JEREMY Hunt is facing fresh criticism over his ownership of seven luxury apartments at Ocean Village in Southampton.

The chancellor and the home secretary, Fareham MP Suella Braverman, are among five cabinet ministers who earn thousands of pounds a year from renting out housing.

A total of 68 Tory MPs – nearly one in five – are currently landlords, according to research by campaign group 38 Degrees.

Daily Echo: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt owns seven luxury apartments at Ocean Village in SouthamptonChancellor Jeremy Hunt owns seven luxury apartments at Ocean Village in Southampton (Image: Matt Adamiak)

Mr Hunt, 56, has declared he operates seven flats in Southampton in the latest House of Commons members' register of financial interests.

Ms Braverman and two other cabinet members have each declared one rental property in the UK.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt 'made errors' over purchase of seven apartments at Ocean Village

Mr Hunt has been criticised by Satvir Kaur, leader of the Labour-controlled Southampton City Council.

She said: "We need the chancellor to focus more on growing the country’s wealth rather than lining his own pockets from luxury apartments in Southampton.

"In the middle of a national housing crisis, local individuals and families would benefit far more from him choosing to invest in building more affordable homes here instead."

Daily Echo: Jeremy Hunt owns seven luxury apartments at Ocean Village in SouthamptonJeremy Hunt owns seven luxury apartments at Ocean Village in Southampton (Image: Michelle Campbell)

It comes as ministers pledge to press ahead with a long-promised overhaul of the private rental sector in England.

The Renters (Reform) Bill has finally been tabled in Parliament and proposes a raft of changes, including the abolition of no-fault evictions.

The slow progress of the bill has been criticised by 38 Degrees.

READ MORE: Probe launched into Jeremy Hunt's Ocean Village flats deal

A spokesperson said: "Politicians who make money from renting property are not breaking any laws, and there’s no accusation that they’re breaking any rules either.

"But MPs who make the laws face an extra duty, to their tenants as well as their constituents, to bring forward reform without delay. 

"With MPs almost four times more likely to be landlords than the rest of the population...we highlight the need for tenants' voices to be heard at the top of government."

In 2018 Mr Hunt apologised after it emerged he made errors over his purchase of the Ocean Village flats.

He was reported to have bought the homes after setting up Mare Pond Properties with his wife Lucia.

Mr Hunt confirmed he initially failed to declare his interest in the business with Companies House and the register of MPs' interests. But he said it was down to "honest administrative mistakes" that had since been rectified.

A spokesperson for Mr Hunt declined to comment on his continued ownership of the apartments.