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One in Seven Councillors is a Landlord

Analysis by the Guardian has revealed that one in seven elected councillors in rental hotspots is a landlord. This has raised concerns that there could be a conflict of interest on matters pertaining to landlords in the private rental sector. The figures were revealed after councillor declarations of interest, which councillors are obliged to make when elected, were analysed.


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Torbay is one such rental hotspot. There, 39% of elected councillors on the Torbay town council own rental properties. Three Torbay councillors, including the mayor, own a total of 68 rental properties. One of them has raked in more than £63k in housing benefit in the last two years. In Leeds, 26 out of 99 councillors own rental properties and in Bournemouth, 15 out of 37 councillors have an interest in the private rental sector.

Generation Rent Claim Conflict of Interest

Critics from Generation Rent claim that landlord councillors are going to be less inclined to regulate the private rental sector in their area. They point out that in all three of the above towns and cities, the council has not introduced a landlord licencing scheme.

“It is worrying that towns and cities with high numbers of private renters are governed by a disproportionately high number of landlords, especially if it makes councils less inclined to regulate the local rental market properly,” says Dan Wilson Craw from Generation Rent.

Landlord Councillors Deny Claims

Landlord councillors deny there is a conflict of interest and despite evidence to the contrary, they claim landlord licencing schemes are not an effective form of regulation.

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