Details of MPs who rent offices from constituency parties


Full details of the results of valuations of office space obtained by MPs who rent accommodation from their constituency parties, since the requirement was introduced.

I would like the response to include details of the number of members involved in such arrangements, the number whose valuation was above market rent and the number whose rent had to be reduced as a result of their valuation.


IPSA holds the information that you request.

Firstly, the number of MPs that rent office space from a political party or constituency association is 165.

The second part of your request asks for the number of MPs whose valuation was above market rent.  The purpose of the valuation itself is to determine a market rent figure for a property and, therefore, the answer is zero.  IPSA only reimburse rental costs up to the market rental value as given by their valuation.  If the rental amount on a rental agreement submitted was higher than the market rental value IPSA would inform the MP of its policy.  The MP would then be free to submit a revised rental agreement with an amended rental amount.

In relation to the third part of your request, we do not keep a central record of how many MPs have submitted rental agreements that were higher than the market rental value given on their valuation and, subsequently, submitted an amended rental agreement.  There are 165 offices registered with a political party or constituency association.  In order to provide you with details of the number of MPs who submitted amended rental agreements to bring them in line with the above policy, we would need to conduct a search through all emails and letters sent and received between IPSA and 165 MPs offices.

We undertook a test to estimate the amount of time it would take to locate, retrieve and extract the relevant information from emails and letters held by IPSA.  We estimate that it would take approximately 55 hours of staff time which takes us over the appropriate cost limit of £450 (part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act).  Consequently, IPSA is not obliged to respond to the third part of your request (see section 12(1), FOIA).

23 May 2012
Exemptions Applied:
Cost limit