You do not have to be a private landlord to be a good housing minister, but it helps.
If that variation of the old you don't have to be mad to work here phrase turns out to be true, then we may have a good housing minister in new appointment Brandon Lewis who has revealed that he is, indeed, a private landlord.
His parliamentary register entry includes this statement:
- House in Great Yarmouth , owned jointly with my wife, from which rental income was derived until 24 September 2013. (Registered 6 September 2012; updated 26 September 2013);
- House in Essex, owned jointly with my wife, from which rental income is derived. (Registered 12 November 2012).
His appointment into a role which combines housing and planning has been welcomed by the lettings industry.
The RLA welcomes Brandon Lewis. The RLA looks forward to working closely with the new minister to ensure that housing continues to grow in importance was the message from the Residential Landlords' Association, typical of many the new minister has received.
Lewis replaces Kris Hopkins, who was in the housing post for only 10 months, and now has responsibility for liaising with local councils over broader government activities.
Little-publicised but likely to be of some importance is that while Hopkins was merely an under-secretary of state, Lewis is a full minister of state - effectively giving him a more influential voice both with the Department of Communities and Local Government and in terms of access to the prime minister.