Landlords have invested in and created three in five new homes over the last three decades, the Residential Landlords Association's chairman has said.

Reflecting on the changes to the UK housing market in the 30 years since then, Chancellor Nigel Lawson introduced tax breaks to encourage people to invest in property to let. Alan Ward has praised the historical impact of the private rented sector.

He also praised investment from landlords who either took large redundant properties and divided them, or bought off-plan.

“Private landlords have been prepared to buy property and provide homes to rent – and at no cost to government – indeed we are net contributors in tax terms," he said.

“Tories have always had an obsession with home ownership, but by encouraging Build-to-Rent they are backing both horses.

“We have go to overcome the idea that rental homes are second best – they are not.

“The Government needs to take a step back and look at what is actually happening out there, look at who is providing tenants with the homes they want and need and adjust their policies accordingly."

The RLA boss offered a passionate defence of private landlords who, he said, face an uphill battle, with a Government bent on 'draconian tax changes and unnecessary red tape.'

“PRS landlords are providing homes to a fifth of the population, with the country needing a further 1.8 million more homes to rent by 2025," he added.

“History shows it is us who is most likely to be providing them.”