A bid to introduce licensing of private landlords in a major city could prove problematic because so many councillors are either landlords or tenants.
Portsmouth City Council’s legal team warned that tenants as well as landlords would have to declare an interest.
A motion to introduce licensing was due to be heard at a meeting of the full council yesterday.
Labour was pressing for the motion to go ahead after it was seconded by a councillor who is a tenant.
The proposer, Cllr Cal Corkery, said that “many” councillors were either going to be landlords or tenants.
He said: “I understand why landlords cannot vote because they have a financial interest, but for tenants it’s more about ensuring their rights are upheld.”
Tory group leader Cllr Donna Jones, a landlord, said that over 15 councillors would have to declare an interest and leave the room.
At Westminster, almost one in five MPs – including both the Tory leadership candidates – are landlords according to registers of financial interests.
Tories with second homes that bring in over £10,000 a year include Theresa May, Philip Hammond, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling and Sajid Javid.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are both on the list as receiving money from second homes.
Labour MPs receiving over £10,000 a year from second homes include Emily Thornberry and Keith Vaz.
All are allowed to vote on housing matters.
The campaign group 38 does have a petition requiring MPs to abstain where there is a conflict of interest.