Offices & accommodation

Overview

You may wish to maintain an office in your constituency and/or a rental accommodation in London (if you are not London-based).

We provide capped budgets for offices and accommodation to ensure you are adequately resourced and able to perform your role.

IPSA will provide a named HOST Account Manager who will be available to provide ongoing.

Guidance

We provide you with an Office Costs budget to allow you to maintain an office in your constituency.

The budget allows you to pay rent and utilities, purchase supplies, stationery and furniture, and print and produce materials to communicate with your constituents.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a constituency office.

We recommend that you don't commit to a lease without speaking to your named HOST Manager.

Your lease should include a two-month break clause covering all circumstances.

IPSA will not fund costs after a certain period after an MP leaves Parliament.

Most MP leases include a two-month break clause.

The Scheme explains what costs can be funded from your Office Costs budget.

We will explain in detail the information you need to consider about your accommodation in your induction.

For more information, visit Office & home.

All new MPs’ Office Costs budgets include an additional start-up supplement of £6,000.

The supplement helps with some initial higher costs associated with setting up an office – including, for example, furnishings, alterations to optimise the working environment, and signage.

Landlords may require a deposit when you rent a property.

This could represent a significant cost to self-fund. We can provide deposit loans.

This is not deducted from your budget and you must return this to us 30 days after vacating a property.

Rent

The rent for your office will occupy a significant percentage of your available budget.

Securing a competitive rate will enable you to optimise your budget and manage other overheads.

Rental rates vary across the UK. This table shows the average monthly rent in different areas paid by MPs last year which we hope is a useful reference point.

AreaAverage 2023
East Anglia£698
East Midlands£766
London£1,042
North East£776
North West£812
Northern Ireland£768
Scotland£823
South East£715
South West£833
Wales£723
West Midlands£766
Yorkshire and Humberside£733

Rent will differ within each area based on a range of local factors.

On average, MPs’ constituency office rent occupies around 30% of the Office Costs budget.

Some MPs also opt to share offices – including, for example, with elected members of devolved administrations.

MPs can also sub-let office space.

You may want to consider taking on the office of your predecessor MP – if it was suitable for them, it may also work for you.

Some MPs may decide not to have an office and allow their team to operate virtually, facilitating constituent visits and face-to-face meetings instead solely through surgeries.

Security

Your security, and that of your staff, is of utmost importance.

The Members’ Security Support Service (MSSS) is available to ensure all recommended security measures are in place.

While MSSS will fund the required security measures, it is worth bearing security factors in mind when choosing an office. Consider how safe you and your staff will feel, and how well external entrances and exits are lit.

You can also contact MSSS at 020 7219 2244 or at safe@parliament.uk.

Accessibility

As public service providers and employers, MPs have obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to consider reasonable adjustments to make their service and workplace accessible.

Consider whether the premises are accessible to employees who may experience workplace disadvantages owing to a longstanding health condition.

For example, is there a lift if the office isn't located on the ground floor? Are there stairs to the door? Are there walk-in bathroom facilities?

Utilities

We advise you to research and negotiate competitive tariffs with utility providers.

You may also secure a rental arrangement that includes all utility costs.

Similarly, there are varying discount or exemption arrangements in local authority areas for costs, such as business rates, that we encourage you to explore.

You should also carefully review these costs to establish what will remain in your budget once they have been added to your annual rent.

Stationery

Parliament provides MPs with an annual budget of £11,000 that allows them to purchase items specific to Parliament such as envelopes and paper embossed with the Portcullis emblem.

We encourage you to plan the usage of this budget and consider whether accessing these funds is more appropriate than using your Office Costs budget.

We provide an Accommodation budget (for MPs representing constituencies outside of London) to support you to meet the costs of working from two locations.

We strongly recommend your lease includes a two-month break clause – ideally covering all circumstances.

IPSA will not fund costs after a certain period when an MP leaves Parliament.

Most MP leases have a two-month break clause in them.

Hotels and renting

You may not wish to take on the responsibilities connected with renting accommodation.

It may be more convenient and cost-effective to stay in hotels.

You will be travelling a lot and while having a base may be more practical, some MPs prefer staying in hotels.

You can consider this option before agreeing to a longer-term arrangement.

The Accommodation budget can fund hotel stays, although there are nightly rate thresholds.

Using your property

Some MPs own property that would make for an ideal location.

If this applies to you, we can still provide funding for “associated costs”.

The budget we provide for associated costs is confirmed in The Scheme and is intended to cover the cost of utility bills, council tax, and the installation of landlines and broadband.

Sharing a property

You can share a property – it may be a cost-effective option, and some MPs share accommodation.

In these circumstances, we will fund your proportion of rent and other costs.

Dependants

If you have parental responsibilities for children or are the primary carer for a family member with individual needs, we provide dependant uplifts to budgets to help you secure accommodation that is appropriate for you and your dependants.

Dependants must be registered on IPSA Online.

For more information on dependant uplifts, visit Dependants.

The full details of the above will be explained during your induction, and your HOST Account Manager is available to provide support.

Additional information can be found by visiting Office & home.

Contact IPSA

To get additional support, contact us.