Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Emily Thornberry, Theresa May, Philip Hammond, and Jeremy Hunt. These are just some of the many Members of Parliament who privately let properties whilst simultaneously writing the rules on tenancy.
Many of them benefit by over £10,000 a year according to the parliamentary register of MP’s interests.
This is clearly corrupt and it should be called as such. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of corruption is:
Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
It is within MP landlords self-interest to make the rules for letting as relaxed as possible, the evidence for this is, for instance, the defeated of the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill 2015/16 which attempted to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation.
The bill was defeated by 312 votes, 309 of which were from the Conservative Party who have the largest percentage of landlords per party. Before the vote, the government “will result in unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords, which will deter further investment.” From this, it is obvious MPs abuse their power to make their lives and landlords easier.
MPs are not representing the public which elected them, they are representing the interests of private landlords. This is evident with politicians’ response to renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tenants Union UK highlighted the fact the government is telling people to self-isolate, but refuses to increase statutory sick pay or freeze rent payments.
Beth Redmond, writing for Tenants Union UK, said: “We are already seeing examples of landlords harassing tenants or asking them to pay April’s rent early. The UK’s SSP is the lowest in Europe at £94.25 a week, which would barely cover your rent.”
Not freezing rent is yet another example of MPs failing to properly regulate renting. Perhaps if there were fewer MP landlords appropriate action would be taken to ensure the safety of renters who may or may not be suffering during a global pandemic.
If this isn’t dishonest or fraudulent then I do not know what is. It is strange how our politics and media point and wag their fingers at the ‘corruption’ in the global south yet remain silent over with corruption in our own system.