Landlords are not well liked

Bob Young, chief executive of new lender Fleet Mortgages, said: “We are not well liked; landlords are not well liked.

“They are easy to knock. If you are not a buy-to-let landlord you hate them; you hate the fact that somebody else is getting something that you haven’t got.

“I don’t think it’s growing, I think it’s there. It’s been there for quite a while.”

Matthew Wyles, Castle Trust senior adviser, said: “I think you are right. There is a quite unjustified irrational prejudice against landlords who are joining that black sheet of bankers and estate agents.”

Shawbrook managing director Stephen Johnson had asked the panel: “Has it become popularist to knock landlords?”

He speculated on whether this could lead to a political crackdown, adding: “We have a potential change of government next year.

“Would a Labour government going like the privatised housing division? They’re not.”

But Wyles said: “When they write their manifesto and are beating their political bibles of course they will talk about this. But when it comes down to it when they are sitting with Treasury officials, even a left wing government will tread extremely carefully.”

Young played down the prospect of pensioners taking out money and spending it on a buy-to-let, saying that only a small number will have such an appetite.

He added: “If you have built up £40,000 over 25 years you’re probably not going to do a buy-to-let. You are probably going to blow it and have a blooming good time.

“If you’ve got a pot of £100,000 to £200,000 let’s say you take 25% out. You’re probably a high rate tax payer.

“Are you really going to take out another £100,000 and give 50% of it away to the government so you can do another buy-to-let?

“It’s bordering on inconceivable to me – I just don’t see it.”