Rent at luxurious flat owned by Jeremy Hunt soared by 18% amid housing disaster
Tenants who moved into the millionaire Chancellor’s residence final summer season had been charged £300 extra a month than earlier ones. High demand for houses because of the Tory housing disaster and hovering inflation had sparked a bidding conflict and despatched the rental worth hovering.
Our investigation with marketing campaign group Led By Donkeys comes because the Cabinet minister prepares to ship his autumn Budget, with tens of millions nonetheless struggling to pay payments within the crippling value of residing disaster.
We found earlier tenants on the flat in Southampton owned by Mr Hunt and his spouse Lucia Guo’s agency Mare Pond Properties Limited had been paying lease of £1,700 a month. When they moved out in August final yr, letting brokers promote it for £1,850 a month, a 9% hike.
We had been instructed quite a lot of provides had been rejected within the bidding conflict and the winner ended up paying greater than £2,000 monthly. The 18% improve was nearly twice the speed of inflation on the time.
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The housing disaster has led to lease rises averaging 10% over the previous yr. TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak stated: “It is one rule for the rich and powerful, and another rule for everybody else.
“The Chancellor has stayed silent while property speculators and landlords have imposed inflation-busting rents. But he and other ministers has repeatedly told workers not to ask for a cost-of-living pay rise, despite many facing soaring housing costs.”
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones added: “Jeremy Hunt’s calls for people to make shared sacrifices and show restraint in order to tackle inflation were clearly just his words not his actions. It says everything you need to know about this Tory Chancellor.”
In October 2022, weeks after Mr Hunt’s new tenants moved in he had been made Chancellor and warned “we’re going to have to be asking for sacrifices from everyone to get through a very difficult period”.
In December, he argued for pay restraint within the public sector. He stated: “I recognise there are very sincerely held positions by people in the public sector. But the Government too has a sincerely held concern, not to lock in high inflation that is the root cause of their anger.”
In one other interview, he added: “We just have to be really careful not to agree to pay demands that have the opposite of the intended effect because they lock in high inflation.” In June, Mr Hunt met trade regulators to make sure that worth rises had been “fair” and never undermining authorities makes an attempt to chop inflation.
Research has discovered 87 MPs are landlords, 68 of them Tories, together with Mr Hunt. He purchased seven flats in Southampton for £3.6million by Mare Pond Properties Limited. Set up in September 2017, it has had one sole director since, Ms Guo. Land Registry paperwork present the agency spent £3.57million shopping for flats which value from £437,000 to £685,000 in 2018. The accounts reveal nothing about its takings or income.
We have established the lease for Hunt’s portfolio vary from £1,600 to £2,000 a month per flat. That means his buy-to-let firm collects round £150,000 a yr in lease – nearly the identical as his mixed £159,000 wage as a Cabinet minister and MP.
Mr Hunt declined to touch upon the cash his firm was making from the residences or how a lot rents had elevated.
A spokesman for the Chancellor stated: “All profits from Mare Pond Properties are donated to charity, as previously confirmed.” But he wouldn’t verify the quantity donated, when the donations had been made or which charity or charities had benefitted.
Mr Hunt is among the richest MPs after he bought Hotcourses, the schooling agency he co-founded, for £14.5million in 2017. He admitted failing to declare his 50% stake in Mare Pond Properties with each Companies House and the MPs’ register of pursuits for six months, claiming it was an “honest mistake”.
Mr Hunt’s register of pursuits present he additionally owns half shares in a vacation home in Italy and an workplace constructing in London, each of which he lets out. He owns a “portfolio of shares” which have been held in a “blind trust” since 2019.