secretary, defence secretary Ben Wallace, and the government’s chief whip, Mark Spencer.

Some 18 Labour MPs have also declared rental income from private property, according to the Register of Interests, along with four MPs from the SNP.

This includes Labour’s shadow housing secretary, Lucy Powell, who rents out a room in her London flat. The Register of Interests says that Powell earns at least £10,000 a year from this, suggesting she charges at least £833 a month for rent.

In total, 115 MPs across all parties have declared earning money from rent, with Tories making up the vast majority. This compares to around 3% of the UK’s adult population, meaning MPs are roughly six times more likely to be landlords.

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