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.

“Oakwood Property Management welcomes Brandon Lewis to his new role and hopes the new minister will ensure that housing and especially the Letting Industry continues to grow in importance”.

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.