Location, landlord, length of tenancy and properties for active leases and expired leases

Request

I would like to apply under foi for details of MPs' rental accommodation arrangements for second homes including

  1. the location the property paid for out of Parliamentary allowances (as close to the address as possible) for each (named) MP making a claim

  2. the individual or firm the property is rented from

  3. how long the property has been rented by the MP

  4. the same details for other properties previously rented by MPs during this Parliament.


Response

In our letter of 21 November, we confirmed that the information requested in parts a) and b) of your request were provided in response to two previous FOI requests.  Our response of 21 November is summarised as follows:

  1. The information you requested in part a) of your request was provided in response to FOI request reference FOI2012-A063a, which related to the location of rental properties currently claimed for under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the Scheme)

  2. The information you requested in part b) of your request was provided in response to FOI request reference FOI2012-A067a, which related to the landlord names of rental properties currently claimed under the Scheme

We provided you with a link to the Freedom of Information section of our website, where the information you requested may be viewed.

In addition, we can confirm that IPSA holds the information in relation to parts c) and d) or your request.

In relation to part c) of your request, Annex A shows all Members of Parliament who claimed for rental accommodation under the Scheme, as at 22 October 2012, and the start date as stated on the lease that IPSA holds.  A number of leases in Annex A have start dates that begin prior to IPSA’s operations in May 2010 – these represent agreements that were already in place between the MP and their landlord.  In these cases, the standard registration process applied, requiring MPs to submit the original hardcopy lease and complete an online registration.  If an MP wishes to extend their lease, we request that further documentation is sought from the landlord to confirm that the lease has been extended.

Part d) of your request asks for the same information requested in parts a), b) and c) of your request for properties previously claimed for by MPs since IPSA began its operations in May 2010.  We hold 514 leases that relate to part d) of your request.  We have conducted a test to determine the amount of staff time it would take to locate and retrieve archived hardcopy leases and to extract the information that you request from each lease.  The test has shown that the work takes us over the appropriate cost limit of £450 (part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act).  We considered whether it was possible to limit your request to bring it under the cost limit, for example by limiting the time period, and concluded that this would not provide the information requested.

Consequently, IPSA is not obliged to respond to part d) of your request (see section 12(1), FOIA).

Ref:
FOI2012-A078
Disclosure:
December 12, 2012
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Cost limit