Please Note: This Article is 7 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


No, not the Green Deal, it’s the Green Party’s attack on private landlords with plans in their election manifesto to not only cap private rents but also to remove mortgage interest tax relief for all buy-to-let landlords.

This opinion article appears in the February Newsletter – LandlordZONE Update

In an ‘excruciating’ radio interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett made headlines for all the wrong reasons Tuesday after stumbling her way through a “car crash” interview. (Listen to the full interview below)

Capping Ed Ball’s “mind blank” on Newsnight recently, when he could not recall the surname of one of Labour’s biggest business backers he had just had dinner with, Bill…. (Bill Thomas), Natalie Bennett stumbled repeatedly when asked on LBC Radio how the Greens would pay for a plan to build 500,000 new social rental homes.

The Huffington Post UK says Natalie Bennett may have given the worst political interview ever.

With long embarrassing silences as Ferrari politely probes deeper, Bennett attempts to explain how the Green Party would build 500,000 new homes on a budget of £27bn, funded by removing mortgage tax relief from private landlords. Though Ms Bennett actually says £2.7bn, prompting a quizzical response from Ferrari, whose maths, it would seem, are also rather suspect at this point in the interview.

That would work out at £60,000 a house, so “not much more than the cost of a large conservatory,” says the LBC presenter, “how are you going to pay for the land?”

After a long pause: “Right, well what we are looking at doing is… is… is basically,” says Ms Bennett before having a coughing fit and explaining that she has a “huge cold”…

And so the carnage goes on, but she also goes on to imply that private landlords are draining the public purse through housing benefit payments and that rents would be capped by the Greens.

Natalie Bennett’s Tuesday morning interview risks overshadowing the Green Party’s campaign launch, as well as obscuring a ComRes poll in Tuesday’s Daily Mail which gave the party its highest ever rating.

The party’s share of the vote has risen to 8 per cent – its highest showing with ComRes since 2010. The poll puts them level with the Liberal Democrats.

It also puts the Green Party on a par with the Liberal Democrats and Labour when it comes to introducing or planning to introduce policies and legislation which would potentially have a direct impact on the management and profitability of buy-to-let investments.

Plus, governments across the Union, including Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and even the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man are looking to introduce new tenancy laws and more stringent letting regulations. These would inevitably give more protection to tenants and considerably increase costs and management time for landlords.

Chief of these changes will be variously: landlord registration; landlord licensing; longer-term tenancies; more stringent inspections and safety checks; restrictions on evictions; stringent energy efficiency standards and rent capping.

Whilst some of these changes will be welcome and will simply confirm what good responsible landlords are already doing, the costs and bureaucracy involved will not be welcome and will inevitably fall on those good landlords; the rogues and cowboys getting away with it as usual, unless the authorities can improve on their poor record of enforcement.

Others of these changes will be anathema to landlords and will, if introduced, drive out good landlords, reduce the supply of good quality rental housing and ultimately increase rents for tenants.

Tom Entwistle

Please Note: This Article is 7 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


  1. Like most Green Supporters, Ms Bennett is living on a different planet to the rest of us. The only thing she has in common with the rest of the political leeches is to penalise Private landlords for the sake of sounding radical.
    When the private landlords leave and sell up, perhaps Ms Bennett and the rest of her pie in the sky crew will realise that they got it wrong, yet again.

  2. Well she\’s mastered one important political skill, that of conflating two completely unrelated things and making it sound like one causes the other . If she\’s done that deliberately, then the Greens are no better than any other party. If she really thinks in her head that somehow private landlords are responsible for the lack of social housing, she\’s just plain dangerous to be in power. And I speak as someone who would like to see much more social housing!

  3. Don\’t worry people the Greens are a bunch of fruitcakes
    Though I do agree with Rail renationalisation and ONE national ticketing system
    Most of the Green policies are just bonkers
    About time Ms Lucas was the Green leader again
    She is a very eloquent person and irrespective of which party she is in is a good MP
    If she was my MP I would vote for her even though I disagree with most of the Green policies!!
    The Greens really need to sort out their ideology.
    Their policies are just incoherent
    They have NO economic understanding as to how the PRS as a business operates!!
    As they won\’t hold any power we can disregard them.

  4. How do people of such limited intelligence rise to positions of \’power\’ in our modern society? Bonkers hardly describes what I have heard in recent days of the Green Party policies and the performance of their leader on Nick Ferrari\’s program is without doubt the most pathetic display of ineptitude of my experience. Even George Brown when thoroughly pissed was a class act by comparison! Vote Green Party why don\’t you?

  5. I am a committed Green Party supporter, always have been. Because it doesn\’t matter what you do what the economy if the environment is irreparably broken! However, I have to grimace at this particular policy. Fortunately, Green Party policies are voted on and decided entirely by members, so I feel confident that if they are ever in power, the real facts will wash out the bulls**t and good policies will ultimately be made. [Unlike the other parties that only dance to the purse strings of Big Money]


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